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.
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!
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?