‘She doesn’t look the part.’
Those are the words I heard when I inquired about working in the fitness industry for the first time.
I was less than a year out from having delivered my preemie twins, had begun working out and had fallen in love with spinning (indoor cycling). But as a now mom of four, learning to navigate a new normal of sick babies (x2) and two older children, I was honestly exhausted, and beaten down physically, emotionally…and everywhere in between.
I had begun to take time for myself, exercising and utilizing every single minute of the two-hour childcare window that the gym offered. That was MY time to work on reclaiming ME.
Over time, I was encouraged by my friends and trainer to become an instructor. So, with a healthy dose of courage I finally got the nerve to ask the group fitness director if she would allow me to go through a training…and the first words I hear are, ‘she doesn’t look the part.’
In case you don’t me, I am a bit stubborn. Frankly speaking, the word NO pissed me off beyond belief.
I soon quit that gym and went to another one. It was there that I inquired another time about becoming an instructor.
This director was nicer and told me that there were no open positions, and that I could go through training, but she didn’t recommend ‘wasting my money on it.’
I seized that opportunity and signed up for the next training, determined to prove her wrong.
Spoiler alert! I didn’t. Not right away at least.
I went through the training, and I was told I needed more work. I came home and went to work. I took every class I could and annoyed the mess out of all my instructor friends to give me feedback.
Hard work pays off. Later that year, I passed my certification, only to find out that I would definitely NOT be getting a chance to teach at that gym. Again, to hear, ‘you don’t look the part.’
I left and went to another gym.
You see, QUIT is not a word in my vocabulary. So regardless of how many times I heard the words that I didn’t fit the seemingly impossible mold of what a fitness instructor is supposed to look like, I didn’t quit. It became a mission of mine to prove to others that the definition of fit that we see with our eyes needs to change.
Cue the next opportunity.
‘YES, we love your message and how relatable you are to our members.’
Validation, FINALLY! I went on to grow exponentially with that gym, made some lifelong friendships and found a sense of HOME in my health journey…until the gym sold, and it all came crashing down.
That sense of home was gone. All of my friends began to shatter, and the bubble of comfort I had built within my own journey burst. Shattered, into a million pieces.
I tried going to a couple of other gyms to teach, but it just didn’t feel right. Something was missing. Perhaps it was in me, maybe the facility, most likely a combination of both. Whatever it was, it just wasn’t working for me and I dropped into a pretty big depression.
Would I ever find that feeling again?
Would I ever find another fit-family?
Would I ever be involved in another community that had the same desires as me?
It was in these days that I realized my message needed to be heard to other women, spread as far and wide as I could reach. But how?
I thought that opening my own studio would be the answer…and it is.
I am forever grateful for the women I have worked with at the studio, and continue to work with…
But there’s more.
More women to reach.
More women who need who need to know that where they stand today does not have to be where they stand tomorrow.
Women who need to know that every step along the way is a perfect step, because it is a learning step.
So what if you hear no?
So what if one, or two or a million people don’t like what you have to say.
One person will.
Then another one will.
…and another, and another…you get the idea.
If we are in an uncertain place, rejection can be devastating.
But it hurts worse when we don't follow what we were called to do.
The world needs what YOU have to offer, and the world needs what I have to offer.
Stay strong in your truth and know that if you ‘don’t look the part’, then the part wasn’t for you.