Many people didn’t know that I started my fitness career off as a PERSONAL TRAINER. Although the plan was to teach a group boot camp, it was suggested that I acquire a personal training certification instead of a group exercise certification. That advice was the best advice given to me (for the first half of my career, anyway). When I began looking for employment in gyms, that certification made me a tad more valuable as a group exercise instructor (so I was told). I also have a group exercise certification… One employer required it. So, when you are in my classes and I am focused on YOUR form, please remember; that’s my job. 😉
When I stopped teaching the boot camp, I attempted looking for training positions at fitness facilities. The hours, the structure, the pressure on my family was not something that I was not quite ready for. I was not sure what to do. Then, it hit me! I was taking group classes at my local YMCA and was really enjoying the Zumba classes. I danced in high school and this was just like dancing… Thus, began my specialty certifications.
I started with the Zumba Basics course. This helped me get my foot in the door of the one and only Texas Family Fitness as a substitute instructor. I was also able to sub classes that allowed me to use my personal training skills. Thanks, Jackie Carey for taking a chance on me!
I have added a total of ten specialty certifications to my teaching toolbox and currently studying for another. Why so many? Some I take out of passion (Zumba Gold, TurboKick, P90x – hello!). Others I take out of curiosity and I need to fulfill my continuing education credits (Tabata Bootcamp). With each of these formats/courses I make sure that I gain something out of them. As I have grown in my career, I have learned that you can take the items taught from one format and bring it to another. Zumba were my first, second and third specialty formats that I acquired…. It wasn’t until my TurboKick certification this year that I was able to really master the best way to choreograph a routine. I am able to use something from each specialty and use it in each format. I use the cueing from Zumba in most of my classes.
If you have an opportunity to educate yourself, DO IT! Never stop learning. Look for ways to improve your skills. Do it legitimately and wisely. I will continue to educate myself so that I can make my classes better for my students. And the next time someone calls me certifiable, I’ll just smile and nod.