Personal Trainer Reflections and the IDEA World Fitness Convention

I hadn’t though much about it, but I was filling out a form the other day and it asked how long I’d been a personal trainer. I realized that it has been 14 years!

To some of you, that may sound like a long time. But for those of you who know how old I am, you may wonder, is that all?

personal trainer idea world fitness convention

This 20-something single mother (with my now 30-something son) had no clue how her life would play out.

Yes, it is true, personal training is a third second career for me. I am one of the fortunate people who took the leap and was able to take my passion for fitness and health and make it my career.

The reason for my ambivalence about career number is that I started in the restaurant business. And even though I went from server, to trainer, to manager, I never really considered it a career. It is a tough job, and I’m proud of my years in the business, but I never wanted to do it for the rest of my life.

I also picked up a few of the bad habits common in this high-stress industry. I smoked cigarettes and experimented with a few other bad habits. I did not exercise. I was young enough and my job kept me active enough that in spite of my unhealthy lifestyle and a horrible diet (I worked at Bob’s Big Boy–think Chicken Snack (two pieces of fried chicken, french fries, a lettuce salad and lot’s of Bob’s good ol’ blue cheese dressing) daily), I managed to keep my weight in check (the hallmark of health in the 1980s).

It was a restaurant customer that set me on a new course. He though I would make the perfect choice to replace himself as an Activities Director at a membership campground. That job did eventually become my first career, as I moved from campgrounds to city based recreation programming. It also became the beginning of my love of fitness. Part of my job was teaching water exercise classes, which meant I had first to learn how to do it myself, then learn how to teach it. I discovered a joy of exercise, a talent for teaching, and as I learned more and more, a need to not only get fit and strong for myself, but to share this knowledge.

I quit smoking. I took courses and learned about fitness, nutrition, and health. I started running, and discovered I was pretty good at it. I finally took my first certification as a personal trainer. That was in 1999.

This was all well and good, but I was still working full time for the City of La Quinta, as a Recreation Supervisor at the Senior Center. I taught a class there, but in order to get some experience training I took a part time job at a local country club, working after hours and on weekends. Finally, after many long discussions with my husband, when an opportunity came up at a local gym I made the jump. I quit my job and became a personal trainer full time.

While it wasn’t easy to start a new career, especially one in such a seasonal area like La Quinta (I would work my butt off all season long, then wave goodbye to my clients and my hard saved dollars for the summer), I wouldn’t have it any other way. It took a few years to find my niche, working at country clubs, with an older clientele, and eventually managing such a fitness center, but I love it. I know that every day that I work, I have the opportunity to make an improvement in someone’s life.

IDEA World Fitness ConventionIt was about the same time that I made my career change that I went to my first, and until now, my only, IDEA World Fitness Convention. Even back then it was amazing, with great speakers, classes, and workshops. But if I thought it was great 13 years ago, it is going to be even better this year. For example:

  • Explore 360+ sessions and earn up to 24 CECs with the industry’s best fitness and wellness presenters.
  • Experience the exclusive IDEA World Showcase Room, featuring powerful workouts with the world’s biggest fitness celebrities like Chalene Johnson, Tony Horton, and Shaun T.
  • Discover over 200 of the top industry brands in fitness, wellness and nutrition at the IDEA World Fitness & Nutrition Expo

A few months ago, I was selected to become an IDEA Inspired Advisor. As such I became part of a group of women who I admire so much for their dedication, imagination, and accomplishments. We were chosen because IDEA felt that we, as health and fitness bloggers, were passionate about inspiring others to lead healthy lives. I feel so honored that I was picked to represent IDEA alongside these amazing women.

As an Inspired Advisor, I will receive a press pass to attend the IDEA World Fitness Convention, which will be held August 7-11, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. I am so excited to finally be returning to the fitness industry’s largest and longest running educational fitness experience!

If you’d like a little more inspiration (as well as some practical information about the convention), check out this video! You can also download the complete brochure here (or just click the picture below).

IDEA World Fitness Convention

Discount alert! If your interest has been piqued, if you are a fitness professional, considering a career in fitness, or just dedicated to a healthy and fit lifestyle, you can still register for the IDEA World Fitness Convention and save! You can save 20% on your registration for the full conference by going here and typing in coupon code INSPIREDADVISOR at checkout.

Or, if you would like to just go to the IDEA World Fitness & Nutrition Expo with 200 booths, you can download your free Expo Pass here. Be the first to find out about the hottest new releases in fitness, wellness and nutrition while experiencing live demonstrations, entertainment and sampling of your favorite products.

Have I got you excited about the IDEA World Fitness Convention? Then sign up and join me and thousands of my friends and colleagues August 7-11! Spread the word! If you have a friend who is considering attending the conference, send them a link to this post so that they too can get a special discounted rate.

Are you planning on attending? I’d love to meet up!

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  1. says

    I would never have guessed you once smoked, chugged down the Ranch dressing, and ate chicken strips. I would have guessed you were always cute, slender, active, and a fun mom though! SUPER congrats on being chosen as an IDEA Fitness Advisor. They chose well when you were selected
    KymberlyFunFit recently posted…Father’s Day: Happiness, Love and HealthMy Profile

  2. says

    You have a wonderful story! I really enjoyed reading about how you became a personal trainer. Thanks for sharing. :-)

  3. says

    I cannot imagine you smoking… but even more shocking was the part about eating fried chicken. LOL!

    Cheers to the healthy life! I have secret dreams of quitting my job and becoming a trainer… shhhh…
    Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table recently posted…Work It Out: Fab AbsMy Profile

  4. says

    What a great story & inspiration! I currently have a job that I love, but it’s just a job. I am trying to figure out how to make the leap into a career in health & nutrition. Reading this I know it can be done. :)
    Maureen recently posted…iWeekend – TRX Torture & The Perfect SundayMy Profile

  5. says

    I am not attending, but I’m sure it will be awesome, so full of good info. I know I tell you this all of the time but you are gorgeous! That picture of you with you son, the two of you are so sweet and beautiful!
    Lisa @ RunWiki recently posted…Chocolate Butter CupsMy Profile

  6. says

    Congrats on becoming an Inspired Advisor. I loved reading about your journey to finding your passion. I love reading about the different paths that people take towards discovering what they really want to do in life!

  7. says

    I really, really, really hope to attend an IDEA convention one day in the future. I bet it is SO amazing. IDEA has so many great articles and fitness insights and support…to experience all that in person just can’t be beat I imagine.
    Tina @ Best Body Fitness recently posted…You Have To Believe ItMy Profile

  8. says

    did you ever know that you’re my hero? You have done, and overcome, and continue to “DO” so much! you are an inspiration! And I always leave your blog feeling more inspired than before I came! Keep being you!

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