“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
One of the most common questions I hear is… “Why are you a Personal Trainer if you have a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering?”… My Bronx-girl-gut-instinct response is not very nice and usually crosses my mind as “who the f*&! are you?”… LOL But 99.9% of the time, the verbal response I typically turn to is, “Just because I’m brilliant enough to have a degree in something doesn’t mean that it’s what I want to do.”
My time spent at Binghamton University was very stressful. I realized early on that Engineering was not what I wanted to do, but I decided to stick it out and give it my all, never giving up, and I fought for that degree. There was a lot of blood, sweat and tears poured into my coursework and studies that probably could have been spared was I not afraid of doing an extra semester or two away from home to change majors. The pressure of being labeled a failure by my parents was also something I could not escape. Worst part was, I put that pressure on myself, not them.
After joining the “real world” and working in the field, I only cemented my hatred for what I was doing even further. I was fortunate enough to change career paths and move into Commercial Property Management. It was a great move and I absolutely loved it. Within a few years, I had moved up in the ladder and increased my income to a nice comfortable place. Although I enjoyed living a less financially stressful life, I was actually more high-strung than ever. The job had become one that was around-the-clock. Nothing was sacred or off limits according to my employer, and the expectations were so high, it was often very difficult to keep up with the fast pace.
The interesting thing to note was that at no time had I ever felt I truly found my calling. No matter where I worked, I was always getting myself into trouble for being so outspoken, opinionated, and somewhat unforgiving for those not as professional, diligent or hard-working as myself. I also had no problem letting my superiors know when I wanted them to piss off… LOL yes, I have always been known as a rebel that will only conform to survive and receive my salary. Well, it was time to get off that train.
In the summer of 2012, it came to me like an epiphany… I was driving to the office and suddenly… BOOM!!! Why was I not doing what I loved to do? FITNESS!!! I had spent over 15 years exercising religiously, competing, and helping others… It was time to really do something with all of my experience and knowledge. I realized it was time to create a business… but first… a plan. I spent the next 8 months studying for my Personal Training Certification, got certified, and looked for a job at a gym. Then in April 2013, I took the leap. Said goodbye to Corporate America and the suit and high heels…. and dove head first into my new profession.
It was daring… I was brave… and it has not been easy at times… But I will say that I have had more happiness in the last 10 months than I ever have before. I’m glad I took the leap of faith and absolutely love what I’m doing.
I have difficult days… I also have times when I wonder…. how I will manage? can I stay within my budget? am I going to get any new clients today?
I am human after all… and I wouldn’t put on a front saying it’s easy and everyone should follow my lead… Absolutely not. I am fortunate enough to have a great support system… close friends and my family…. and I do not have children to take care of (yet)….
But I will say this… FOLLOW YOUR HEART… Listen to your instincts… and find your happiness. If you have any room at all in your life, do what you can…. and BE BRAVE.