Where I Started….. the jefffitnesspro Story
Little did I know, that way back when, when I was fashioning some sort of life mission to embark on, that fitness would become the catalyst for my life quest! So many seek and search for a career and perspective that quenches a thirst and drive for fulfillment. I found mine!
I’ve arranged this blog as an interview with myself, as a means to possibly offer a self check-in for those of you contemplating just how this fitness life is and continues to be a means of self fulfillment.
What attracted me to the field of fitness and exercise?:
The energy of attending Group Fitness classes and the application of using the knowledge gained from Pre-Physical therapy course work I was involved with with my return to college, round 2.
My Job Title and Companies I Work with:
- Group Fitness Manager Equinox Union Street;
- Master Trainer for several companies:
- ActivMotion Bar, Barre Above, JumpSport Fitness Trampoline, Tabata Bootcamp and TRX.
A typical (or not so typical) day in my work-life:
Weekdays, I sometimes train 3 clients in the mornings or teach a Group Fitness class to start. I’m also scheduling trainings for any of the various fitness companies I’m a master trainer for. Then I head off to my office at Equinox Union Street where I manage the Group Fitness Department. Once there I may conduct instructor interviews or evaluations, manage member concerns, arrange payroll or even calibrate indoor cycling bikes. My role there is quite inclusive and hands on.
How did you get your current job in fitness and exercise?:
I hit the pavement, I went after what I wanted. I networked with colleagues, sought mentors, researched companies I was intrigued with and set my fast track in terms of learning about this amazing field called fitness.
I immersed in the culture, educated myself through certifications and committed myself to a field I can honestly say that each and every day I “live my dream”.
I started out teaching Group Fitness classes just out of college and at my local gym on the east coast, where I grew up. I enjoyed it enough I sought and obtained my AFAA Group Exercise Certification. After several years of soul searching, I resigned from my position as a Landscape Architect from the Planning Firm I was working for and decided to return college, at my alma mater at Penn State University. My thought was to obtain the college credits necessary to apply for Physical Therapy school.
I applied and got accepted into the Pre-Physical Therapy Program at Stockton University in New Jersey. As part of the prerequisite studies, I volunteered at PT clinic to obtain my volunteer hours, which just happened to be within a health club known as Tilton Fitness Network. Not before long I started teaching fitness classes at Tilton during the “step” craze of fitness, and eventually landed the role as the Group Fitness Director for their Galloway location. I went on to obtain my Personal Trainer certification through AFAA and started training clients.
A Move to California…
At this point I abandoned my desire for Physical Therapy and dove in to Fitness full time. I also competed in the regional and national levels for the Club Cup National Aerobic Championships and won a regional title in 1997. In 2002 I was given the opportunity to move to San Francisco and leaped at the opportunity. Granted I moved to this “golden land” with no job but on a quest that this was an adventure full of many great nuggets to be found.
In California, I started teaching classes and training clients for Bay Club Marin, a sister club to the infamous San Francisco Bay Club. I also competed and won an opportunity to present a fitness education workshop of a class I developed for Shannon Fable’s company, Sunshine Fitness Resources. She and her company paved the way for me to be exposed to many opportunities: SCW Fitness Mania Conventions; TRX Training; and Body Rev. Her mentoring is something I will appreciate forever. I also started teaching classes for Equinox Fitness in San Francisco at this time.
SCW Fitness Conferences paved the way for Master Training opportunities for WaterinMotion, JumpSport Fitness Trampoline, Tabata Bootcamp and Barre Above. I’ve had the opportunity to teach workshops at IDEA World, DCAC, CanFitPro, FitnessFest Conferences and have presented workshops, internationally in South Korea, London, Guatemala and Colombia. I’ve had the pleasure of working with hundreds of fitness professionals around the world and am truly honored and blessed.
In 2014 I accepted the role as Group Fitness Manager for Equinox Pine Street, to which has gotten me to my current role at the Union Street location.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?:
I think I was born with the ability to entertain people. I like to playfully refer to Fitness Professionals as Edu-Tainers. We educate and entertain our clients and participants in our respective classes. I obviously needed to educate myself in the practical and theoretical tidbits of the craft in order to be taken seriously. All these certifications and experience have created a successful career path for myself.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?:
Manifest whatever it is you hold near and dear and are passionate about. The universe does listen. Surround yourself with wonderful people, the Fitness industry has many of them to choose from. Carve your niche and bring it to life!