Life has a great way of throwing curve balls at you. If things get too comfortable and familiar, that's usually when, WHAM! POW! BANG! You're hit with change. Change can be painful, but I've learned that along with change comes opportunity.
That's exactly what happened to me. The idea of me working as a fitness professional was a daydream I'd often have while running on the treadmill at the gym, watching the personal trainers work with their clients. That dream became a reality when I was forced to redefine myself. I would have never left the security of a job with benefits, but when I had no choice and that security was taken from me, I was able to take a leap of faith and pursue a career in fitness and running. In retrospect I wonder if that had been the "Big Plan" all along.
It's funny how things begin to grow in a particular direction over time without you even being aware of it. I ran my first marathon back in '97. That led to 9 more. A running injury in '06 led me to the gym for low-impact exercise for 3-months during my recovery. That led me into the world of fitness and resistance training. I began RunnerDude's Blog about a year-and-a-half ago. That led to a wonderful readership and the ability to connect with runners and fitness buffs all over the globe. All who have taught me a ton about fitness and running as well as the human spirit. My job layoff in '09 led to the realization that my interest in fitness and running was more than a hobby. That realization led to me going back to school and becoming a certified personal trainer and running coach. Those certifications led to the start of a new business—RunnerDude's Fitness—a personal training studio in Greensboro, NC.
The studio is in it's second month of business and things are moving right along. Now taking the rose-colored glasses off for a second—the path (while very rewarding) hasn't been an easy one. Personal Training school was 6-months of full-time intense hands-on experience and classroom study. And then the really hard stuff started—opening a business. Oh man, there were many a sleepless night. Being totally responsible for every element of opening a business is to say the least, just a tad overwhelming. But once I was open and able to begin practicing my new craft, my wonderful new clients have quickly shown me it was the right decision.
My client base is small right now, but it's growing. I have clients in their 30s to their mid 50's. They each come with a different background, level of fitness, and reason for coming. Their determination to better their health and fitness is truly inspiring. From the 50-year-old lady who's discovered she's stronger than she thinks, to the 30-something father of two who's maintaining a huge weight loss and setting an awesome example for his kids with a healthier lifestyle, to the 40-year-old mother of two boys who's making time for herself to join the beginning running group so she can regain the energy she used to have, to the 40-something-mother who quite smoking 90 days ago and has joined the beginning running group to keep her new positive and healthy lifestyle on track, to the fella in his mid-fifties who wants to become a stronger and faster runner, to the 40-something husband who wants to improve his running form so he can continue to enjoy running triathlons with his wife. All these people and the others I've not mentioned are truly awesome individuals. Chances are I may not have ever met most of these people nor would have had the opportunity to impact their lives in a positive manner, had I not experience some change.
Would I go back to my previous life? Heck no! Am, I still scared of the future? Heck yeah! Am I excited about the future and what lies ahead? ABSOLUTELY!!