It’s a beautiful 60 degrees in New York today. I’m wearing a bright yellow shirt to celebrate. I’m also planning to go for a long run in Central Park on my lunch break. I have to take Friday off work this week to shoot a little TV show segment, but if that weren’t the case, I would have called in sick today. “Cough, cough. I have a terrible migraine. Cough. I think I should bask in the sun to cure it.”
This week’s growing daydream is to get my certification in personal training. A personal trainer certification is a pre-requisite to getting a certification in something else that I’m more interested in; apparently I can become certified as a “lifestyle and weight management consultant.” !! I’ve been doing some googling and I happened up on this the other night.
Theoretically, this is precisely what I’ve been leaning toward – helping people who struggle with their weight to become healthier and more fit. In fact, back in December, my very first daydream about finally leaving my desk job career was along these lines.
Here’s the thing: My interest in learning more about nutrition is not only personal, but also so I can have more expertise to advise people who want to lose weight. My daydream about being a yoga teacher includes encouraging heavy people to get involved in the practice as a way to develop a more meaningful conversation with and relationship to their bodies. My interest in fitness training is mostly so I can have more information to help overweight people get fit.
It’s also an area in which I consider myself an amateur expert. If I’ve done anything over the last six years, it’s hone the skill of living a healthy, active lifestyle. And it really is a learned skill, especially for a person who has always struggled with their weight. I’ve lost 115 pounds and kept the weight off for a long time. I exercise 4-6 times a week and have done so for years, constantly adapting my routine as I learn more about the human body and listen to my own body. I have been a walker, a runner, I have maintained a resistance training program using machines or free weights, I have regularly practiced pilates, and more recently, yoga. I have gone from being a fast food binge-eater without any impulse control to being an organic-loving health food nut, and I made a pitstop at most of the gradients in between those two extremes. Not to toot my own horn (too late), but my point is that it’s something about which I know a great deal. And I fully understand what it’s like to be standing at the beginning of the weight loss journey, wondering how you’ll ever make it across the water.
I’ve heard it said that a great way to create what you want is to imagine, over and over, what you want being true. So I’ve been trying to imagine exactly what it is that I want, so as not to throw off the universe with a half-definition. I want to make my own flexible schedule. I want to have more time to myself. I want to be regularly active and have the option to go outside during the day. I don’t want to be told what do to. And I want to feel more fulfilled by how I’m earning my living. So to fit that bill, I really have been imagining a lifestyle where I’m working closely with my own personal clients to help them achieve their healthy-lifestyle goals. There are other ways to achieve these desires of mine, sure, but working with overweight people is something I’m very much drawn to.
So, I’m excited that I happened upon this particular certificate program. I didn’t know something like this existed. It’s not going to be an insta-career, but it’s a start.
I still have plenty of research to do – I want to find out more about what other programs like this exist, more about which certificate-endowing organizations are most respected in these fields, and more about the actual experience of studying for and taking the exams. (If anyone has any related thoughts or advice, please let me know!) Once I have that information, my daydream is to enroll in the program, get the pre-requisite certificate in personal training, and then get a certificate in both nutrition and in weight management. It probably won’t be until I’m out of this desk job that I can go through the yoga teacher training process, but I plan to do that eventually too.
I have no concrete idea about how those things will play together once I’m certified in all of them, nor do I know where an actual paycheck will eventually come from. But I do have some ideas – some realistic, some grand – and more will come as I move through these open doors, I’m certain.
The best part is that, unlike the yoga teacher training, studying for and acing these certificate exams is something I know I can do while I’m still working at this desk job. It will be a big undertaking and might be more than I can chew, but my understanding is that you can prepare for the exams for as long as you’d like. Once you’re ready to sit for them, only then do you schedule your test day. And the test days happen all the time.
This is a way to spend my limbo time, the time I’m still committed to the desk job world, that will be productive and helpful to me once I leave here. It will only help advance my purpose.
I continue to remind myself of a kind of mantra I adopted when I first began this quest: It’s Simple. That’s the mantra. It’s Simple. I realized this while taking a yoga class on the beach with my mom and my aunt in Florida over winter break. I remember finding myself so jealous of the yoga teacher’s lifestyle, spending her days on the beach, teaching yoga in the sunshine. And then I realized that I had it all wrong; what she does is not hard, it’s not out of reach. It’s really rather simple. This woman, teaching yoga on the beach, probably didn’t do anything spectacular or impossible to have this life. She simply reached for it; she likely endured some roadblocks along the way, but she ultimately ended up doing something she loves.
Living the life I want and spending my time doing what I love is a luxury experienced by millions before me and millions after me. They are no more or less intelligent than I, they are no more or less capable, they are not better or more ill-prepared, they are no more or less deserving. So. I remind myself: It’s Simple.
Only when I decide it’s hard is when it becomes hard.