Welcome to the second installment on my series explaining what it’s like to “run my own little kingdom” that is StudiOne yoga + fitness. In the first installment, I explained in detail the life event that I am certain changed the course of my life forever – my first marathon. It’s a long read (mile by mile through the race) but it’s important.
Immediately after the marathon, I headed out for a fraternity formal (not a recommended recovery activity, but a damn good time) and then finished up my junior year of school.
I don’t remember the exact timeline of my working career at this gym that trained me to run the marathon, but I do know that first I taught Spinning there, and then I began working behind the desk. I don’t think I can put into words the impact Lisa, Natalie, Donna and each member had on me. It was my second home.
I remember thinking and dreaming as I vacuumed around the cardio machines or mopped the red floor that I wanted to own my own place someday. I wanted to have a place that made people feel as good about themselves and as safe as Inside Out did for me.
When I graduated, I had no promising entry-level positions in any career field. My psychology degree didn’t give me a foot in to many places. I was so surprised and don’t think I hesitated when the girls offered me a personal training position at Inside Out, even offering to cover the initial expense of getting certified. I took the class as soon as I could and that first summer out of college was a personal trainer.
There were lots of opportunities for me and I soon loved the variety provided by a schedule of teaching mixed with personal training. I was allowed and encouraged to develop my own programs, from Boot Camps to my own version of the marathon training club to private clients. It took a while but with their encouragement and advice and my hard work and constant desire to just hang around that place, I had a full schedule fast.
It wasn’t all easy and soon I was having trouble adjusting to weird times in the middle of the day being home from work, and then going back to the gym for my after work clients just as my neighbors and friends were coming home. By the time I finished around 8 or 9, I needed to head to bed so I could get up for the 5:30 classes and appointments. This was the only major drawback that I remember, and sometimes is still something I struggle with.
Sadly, after two years I moved on to graduate school in Austin, Texas. Those few months preparing to leave Memphis were some of the toughest I’d experienced. I had a client base that I loved deeply, and felt responsible for in some ways. The best part of personal training was getting to know people on a deeper level. I watched people get married, have babies, lose their loved ones, get dumped, move through divorce while we trained. I met their dogs, got invited to dinners and set up on dates with mutual friends. Some of the things I learned in sessions I don’t think spouses knew about their people. I developed friendships that are still in tact to this day. I loved my people and my town.
As I left with a broken heart, I had every intention of returning to Memphis after my two years in Austin were up. For those of you who know where I am now, you know that’s not how it worked out! But Memphis gave me two years of discovering that I’m on the earth to teach and encourage, and I learned from the best. Thank you, IOG.
Stay tuned for Part 3: Choosing Tulsa.