A reflection on my first 7 years in the fitness industry
Seven years ago this month I began my fitness journey - a young 18 year old looking for a summer job. I had been active my entire life and played high performance field hockey but I never really thought about fitness as a career. I aspired to be a dentist growing up for many years. I guess I never considered fitness could be anything but a part time job or hobby until I actually began teaching.
I stumbled upon Zumba because my mom thought it might interest me since I grew up dancing and I never looked back! I took a class and instantly signed up to become certified. This quickly developed into a summer job teaching in the community centre in my hometown of Maryhill. Since my first certification in February 2012, I have since received my kinesiology degree, my Pilates mat certification, a barre certification, and countless courses in between.
Fitness has really changed in the short time I have been part of this industry. Fads and popular group classes have changed, athleisure is now acceptable outside the gym (thank goodness!) and Instagram has provided a platform for more sharing across the world!
I have learned and accomplished a lot in the past seven years but still feel like I’m just scratching the surface. As I reflect on my time so far, I have compiled a list of a few takeaways below.
Just because someone looks ‘fit’. doesn’t mean they actually know what they are doing. As great as social media has become for sharing and connecting, the fitness industry, among many others I’m sure, are becoming over saturated with people thinking they are experts. The way someone looks does not indicate their level of experience and knowledge. Your safety and well-being is first so understand that who you choose to follow and work with play a huge part in that.
You can’t know it all. In order to be the best trainer you can be, you have to recognize that you simply can’t know it all. Over the years I have constantly taken courses, classes with other trainers, read books, and looked online. You can never stop learning! What I also recognize now is that when I don’t know something I can refer out to someone else who does know. I have a network of other professionals that might be more skilled or experienced in things that I can refer to and learn from.
Pilates is a game changer. I had only taken a handful of Pilates classes before getting my mat certification. My desire to learn more stemmed from my core/pelvis injury but I got so much more out of it than I ever anticipated. For me, it is the foundation of every other form of movement I will ever perform, in the gym or in my regular day. It focuses on where the movements are initiated from, not the ‘what’ that is so often focused on in quick-paced fitness classes. I truly believe that if you understand where it comes from, you can better perform when the action-packed classes or workouts take place.
Proper core and pelvic floor engagement and education is a must! I always thought that stuff was for pre and post-natal women. Having undergone a long two and half years as I navigate my body post injury, I have come to appreciate my core and pelvic floor that much more. It is for everyone, not just women, to understand.
Respect and experience different types of exercise modalities. I love that I have a sport and dance background. I love Pilates and barre, but I LOVE lifting weights just as much or more! Running individually is a passion of mine but so is a group fitness class where I get the energy from those around me. As a fitness professional I love learning and understanding various forms of movement so that I can better understand what my clients need and want to feel their best. Although everyone has their personal beliefs on what is best it is important to not shut things out completely. Most forms of movement do have their time and place when done correctly. What is good for one person or client is not best for the next so my variety of experience can help all people in experiencing success.
I love all that I have accomplished so far but I know I am only getting started. I envision more personal training, group classes, and workshops with Discover You in the years to come! Thank you for all your support and I hope to see you in a class or workshop soon!
For more inspiration check out some of my favourite fitness accounts below:
Yours in self-discovery,