The Transition to Full-Time Fitness
People ask me all the time how I made the transition into fitness full-time, so here it is...
I grew up an athlete. If it wasn’t basketball, it was volleyball, or running. It became a hobby and it turned into a passion. I ended up running track in high school and then into college. It was my life and I just loved it. There’s something really crazy about being an athlete your whole life and apart of a team and then all of it going away. It’s an identity crisis in your early 20s. But that may be for a separate post.
I have always been the one to hustle with jobs. My first ever job was when I was 15. I was a jr. lifeguard at a local recreation center. From there, I worked every summer for about 7 years. I was a waitress in college while being a full time student and athlete, and then consistently went from job to job to make money. Going to school with a degree in Marketing, my dream job was to work in an advertising agency. There was something so cool about it in my eyes. I think that stemmed from watching too may episodes of Mad Men.
My first full time job after college was this really boring admin job at an insurance agency. I told myself that I would be stuck in the restaurant industry forever if I didn’t go get myself a salary job. Which by the way, was a mere fraction of what I was making at any restaurant or bar I was working at. I went from one insurance company to another but this time worked in marketing. While I was working at my second insurance gig, I started going to this gym that I LOVED. To this day, I am so thankful that I went to their park workout one day. While I was going to the gym for a year, a couple trainers asked me why I wasn’t a trainer myself. I thought about it for a quick second before realizing, DUH. People, lifting weights, and positive vibes? I'm IN. So I got my group certification and started training right away. I remember that class like it was yesterday. It was after a work day and I was SO nervous, but I knew I needed more. As the weeks and months progressed, I wanted to teach more and be around the people at the gym more.
By the time I got my “dream job” at an advertising agency, I was up to about 8-10 classes a week. I would teach a couple classes in the early mornings, go to work 9-5 and taught a class or two a couple nights a week. It was a GRIND. But I loved it. Everything about it. I also loved the ability to have two separate worlds that overlapped a bit. I started building up a fitness based Instagram and loved connecting with people digitally about my love for fitness as well as being in the gym.
I soon realized being in an office wasn’t my dream job, and it became apparent when my job was cut to part-time and then the company was going under. It was like the universe was showing me where I was headed next, but at first I didn’t want to take it. By the time I was done at the agency, I was up to 15 classes a week and had two personal training clients. I got certified while I was working at the agency. I still thought I had to have the salary job, the 401k, the benefits, the stability, the NORMALCY. So I applied everywhere, would take anything— I was so nervous and would have taken anything even remotely related to what I was doing. I even started doing some freelance social media marketing with a couple different talent agencies in Denver. I was desperate to find stability, but I was looking in all the wrong places.
I finally got that full-time job about eight weeks after I was laid off. I went into the job for two days and met a friend for a quick lunch break. She asked me what I was doing because I was in the job for all of the wrong reasons. I quit the next day, and haven’t been in a full-time job since. It turns out, you can make it work. And there are absolutely highs and lows. It’s like a roller coaster of emotions in your bank account, but you figure it out. You do what you love, and you keep hustling. The love I have for what I do is overwhelming. I work more hours in a day for myself than I did when I had a job, school full time, and was a D1 athlete but damnit I am happy. I am grateful. And it doesn’t feel much like work when you get to do what you love every damn day.