I didn’t go to school to be a personal trainer, boxing instructor, group fitness instructor or even a business owner. None of that even crossed my mind while attending Willamette University for 3.5 years and American University (DC) for a semester as I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Media Studies (Liberal Arts speak for BA in BS ;)). In college, I secretly dreamed of being a ski bum during the day and a bartender at night in some mountain town in Colorado. The realistic career aspiration, though, was to be a sports writer for USA Today and cover the Olympic Games. I wanted to find and tell “the story”, not just report on the event, but highlight THE story and find the ones who normally didn’t get the spotlight.
During the Fall Semester of my junior year, I studied journalism at American University in Washington, DC and interned with the Washington Wizards in the PR department. I had a great time and learned a lot, but also realized my passion was people, writing and the story. Nor could I do a full time office job!
I graduated in 2002, right after 9/11, and jobs were scarce, especially in the print media industry. I took an internship in Napa, California, writing for the Napa Valley Register, covering everything from Little League Baseball to the Oakland Raiders training camp. It was a great experience but I quickly realized I was not going to get very far in the industry as it was shrinking and going online.
When I returned to Portland after the summer, I got my Personal Training Certification through American Council on Exercise and the rest is history. I have been a trainer at Bally’s Fitness, Club Sport, Athletic Club of Bend, WillRace Performance, Title Boxing Club, and Stafford Hills Club over the last 18+ years and owned two different fitness studios. I have worked at specialty running shoe stores as a shoe-fitter and training programs coordinator; and REI (Raleigh) as the head of the Run Club, a national pilot program.
Ultimately, THIS is my dream job. My passion. My identity. Changing lives, learning peoples’ “stories” and NOT having an office job. While I would much rather have a studio full of people sweating, smiling, feeling stronger on the heavy bags, this will have to do for now: A full screen of virtual members from Bend, Portland, Tillamook, Utah, Montana and other places across the US. Getting texts after class saying "it’s the highlight of my week", “it’s the best thing that has come out of the quarantine,” or “I haven’t been this strong and fit since high school (from a 58 year old)” brings a smile to MY face and is so much a part of who I am.