Escaping my reality
I chose to go on the fitness retreat to Costa Rica at a time that I was seeking something more with my current life situation. At the time I was working at a "9-5" marketing job and had a strong passion for health and fitness. I was desperate for an escape from reality and came across Ketanga's Fitness treat and was instantly intrigued. While I was nervous to travel alone, I was eager to connect with like-minded individuals and explore a new country. The trip exceeded my expectations! I was able to enjoy the perfect balance of working out and play while connecting and learning from individuals from all over the country.
The benefits are endless! It was the perfect combination of learn, relax, and play. I got to explore a new country, meet new people, and learn new things about the fitness industry. I still stay in touch with people from my retreat over a year ago. It was also a different way to view "fitness" whereas for me that was typically within the walls of a gym. I learned that I am not as good at surfing as I thought I would be, but with that said, I am proud of myself for trying! I also zip-lined through the rain forest for the first time, which I knew was part of the trip (thanks Stacy for the well-organized itinerary!) so while it wasn't a surprise, I realized that I am not as afraid of heights as I thought. Really putting myself in an uncomfortable position is the hardest struggle but once I am there, I can typically figure things out. I feel like I took this lesson with me on my career transition.
I have to say while the adventurous activities such as surfing and ziplining were amazing, I really liked the early morning beach workouts and yoga. It was really peaceful to set the tone of the day with a morning team sweat session. This reminded me how important it is to make time for yourself in the morning which is something I try to apply to my daily routine today.
Making a life at home to jump out of bed for
Interestingly, going on this retreat was the eye opener that encouraged me to take the leap of faith and follow my passion in the health and wellness industry. I had my personal training certification and had been exploring training/coaching jobs but had not fully pulled the trigger in leaving my current corporate job. I knew I eventually wanted to work in the industry and thought maybe I could still keep my corporate job and train on the side but the reality was I would never be able to put 100% into my career if I spread myself too thin. The fitness retreat was like a mental detox for me and I was able to really take time and think about what I wanted to do with my future. I was also inspired by conversations I had with other members on the retreat. I knew I wanted to help people become better versions of themselves physically and mentally and I knew that my current career didn't align with that.
Shortly after my return home, I was offered two positions in the fitness industry, a personal training role at a local all women's gym and a group exercise coaching job at a separate studio. When I was faced with the decision to either keep my "comfortable" job or become a trainer full time I honestly panicked. What if I fail as a trainer? What if others judge me for quitting my job? Then reality set in that if I don't try at all then I am already setting myself up for failure.
Facing my fears
I gave my two weeks notice, took both jobs, and got to work. I knew I wanted to help people but didn't realize the type of trainer/coach I would be until I started. After a year of working at both gyms I found myself thriving at my group exercise studio, Orangetheory Fitness, and eventually transitioned to coaching full time there and taking on a management role as a Community Manager. I still offer personal training independently but my primary role is coaching and helping build our studio community through social media marketing and community events. I've been able to take my marketing skills full circle and apply it to something I am passionate about. With that said, my goal at this point is to continue to help as many people as possible succeed in their health and fitness journey's whether they are a personal client, member at Orangetheory, family, friend, or social media follower. I believe there is not a "one size fits all" approach to fitness and I want to help people find a sustainable method to a healthy lifestyle.
The fact that I was taking the trip as an "escape from reality" was the first sign that if I need to escape from my reality, I need to change it! After meeting with the coaches on the retreat and the owner Stacy, I realized that working in this industry is a reality that is NOT out of reach for me. I talked with a lot of different people from various fitness backgrounds and it motivated me to dive deeper. I learned that people use fitness for different reasons and I wanted to be a part of helping people develop the right fitness lifestyles for them. I am not sure I would have been as confident making the career change I did if it wasn't for the discussions I had with the participants, coaches, and owner on this retreat.
To learn more about Amanda's coaching visit www.amandajwellness.com and her Instagram @AmandWoolf.
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