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Personal Training Certification: An Exercise in Fear

September 25, 2013

if-at-first-you-dont-succeed-570x570I am a big advocate of getting out of your comfort zone and doing something that scares you. And yet I will be the first to admit how much I do not like it. This past weekend, I stepped way out, and attended a personal training certification workshop. And what follows is an excellent case study on Fear!

This was Tough! I am a business and marketing gal; I love studying consumer behavior, I enjoy strategizing and event planning. Physiology, Anatomy, and Kinesiology? Not my everyday cup of tea. After staring at this book that might as well have been written in Portuguese for a few months, by Friday morning, I was so terrified I contemplated not even going.

Do you know this feeling? Have you had this conversation?

“Oh my goodness, what was I thinking, I can’t do this!”

“I don’t belong here. Everyone else will wonder why I am here.”

I realized that my fear was not so much that I would fail the test – which I believed to be a very strong possibility – but that I was going to walk into a room full of the-certification-is-only-a-technicality fitness professionals, and I would be this lone, just-a-mom blog-writing amateur.

I was nauseous as I stepped into the room; I found my seat, and looked around, and calmed down a bit. I mean, everyone was just…there. Average looking. They were smiling. Nervously. At me.

Guess what? I could read their fear on their face. And when their fear met my fear, we smiled and Fear took a seat in the back of the room.

Within 15 minutes of the start of class, our instructor put my biggest, overwhelming fear to rest. She had each of us introduce ourselves, and say, specifically, why we were there. I soon realized that I was in a class of people from different backgrounds, different levels of expertise, no one better than another. By the time my introduction came, I felt confident saying that I was a former corporate marketer, a stay home mom of seven years, who writes a health and fitness blog, and was there to add some education to my background.

From that point on the class was fun! It was still hard. I did not suddenly master kinesiology. But we took breaks, we confessed to one another what was difficult, and helped each other understand the material.

Much of the credit goes to our awesome instructor. Marcia Wever owns St. Louis City Fitness, and she was simply fantastic. Fun, incredibly knowledgable, no-nonsense, and yet she was able to cut through that massive textbook and bring out what was truly important. No question was dumb, and she demonstrated what we were talking about.

And then everything started to come together. 

By Sunday afternoon, test time, I was confident! And in the end, I feel pretty darn good about the entire experience. I was not perfect, so I cannot be sure that I passed. But I learned technical information to help me correctly train individuals, and also gained insight into how we exercise and why we exercise. I am so excited about where I might go with this!

What big Fearful thing would you like to do? What, specifically, has stopped you from doing it?

You can do it. No matter the outcome, the experience will be worth it! heart copy

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