The fitness grind: What you have to do to make it
Today, I just felt like writing, nothing evidence based (#SORRYNOTSORRY). I’m going to be heading to Los Angeles soon to hang out on the beach but this morning I was thinking about the transitions I’ve been through in the last two years and how much of a grind it is to make a name for yourself and enjoy a successful career in fitness. It’s completely doable but not easy, it’s difficult but satisfying and above anything else, once you hit your stride, it’s fun!
Yesterday I made a trip to Lake Skinner which is about twenty minutes from where I’m staying in Murrieta.I found myself a picnic table and opened the book I had been reading, Team of rivals: The political genius of Abraham Lincoln, cause I’m a history nerd kinda guy.
It had been almost exactly two years since I had been here last, staring out at this lake. Nothing has changed there but a lot has changed for me.
Two years ago I had just graduated college and immediately got on a plane to San Diego to do an internship at UC Riverside for the summer.
Amongst other things I was worried about my future career when I was in California. So I had these worries in my head that I felt kept me from thoroughly enjoying my whole experience out here when I should had been living in the present. That’s not to say that I didn’t have a great time, I got to go deep sea fishing, hang out at the beach, go white water rafting, travel to San Francisco, go to the US open, and go off roading in a beat up pickup truck until 4:30 in the morning which is a story in itself.
Anyways, on Friday I head to Palm Springs where I’m speaking at an athletic training conference. Two years ago I was attending the same conference.
Once I got home from California I devoted myself to professional development. I went back to Syracuse University where I spent a year working with the women’s lacrosse, softball, volleyball, and rowing teams. I started to read as much as I could and I networked with the right people. During that time I also spent at least one day a week observing two of the brightest physical therapist I know.
I wasn’t sure where I was going with any of this but I knew I had to avoid stagnation at any and all cost.
This time last year was a literal roller coaster of ups and downs of uncertainty. My friend Cory and I almost opened a business but put our trust in the wrong landlord and that went caput, which looking at it now might have been for the best.
Then about 10 months ago I was at the community college in Cortland to register for physics so I could apply to physical therapy school when I got a phone call from the athletic director. He offered me a position as the strength and conditioning coach at Cortland which I happily took.
This last year was enjoyable but not easy. My days started at 6:00am, meaning I was up at 5:00am and often wasn’t done until 8:00 or 9:00 pm. I worked hard to put together a strength and conditioning conference at Cortland which took basically a year to plan. I also worked on my professional writing, completing a literature review on the reliability and validity of assessing lower body posture as well as a position paper for what the role of the personal trainer is. I networked a lot as well, meeting and connecting with people in the industry who were doing what I wanted to do.
If you’re graduating or just going into the fitness field it’s not going to be easy starting off. Most of the time you’re not going to get a salary position, you’re going to have to work to get clients and you’re going to have to work really odd hours. If you want to establish yourself it’s not going to be an easy process.
BUT if it’s worth it to you and you make the right moves over time and if you have the drive to improve good things will happen, that I can promise.