The Journey to NASM CPT!
I have a B.S. degree in Journalism, been on countless interviews, countless internships with this degree, pursing this "television production" dream I had for years after I graduated college and I really wasn't making any headway. In January of 2014 I had the pleasure of working with an amazing television production company and completed an internship with them for seven months.
I did everything from filing papers, to transcribing scripts, to working on set for the TV show Say Yes to the Dress. But I never had a clear idea of what I wanted to do in this field, never saw myself really becoming something other than a Production Assistant, which isn't really up the ladder at all.
Sitting in that office June of 2014, I had to make a decision, if this didn't workout what the heck was I going to do with my life. I was 24, feeling old about being behind on getting my career started and just felt lost.
At that moment I asked myself "what do you like doing? What wouldn't feel like work if you did it for the rest of your life?" So I started to scan my thoughts and trying to find out what I liked and what I LOVED."
I knew I liked working out and I LOVED running and if I was going to continue with these two disciplines I was going to have to find a way for it to produce income. And that's exactly what I did. For the next month, sitting at my desk I started to research how can working out and running can become profitable.
That's when I came across this title of "personal trainer" I did my research, looked at several certification programs and jotted down a few. I then later thought about how I was going to get myself into this industry. At this point I knew I had to start working at a gym.
(I still have the list of gyms I looked up but currently can't find the paper, when I find it, I'll be sure to update.)
If I was going to make it, I had to apply everywhere. And that's what I did.
My internship ended in July of 2014 and I was without work, but I constantly applied to multiple jobs and prayed that I would hear back from someone. And I did in August, at a brand new start up gym, which was perfect for me. I got hired, filled out paperwork and waited for a start date.
During this time of waiting I was still applying to other facilities and in late October I heard back from another gym stating they wanted to hire me. Great! I started right away, got CPR certified thanks to them and worked here for two days out of the week, and it was better than nothing.
Flash forward to February of this year, I was down to only working ONE DAY a week, yes one day, due to a misunderstand between my manager and I. I was making about $74 every two weeks. (I'm not making this up.) I seriously cut back on my spending and I was literally working to make money to get to work. But that didn't last for long and I was back to working two days a week. I realized that I gotten very comfortable just working two days a week and I needed to change that. I went back to my research and went over what certification I should obtain. I was very close in choosing ACE, but NASM had an offer I couldn't refuse and I got a discount for working at 24-hour fitness.
I received my materials and started the program in late February. I didn't tell anyone that I was studying. I didn't want too much attention and I didn't want to fail and look like an idiot boasting about this and not passing, so I kept my mouth shut and my head in the books.
Remember that job that I heard from and got hired in August of 2014? I didn't start it until March of 2015. And when I got hired, I was only given ONE day to work. So at this time, I was now working three days a week. The other two days I used to write blog post, or clean my house.
Week after week there was a new prompt and a new quiz that I needed to complete, new questions to answer. It all seemed pretty easy until it was over and you were left to study the materials on your own. At first it seemed impossible because you didn't know what to expect on this text, you don't get a clear cut guide of what questions and chapters to study, so I was just studying the notes that I was given.
Little by little I began to become resourceful. Finding helpful guides, blogs and apps to help me learn the material. I probably found these resources in May and started to take studying more seriously. This meant no more writing my blog post while I was on the train, no more playing games, no more watching endless and unnecessary TV. All of this unproductive time went to studying. If I was going to take this test, I wanted to take it one time and one time ONLY. Failing was not an option.
In late June I was given two more days to work from the second job. This officially meant I worked FIVE days a week like a normal person and yes, I don't work weekends nor late nights, however I'm still part time at both jobs.
So because I have two income sources, I still wasn't making ends meet. I had to pay my phone bill, I had to pay NASM once a month on a payment plan, metrocard and then I have to eat as well. I had a lapse where I forgot to pay my phone bill and got behind on my NASM payments. I couldn't just stop paying NASM, then I wouldn't be able to register for my test, due to my account not being in good standing. So my phone had to go for now. This had to be one of the toughest things to do, walking around without a working phone. No way to call anyone, can't check social media when I want, can't FaceTime when I want, I just have to wait for to be around some type of wifi. Work and home both have wifi, so I guess I'm covered?
I knew this was a life changing situation, it was either going to be pass and not have to live paycheck to paycheck or fail and keep struggling and I didn't want to do that anymore. Materialistic things suddenly became less important and building a career and a brand is what really matters. The iPhones, running sneakers, sport watches will always be there ready for purchase, but I only have one life, so I have to life it to its fullest extent.
(Don't mind the sentence structure, you understand lol)
The day of the test, I arrived at the testing center an hour before the actual start time, which was 9:30am. The secretary kept asking if I wanted to start taking the test around 8:52am but I told her no, I'll wait until 9:30am. Keep in mind, I was there before anyone else, as well as the secretary. When a couple of other people arrived I told myself it was now or never and I signaled to the secretary that I was ready to take the test at 9:18am.
An hour and 42 minutes later, I went over EVERY SINGLE QUESTION and try to confirm what I KNEW was right. I counted 63 and thought "I failed and I'll have another shot to take it." I mentally prepared myself for failure and I was ready to hear my fate. I walked out of the room and walked up to the secretary and she told me I failed. I said "ok" then she smiled and said "I'm kidding, you passed!" I was in shock, I asked her if she was serious and she said YES and then proceeded to say, "did you think I was serious when I said you failed?" "GIRL YES!" was the next thing that came out of my mouth. I set myself up to hear bad news, so to actually hear that I passed, I was in shock, yet again!
I went to the bathroom before I left and headed straight to my mothers job to tell her the good news. Her and her friends were super happy for me, one bought my lunch and my mom bought me a new workout outfit. It still hasn't hit me yet that I'm a certified personal trainer.
Here's what I did at my mothers job when I surprisingly stopped by...
I can arch easily, but maybe because I was on this little desk is why I couldn't complete my back bend!
So why this profession? Aside from the fact that I like working out and running, I want to help people achieve their fitness goals. My best friend who is a personal trainer started me on my journey and has been my support system since then was one of the best things that can happen to me and I want to be that same support system for other people. I wanted to help people feel comfortable within their own skin again, help people love themselves again, the same way I fell in love with myself again.
I currently stand at 5'5" and a size 10/12 and I've heard it all when I was gaining insight on the business while working at the gym. I've had people tell me I am too big to be a trainer, I need to be "ripped," the profession is hard, blah, blah. Well FUCK YOU! Yes, I'm not the ideal size that YOU don't want me to be, but people like to hear REAL stories and see REAL results. I'm not saying that natural slender people don't have a real story, but the clients I want to target will mostly all start like how I did, lost but looking for change and ready to take their health seriously and ready to attack and I feel that I am the PERFECT candidate for that!
And that's my journey beauties. My journey to NASM, to starting my career. I could say it ends here, but it doesn't because this is only the beginning for me. I have a few things I would like to accomplish before I'm 30 and that gives me five years. I'm sure I can make something happen.
Me and Mom!