A fellow instructor recently approached me and said, “I can’t believe you do those teacher trainings. Aren’t you afraid to give away all your secrets?” Frankly I was taken aback. As the conversation continued I felt disheartened. Are we so afraid of “competition” that instead of helping lift others in our industry up to join us, we stay silent and scared to share?
Deciding to launch the NEY Barre Teacher Training program was not an easy decision. The owners of NEY and I had talked about it for years. But I worried about the enormity of the responsibility. Plus, it’s not easy to teach people to teach. I knew how much work would need to go into the program to make it successful. I also knew that if I was going to do this, I would have to go all in. The one thing I never even considered was that I would be giving away my “secrets to success.” Seriously the thought did not even cross my mind.
I know what it’s like to anxiously email your boss and ask for a meeting. To sit down and look safety and security in the eye and say, “I quit.” I know what it feels like to walk out of those office doors and think to yourself, “Can I do this? Did I just make a huge mistake?”
I know what it’s like to start a website and not have an ounce of a clue to what you’re doing. To ask your Dad to please help set something up so that you can post your schedule and start a blog. You can’t afford a web designer. You don’t have professional pictures. You just need to start somewhere.
I know how terrifying it is to walk into a new place and sell yourself with nothing on paper to back you. To tell a potential employer, “Yes I’m new. Please give me a chance. I can do this.” All while praying the words you are promising will ring true.
I know how intimidating it is to audition for the city’s hottest new gym. To stand in front of a sea of talented instructors when you’re the new girl. To have the eyes of management size you up while you pretend that you don’t notice. To then get the job and celebrate a step in the right direction.
I can still feel the side of effects of burnout. 20 weekly group classes and 15 weekly private clients and you’re still worried about paying your bills. You’re wondering why you don’t have time to workout out this week even though you are inside of a gym all day long. You know you need balance but you have no idea how to create it and still make a living. It’s exhausting and overwhelming. Trust me, I know.
I know how it feels to win awards and still wonder, am I good enough? What next?
I know what it’s like to train A-list celebrities. To sign your life away on confidential documents with their security guard in a side hallway. You hesitantly walk into their hotel room wondering how you will be normal when you’re about to do planks with literally the most sought after Hollywood star. You adjust your schedule, sometimes hourly to accommodate their requests, just so you can keep training them while they are in town. You tell no one, even though you are dying to shout it from the rooftops, because you can’t. You signed that paper.
I know what it’s like to start a family at the top of your career. To watch your body transform. To struggle with gaining weight even though you know it’s what happens when you grow a baby. To stand in front of a room of people, trying to motivate and inspire when you are nauseous with morning sickness and exhausted. To teach 10 months pregnant. To look down to see if your water has broken every time a student looks at you funny.
I know how hard it is to return to your career after you give birth. Hard doesn’t even describe it. Maybe words like scary, painful, exhilarating, nerve wracking, sad, happy, guilty take a stab at how you feel about your new life. Will it ever be the same? How can I go back to the person everyone wants when I know that I’m someone completely new and different now?
I know what it’s like to audition for Nike. To teach in front of a panel of corporate executives knowing you are not a personal trainer and have never played a team sport in your life. To answer questions sitting on the other side of a long table of people who seem so cool and so much more experienced than you. To get the gig only to find out they don’t want you to teach Pilates. They want you to learn a brand new training format, on the spot. To literally “Just Do It.” And to feel proud that you’re a new mama crushing the field even though you still are not quite sure exactly what you’re doing and if you belong.
I know what it’s like to create your own class. I know what it’s like to teach in front of 400 people and I know what it’s like to teach in front 4 people. I know what it’s like to succeed. I know what it’s like to fail. I know what it feels like to not feel ready but to keep pushing through. And perhaps above all, I am grateful to know what it feels like to have someone believe in you.
I tell you these things not to brag. I’m writing to share. To say that these are things I’ve lived through in my time as a fitness professional. There are many lessons I’ve learned. There are so many more stories to tell and in sharing we help, motivate, inspire and guide others.
There are no secrets to success. There is no top. There is room for us all, at every stage, in every studio and gym. People love their instructors for who are they are. So even if someone does things the same way that you do, they will never be YOU. You are the secret to your own success.
I’m in the teacher training journey to share all that I’ve learned the past 12 years in my career. Alongside Meagan Fitzgerald – a woman I’m lucky to call my friend and colleague, we have many stories to tell you. Combined we’ve been through so much, on each of our different paths.
Together we’ve made it our mission to help others start their careers. Because sometimes all you need is people on your side. People who are not afraid to tell it like it is, to help lift you up, to answer your questions with honesty. Because we are not threatened by your talent. We want you to join us. We want you to succeed. We want to share it ALL with you!
If this resonated at all with you and you’ve ever considered doing a teacher training, please know there is still time. I’m sure you don’t feel ready. No one ever does. But trust me, your heart knows. Listen to it. Questions, concerns, just want to talk… reach out to Meagan or I and we’d love to share more!
NEY Barre Teacher Training
Friday, October 12: 5:30-8:30pm
Saturday, October 13: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Sunday, October 14: 9:00am - 5:00pm
**All photos in this post were taken by Lucie Wicker Photography, including the behind the scenes from our most recent training. Everyone who participates in our teacher training receives a mini photo shoot with Lucie on our last day, including two professionally edited images for your personal use.