Fitness Networking and a Job in the Fitness Industry!

I spent  a couple days in Arlington, Virginia this past week. I lived in Arlington for a year after college and always enjoy visiting the DC area, which is not all that often anymore.

I took the 3 and a half hour trip down on Wednesday afternoon and stayed with a friend from college. On Thursday morning, I  headed to a “Meeting of the Minds” with Fitness Directors from various country clubs.

car #selfie

arlington potomic outlook

For the past 2 and a half years, I have worked at a private country club doing communications and administrative duties. The country club I work for has three golf courses, a variety of dining venues, a swimming pool, indoor and outdoor racquet courts, a fitness center, and a historic guest house.  It is a pretty large operation, to say the least.

While my full-time job is not in the fitness industry, I have had a handful of full-time and part-time fitness jobs throughout my twenties and I continued to teach Group Fitness classes at outside facilities while working at the country club.

This past June though, I had the opportunity to start teaching a few fitness classes at the country club. (See post here about the Core, Balance, and Stability class I teach.)

Teaching group ex classes at a country club is different than teaching at a gym, at least any gym I have ever worked in! The membership is generally a little older and the high-intensity classes that so many gyms thrive on really are not as popular in country clubs. I spend a lot more time in my classes educating participants on fitness, teaching corrective exercises and proper form, and focusing on balance and flexibility than I do shouting “no pain no gain” motivational quotes. You have to know your audience…

Which, I will say, I did NOT know this audience when I started and someone walked out of my class on my first day and told their friends I was too hard!

No one told me that this clientele expected the intensity a little on the lower side… I did give modifications and asked everyone how they felt and the class was called “Bootcamp” after all. Sometimes you just have to learn as you go!

And learn I did..

Fast forward 6 months, dozens of articles on low-impact training, lots of overtime at my ‘real’ job because my classes cut into the work day, many cups of coffee, 60 some classes later and some internal changes within the company, and I will now be the Fitness Director in January 2015! A position I am very much looking forward to, with a little help from my dear friend, coffee, of course!

#coffeetime

I have been drinking entirely too much coffee lately! The cold weather just makes me dream of coffee.

I am grateful to have been offered an opportunity to do what I love (because Lord knows I don’t make a darn penny blogging, haha! That is OK though, there are plenty of other totally-worthwhile reasons to blog).

This position is something new to me, but I am excited for the challenge and looking forward to using my passion to help better people’s lives! Woohoo.

Seeing as how I am on the fast track to learning all about country club fitness, I was very happy when I reached out to another Fitness Director and asked her if she would be willing to answer a few questions for me, and she was beyond receptive and friendly! She shared a ton of great information with me and even invited me to a Fitness Director meeting down in the DC area that she was organizing!

She felt that, as fitness professionals, we are not in competition with each other but should share our strengths and experiences with one another and build a network of people to bounce ideas around with.  And that was pretty much the attitude of  every fitness pro in the meeting – the fitness community, online and off, really is AWESOME!

I think no matter what job you have or industry you are in, networking with other professionals in your field is such a valuable tool…and especially so in the fitness world! We don’t go to college to become instructors and trainers, and almost all the fitness professionals that I know in higher positions started out training or teaching fitness.

It is critical to know this field inside and out, and a key component of that is meeting experienced people who are willing to share their successes and failures along the way, answer questions, and mentor us. And we should all do the same as we grow in our careers.

Do you work in the fitness industry? Full or part-time?

Do you drink more coffee in the colder months?

#PileontheMiles Check-in and 2 Little Motivational Stories with a BIG Message

We are over halfway through November, are you ready for the Holiday season!? I am. :) I decorated this past weekend, have been listening to Christmas music on Pandora since November 1, and started my Christmas shopping on Etsy.

The blog world is full of challenges and ways to help you stay on track and motivated over the Holidays. Check out my post about Fun things to do in the Fitness Blogosphere this Holiday season!

 #pileonthemiles

One of those challenges is called #PileontheMiles. I set a goal to run 20 miles in November. I am happy to report that I am on target to reach that goal with 11 glorious miles under my belt and 9 more to run in the next 2 weeks. No problemo!

I really like this challenge because even though I am just challenging myself, it makes me get out the door and run on those days (which is pretty much all of them now that it is getting colder) that I really don’t want to. And especially since I didn’t reach my goal last year, I have even more incentive and motivation to reach it this year!

Also, let’s be honest, since I announced it on my blog, I sure would feel like a slacker if I didn’t accomplish this totally attainable goal.

A goal without a plan is just a wish

I wanted to share two little inspiring/motivational stories with you today about NOT GIVING UP.

1000 Miles in a year

This past Saturday I ran 4 miles with a friend/client (who is 70 by the way). It was the last few miles he needed to complete his goal of walking/running 1000 miles in a year after having cervical AND lumbar spinal surgery last November! (And it was 4 miles towards my #PileontheMiles goal…Ha!)

When I first met this inspiration man about a year ago, he was in a neck brace. Even though he still battles headaches and pain, he never gave up on his goal of completing 1000 miles in a year… and we live in Pennsylvania and had a rough winter last year!

He is an inspiration and I was honored to run the last 4 miles with him as he accomplished this amazing goal!

