Inspiration comes in many forms: what is inspiring to one person (their kids or significant other) can be completely different from someone else (their career or even their pet), and so on. A while ago, I was complaining to my girlfriend about what I want to do long term and she said, â€œLetâ€™s start with what inspires you.â€ She made it sound like such an easy question.
About seven months ago (for those of you who donâ€™t know), I moved to San Diego to pursue an EMBA (Executive MBA) from San Diego State in global entrepreneurship, where I would be traveling to Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi and India for one year. One day prior to orientation, I received a call that the program was cancelled. WHAT? I quit my job, rented out my apartment in NYC and moved across the country for this program. How could this happen? This EMBA was my Plan A; there was no Plan B.
I was already in California, so I took this time to visit family and friends, travel overseas and enjoy the time off from the real working life (hey, I may never get this opportunity again). I took things day by day. I suppose I could have gone back to the city and resumed my "normal" life, but I looked at this tragedy as an opportunity because I wanted to remain positive (or try). I knew that a negative attitude would not bring my program back and would not be advantageous to my future. But, yes, it sucked and there was no one to blame, so I moved on.
As I got settled in San Diego, I never took the time to think about the big picture and ask myself some key questions. What will I do for work? What do I WANT as a career? Which city do I want to live in? Do I want to find another graduate program? Do I want to move back to NYC? People would ask me what my plans were and I didn't have a definitive answerâ€”I was still figuring it out. I think I needed my friends and family to help me learn what, in fact, inspires me.
For most of my life, I have been an active person who is interested in health in fitness; I even started a blog to share my knowledge and tips with others. On a day-to-day basis, I'm genuinely interested in fitness and health and I can spend hours creating tasty and nutritious meals, more hours talking about food, and even more hours eating the food. All this eating means that fitness plays a major role in my everyday routine, and Iâ€™m always finding new ways to stay in shape (I think I do a pretty good job of this most of the time).
After some thought and hints from my friends and family, I made the decision to become a personal trainer. FINALLY, I figured out the answer to the question (for now). I am inspired by the idea of helping people obtain a healthy lifestyle. The next question clearly was: How do I do I get started?
I talked to a bunch of friends (and friends of friends) who are personal trainers, and they all LOVE their jobs and feel their careers are rewarding. This was incredibly motivating to hear. I inquired about which program to take and they suggested I get a certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). One of the most recognized CPT (Certified Personal Trainer) certification, the NASM course is an at-home curriculum, which posed a whole new set of problems for me.
I have been out of regular school for a long time and without a professor to tell you what to do, itâ€™s just me! I remember when I had full-time job in NYC and somehow found time to study before and after work for the GMATs (test for EMBA), take Spanish classes at lunch and copyediting classes at night. I stayed up late, found time for friends and family and didn't feel stressed out, but now I do. WHY? Without a full-time job, I have all the time in the world, yet, without a set schedule, studying is much harder to tackle and time management has a whole new meaning to me, but Iâ€™m getting thereâ€¦slowly.
I have to tell myself when itâ€™s time to study and I actually really enjoy what Iâ€™m learning. This is not work; itâ€™s fun! Iâ€™m a quarter of the way through my NASM textbook and I plan to take the test mid-October. This means I will be a real CPTâ€”this is exciting...and really scary at the same time! Yes, I love fitness and have the right mindset, but when doing something new, it's always a challenge, but I know that Iâ€™m on the right track, which feels wonderful.
The most important point is that Iâ€™m taking the steps in the right direction and working toward something that inspires me: becoming a personal trainer. What comes next? Youâ€™ll just have to wait and see.