Imagine me… sitting on the 1 train. A little nervous, a lot unsure. Wearing my gym clothes, carrying my gym bag and not an iota of makeup, I’m sitting on the train wondering if I really know what the hell I’m doing.
That’s okay, though. I’m fearless, and stuff… right?
I make my way off the train and find myself lost. I’m okay with this, because “Getting Lost In TriBeCa” was number 14 on my “List of Things To Do In NYC,” right behind “Pick A Cause – Any Cause – And Protest About It In Union Square.”
I make it to the hotel, walk through the front door, and see the sign pointing me in the direction I want to go. As I head down the hall, I meet with two women who immediately size me up and ask “You’re here for the career fair, yes?”
“Yes, yes I am. I’m just here to get information, though.”
“Oh, you didn’t come with your resume and all?”
“Unfortunately, no. I thought I’d just come around and see what all you have to offer.”
She sizes me up one more time, leans over to the side and hands me her card. “When you’re ready, contact me personally at this address.”
They hand me a bag and tell me that I’m just in time for the second presentation of the day. As I walk in, a gentleman is giving a presentation on the body, movement and the most important goals of effective training.
Yes, training. As in, personal training.
I listen – and record – his presentation, but I realize how little of it is new to me. Thank goodness for BGG2WL.
At the end of his presentation, they announced that a lot of the higher-ups in the company were at this particular fair, and that it’d be wise of us to ask them as many questions as possible.
I’m cool with that.
It struck me how many women were in leading positions, here. The “get-skinny-quick” industry is usually good for touting women as its “success stories,” but its rare that women are the ones behind those companies or those marketing strategies. I’d be lying if I didn’t acknowledge how cool it was to see women behind a company that promotes “fit” as “sexy,” even if they are toeing the line in terms of also promoting “thin.”
I won’t lie to you – there were people in the room with fitness-related degrees. There were people who were already trainers. There was no one else in the room, from my understanding, who were like me. I’m just a weight loss and/or fitness and/or food blogger who is considering going the extra mile. My resume is mad light – the only fitness-related thing on it is my blog, but the blog is a lot. It’s almost three years worth of knowledge I’ve accumulated along my journey and writing for the blog. Sure, on four days of the week I write what the hell I want, but those Wednesdays are often a challenge. Lots of the questions that people ask me require research. Research, that I’m proud to say, made it easy as sin for me to understand that presentation and answer the accompanying questions that came along with it.
I was able to get one of the higher-ups in a corner, and tell her about my situation. I asked her about their hiring process, and – after giving my little elevator pitch about my blog – told her that my experience with fitness is limited to my blog and what I’ve learned over the years. She, too, handed me her card and told me “Stay in touch with me. If you run into any problems in the process, you let me know.”
There was one other Black woman in the room, who had caught my eye when I first walked in. She’s a trainer, with the company long enough to have become a manager… at the actual club I’m a member of, now. She was warm, inviting, friendly, positive, upbeat… she was awesome. I asked her honest questions, she gave me honest answers that lead to answers I wanted to ask for but thought might be too rude to ask.
She also hit me with some truth – coming into the program with certain types of certification make a bigger difference in your pay than others. And, in a city like this one, you want to do everything you can to ensure that you’re making the best kind of money you can. She explained to me the pay model, the rates and the amount of income a trainer can make with the right positioning. I had a lot to think about.
Then, I started to think about the blog. Once the presentation ended, I took some time to think about all the blog posts I could do about going into detail on some of the topics he covered. How dope it’d be to explain contextual movement, the struggle with sitting all day and how it negatively affects our abilities to be fit, and what that kind of writing would mean for the blog. I thought about what kind of resource that would turn this blog into, and how much more valuable it’d be if only I could write more in detail to explain. The few of us who do take something away from the blog, pass it down to our daughters and can help them not only develop healthy body image, but grow up without the obesity, the health complications, the confusion, the bad food, the lack of understanding of their bodies (because somewhere, in America, a woman is squeezing an aspirin between her knees and hoping she can go on pretending like “last night” never happened) and the denial of the empowerment that comes with education and knowing.
And, so, I left the presentation all prepared to go sign up for my certification courses. I am going to become a personal trainer. I’m also asking you, my blog readers, to help. I don’t know who’d be willing to donate toward my certification, but every penny would make a difference. I’m getting my certification regardless – despite now having to replace my fried laptop – but the faster I can do this, the better for us all, I think.
The link is here. Every penny makes a difference. Once I launch the redesign, I’ll have a little fundraising button so that people can see how far the donations have gone and how much further I have to go but until then, hopefully this can suffice.
I sent e-mails to both women, the exec as well as the trainer, letting them know I fully intend to continue on with becoming a trainer through the company but decided to get my certification, first. Both cheered me on, with the trainer offering to take me in as a mentee and show me the ropes of training. Even in the few e-mails we’ve exchanged…I can see now: I want to be her when I “grow up.” I am now poised to do everything I originally set out for – to help others, secure my own financial stability and make sure that BGG2WL continues to be the resource it has always been. I am overjoyed…fried laptop notwithstanding.