I moved to New York City from my hometown of Lexington, Kentucky in 2001 to study acting. I was always active growing up and loved being on stage. As a busy undergraduate, however, I put on weight – almost 40 pounds! I was not very happy with how I looked or the roles I was getting. After I graduated and was auditioning full-time, I started taking classes at the gym. I didn’t really know what I was doing but slowly took off the weight through good old-fashioned diet and exercise. In 2007, I decided to train for my first triathlon and it was during that training when a lightbulb went off…I could help other people lose weight and get in shape too!
I enrolled at The Academy because I wanted a great education and to be a trainer who knew what she was talking about. I wanted to back up my experience of becoming healthy with a solid foundation of exercise science, biomechanics, and nutrition. I knew I had changed my body but I wanted to tell others HOW. There were other certification programs out there but I was drawn to The Academy because the program was intense and thorough and I thought I would fit in well with the full-time program.
One of my favorite aspects about The Academy was that the day was split in two. For the first part, we were in class – taking notes, viewing presentations, and hearing lectures. During the second half of the day, we applied what we had learned earlier on the gym floor. This combination of classroom and hands-on learning helped reinforce my understanding of the material. We were in the gym, working out with equipment, learning the terminology and physiology, and training each other. By the time I graduated in December of 2007, I had already trained 14 clients – my classmates!
I now work at a private personal training studio in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The training studio is ideal for clients because you don’t have to share space or equipment. I have over 20 clients and I work approximately 30 hours a week. One of my clients, Nicole Brewer, was one of the kicked-off contestants from a past season of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.” I began training her to come back for the live finale of the show. The contestant who lost the most weight at home wins $100,000! She was determined and excited to learn about fitness and wellness. She changed her life and in the process became an inspiration to others. What a joy to train her!
I love my job and the part-time hours are great. I am not as interested in acting full-time anymore but am currently staying busy planning my wedding and applying to graduate school in Holistic Health Education. I would love to round out my personal training skills by learning more about nutrition, wellness, alternative therapies, and spirituality. I am certified by the American Council on Exercise and specialize in training pre-natal and postpartum women. I also work with clients recovering from injury. I just taught my first workshop at Pongo Power about endurance training and I focus on functional training with a holistic approach.
My education at The Academy was exactly what I needed to jump start my new career. Being a personal trainer is such a rewarding job and I feel so lucky to work in an industry that helps and educates others. If you have an interest in fitness, are interested in changing careers, want to take your skills to a new level, or are just starting out like I was – The Academy is the place to be! I am so grateful for my experience there and my amazing teachers. Thanks to The Academy!