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Taking Chances and Following Your Dreams

Posted Sep 10 2010 8:17am

Hello Carrots ‘N’ Cake readers! My name is Chandra, I write over at the blog Chandra’s Shenanigans .

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I’ve been a huge CNC reader since almost day one and was more than happy when Tina asked me to write a guest post for her and share my latest story. Today I’m going to tell you a little story about taking chances and following your dreams….

Ten years ago as a senior in high school, I decided I wanted to go to college for computer information systems. I loved working with databases, web design, computer code, all of that nerd stuff. If you would have asked me 10 years ago what I thought I would be doing at the age of 27 I probably would have said something along the lines of being a senior developer, a project manager, practicing to take over for Steve Jobs at Apple.

After 3.5 years of college and, coincidentally, about 3.5 years out in the real world, I changed my mind. Yes,I had a good paying job. Yes, I had a lot of student loans to pay, but I was not happy. I had recently gone through a huge life change – I lost weight, changed my habits, got healthy, gained confidence, and I gained a new passion. I felt like a new person, happy and more alive, and I wanted to share that with others. I wanted to help others realize healthy doesn’t mean just eating salads and living at a gym. Healthy means enjoying every day to the fullest, while also taking care of your body and mind. Exercise can be fun, and healthy food can taste amazing. And there are always room for those indulgences in life – everything in moderation. ;-)

I looked into different career options in fitness and nutrition. At first I toyed with the idea of going back to school for Dietetics. However, after a trip to ISU and realizing I’d need to start fresh with my undergrad courses and invest in even more student loans, I decided to hold off on that plan. Instead I decided to start off with getting my personal training certification. In November of 2008, I became certified through NASM.

But I didn’t put my training certification to use right away. I’d interviewed at one gym, but the location I wanted to work at wasn’t hiring female trainers, so I just kind of stopped there. I was still miserable at my programming job, but I wasn’t doing anything more to work towards changing. It actually took me almost a year before I finally decided enough was enough.

On the last day of the 2009 Healthy Living Summit, I was with the group at the park eating breakfast when someone asked me when I was going to stop being unhappy and start doing what I truely wanted. I had a great talk that morning with Tina and Heather about career changes and going for what makes you happy instead of suffering in a miserable job. I also received a very sweet and motivating email from Heather as I was flying home that evening and it brought me to tears. I knew I needed to start making a move.

After all of this I decided to make my “3 month plan” for quitting my full-time computer job and becoming a working personal trainer. In November 2009, 3 short months later, I put in my notice at my computer job to cut to part-time, and started working part-time as a trainer at a local gym (hoping to build to full-time). I was really doing it!

However, after just 5 months at my gym I was still miserable. I did not feel I was in the right place for what I wanted out of my career in fitness and decided to quit my personal training job. I honestly felt like such a failure when I did this. I talked for so long about how this was my passion, this is what I want, and here I was quitting. But I couldn’t stay, it wasn’t the right place for me and deep inside I knew that.

So off I went trying to figure out what I wanted out my career. I got certified to teach BodyPump and Turbo Kick, and also started working at the fitness studio down the street teaching classes. I love doing all of these things, but between 3 instructor jobs and still working part-time for my computer job – not to mention trying to race train and have a social life – I’d been wearing myself very thin. Not only that, but I still knew I still wasn’t doing exactly what I want to be doing. I love teaching classes, but I missed personal training.

I’ve known for awhile now that what I really want to do with my career. I recently found a blog post draft from back in March (that I completely forgot I started) where I stated it perfectly. It wasn’t a happy post (which is probably why it was never published), but I was talking about how I didn’t feel like I was myself, I wasn’t where I wanted to be. In the last paragraph I wrote: “My ideal job would be part-time training (in a more private environment where I could set my own prices), part-time group fitness instructor, part-time writer/coach. BUT – that seems about impossible right now, or even around here at all. *SIGH* I need to get myself together and figure out WTF I’m doing…”

I knew what I wanted, I just didn’t know how to get there.

Little did I know, this dream WAS possible. A few weeks ago I found and ad for someone looking to rent out space in a fully equipped training studio near my neighborhood. I called the number and set up a time to go check the place out. From the minute I walked in the door I was in love. This place has pretty much everything I would need/want for a training business. Not only that, but it is in a great location. My dreams seemed to be falling into place!

After days of non-stop number crunching and questioning I made one of the biggest, scariest decisions of my life – I’m renting the space and have started my own personal training business, Motivating Training! EEKK!! I’m so scared, but so excited at the same time.

I feel like I’ve changed my mind and jumped around with jobs a lot in the past 9 months, trying to figure out where I belonged. I felt bad for it at first, but I don’t care now. This is the opportunity of a lifetime for me and I cannot wait to put my all into it and build a successful personal training business. I am finally getting the chance to follow my dream and I am chasing it full force.

If you have the desire to make a change, you can make it happen. I’m not just talking career, I’m talking anything in life. Set your goals, make a plan, put it into action. It might not happen over night, it probably won’t be easy, but in the long run you will be happy and it will be 100% worth it.

“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” ~ Napoleon Hill

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