Persistence and Dreaming BIG

Dream big, work hard, never give up

This is Noah. This is Noah trying to climb a tree to get a squirrel. After multiple failed attempts, some frustration, and a little crying, Noah came up with a new plan. Noah followed that squirrel all the way down the street as it pranced down the telephone wires. Noah never took his eyes off the prize and he would have followed the squirrel anywhere it went to accomplish his goal of getting that little squirrel. Unfortunately, his walking partner, aka me, crushed Noah’s dreams and pulled him away from his task at hand… that day.

But tomorrow is a new day, and the discouragement of yesterday didn’t stop Noah from trying to get those squirrels on his next walk. Some may say Noah is not the brightest pup in the dog house, but I say he is persistent, never gives up on his goals, and when one way doesn’t work, he will do whatever it takes to find another way!

Noah’s pursuit to get the squirrel is similar to our dreams and goals we have in life. Dreams are not always easy, things may not work out the way you wanted them to, doors will probably slam in your face, you might get frustrated and cry, but when one door closes, be patient and another will open.

On a different note…

Insta

I joined Instagram last week! Follow me and I will follow you! :)

        
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What do you think about when you run? {#DISHTHEFIT link-up}

Have you noticed the Fit Dish Link-Up button on my sidebar? What about the Pile on the Miles button?

That’s right friends, I decided to Pile on the Miles again this month with Monica (from Run Eat Repeat). I did this last year and set a goal for myself to complete 20 miles in November. Last year, I failed.

This year, I have a plan! I will run on Saturdays and one day during the week… I am bound to hit 5 miles a week and reach my goal of 20. I thought long and hard about that plan, haha!

funny-pictures-cat-does-not-think-plan-will-fail

I am linking up again on this lovely Tuesday with Jessica Joy (from The Fit Switch) and Jill Conyers (from Jill Conyers) for their weekly DISH THE FIT link up. Today’s topic is a fun and appropriate one… Does your mind wander when you run or workout!?

Yes and No…

Working out

When I lift weights, I am pretty focused on the exercises, the muscles I am working, and my form.

When I am teaching a class, I am looking at everyone else’s form and thinking about the next move and the cues I want to give.

When I do yoga or stretch, I am generally thinking how I need to do it more! :)

Running a race

When I ran my 10k last month, this is pretty much how it went…

Miles 1-2 – Don’t start out too fast, oh look at all the people, races are pretty neat, running isn’t so bad.

Mile 3 – Ok, almost half way through, I need to start picking up the pace and passing people.

Mile 4 – This is taking forever, I can’t slow down… must get this race over with…

Mile 5 – Almost done, hurry up and finish this darn thing!

Mile 6 – I’m just going to run as fast as possible and get this over with already, it’s only one mile.

Mile 6.2 – Thank God! That last mile was the worst mile of my life.

runners world 10k finish 2014 2

Running for the heck of it

When I go out and just run aimlessly around, here is what generally rotates through my mind on a regular basis…

Oh, look at that pretty tree, sky, dog…

How on earth do people run marathons?

Just get up the this hill then it is downhill, this isn’t so bad, I wish I could run downhill all the time, maybe I could do a half marathon…

This is boring, look how fast that girl is running, what was I thinking – a half marathon would suck!

Seriously, I only went a half a mile? I’m going to speed up.

That 15 seconds was exhausting, maybe I should think about something important… I will be so happy when I am done with this run, one step, two step…

It is a beautiful day the Lord has made. Maybe I will focus on my breathing and posture… that is too much work.

Running is time consuming, I need to pick up the pace, I have things to do today!

I can’t wait to shower and eat and be doing anything but this!

I’m exhausted, I should turn around… just go a little further, don’t be a baby, one step, two step…

And repeat those thoughts multiple times!! :)

You don’t get better at running by walking!

In all seriousness though, while I have a love-hate relationship with running, I am truly grateful that I am able to move my body everyday and get outside and enjoy the fresh air.

25-joy-of-the-lord

What do you think about when you run or workout?

Do you love running, hate it, or have a complicated relationship? 

Tips for Balance and Flexibility Training

Everyone, young in age and young at heart, should practice and improve their balance and flexibility.

Ok, so you probably already know that, just like you know bone strength is important and you shouldn’t slouch. But HOW exactly should you start and WHY is balance and flexibility training so important?

Tips for balance and flexibility training

Let’s start with the WHY:  Continue reading

Fun things to do in the Fitness Blogosphere this Holiday season!

Yes, that’s right, I said Holiday season! Now that October is officially behind us and it is dark by 5:30 PM, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about how you will stick to your health and fitness goals these next couple months, make a plan to stay on track, and have some Holiday FUN!

Early Christmas

The fitness blog world, aka blogosphere (which I think is a real word because spell check said so), has some pretty cool stuff going on right now! So sit back, kick your feet up, and do a little blog hopping with me today!  Continue reading

My second Runners World 10k and why I didn’t beat my time from last year!

Runners_World_2014 Collage

Last weekend I ran my second Runner’s World 10k in Bethlehem, which was also my second ever 10k, anywhere. I really enjoyed running the race last year… running through my hometown in the fall with the leaves changing colors and the adrenaline of the crowd and other runners, I knew I wanted to do it again this year!  Continue reading