Flashback: It’s 9:53pm on a Thursday. There’s finally a more than 10-minute lull in my emails, and I try to sneak out of my office to go home for the day. I make it all the way to the hallway near the elevators before that ominous sound of my email alert goes off. “Buh-bum” I dread looking at it, knowing that it’s going to be more comments from my boss telling me to “pls fix” with 20 different action items for me to “complete ASAP” and put on his desk before the 9:00am client meeting the next morning.

Sound familiar to anyone? Well, that was my life four years ago working as a paralegal. Many of my friends have experienced this exact situation while working in the corporate world. Never seeing an end in sight, constantly working, and feeling like you’re not making a difference. I wasn’t happy, and I wanted to gain control of my own life and future. I wanted to make a difference in other people’s lives and actually look forward to going to work instead of dreading it.

Fast forward to today: Right now it’s 9:00pm on Thursday. I’m not at work, instead, I’m in Vermont on vacation enjoying the fall foliage, after having an awesome week full of training my clients. I now own my own personal training business, I have amazing clients that I train during the week and I fully control my schedule, my life and my future. How did I get here? Simple. AAPT.

Leaving a stable career path in the corporate world and going into the fitness industry can be a scary move. Are you going to make enough money to be financially comfortable? Are you going to get a job right away? Will you be able to have a good work-life balance? Those are all the things I thought about before I left my job. I did all the research and planning I could to ensure that the answers to those questions would be “yes” and much more.

AAPT gave me the education that I needed to learn about the body mechanics, training methodology, nutrition and hands on skills to become a great trainer, and they also provided me with the actual real-world knowledge I needed to be a great trainer. For example – AAPT taught me how to properly discuss sensitive fitness goals with potential clients that should be discussed in great care as to not upset or turn off a client. We also learned how to talk about financial or other obstacles you may encounter with new clients in an appropriate and professional manner.

Once I started working at a gym, I saw these issues a lot, and other trainers who did not attend AAPT could not navigate these challenges as easily as I had been taught, and it made me stand out among other trainers, making it much easier to obtain and keep clients. These things happen in the real-world, and you can’t learn that by just reading a book and taking a certificate test!

AAPT is a full-service school. I received physical and knowledge-based training skills, important business skills, and they host a career fair at the end of the semester that I immediately received a job from! AAPT gave me all the tools I needed to embark on my personal training career, and I am forever grateful for the skills I have learned, and the friendships (and networking contacts!) I have made while at AAPT.

By Natalie Shortsleeve

September 26, 2019