Updated: Jul 26
Exercising for exercise’s sake was a foreign concept to me until college. I rode my bike all over the neighborhood with friends and danced (tap, jazz, ballet) all through grade school and performed in show choir and musicals in high school, so movement wasn’t something my life was lacking. I remember joining my Mom at Jazzercise every now and then and I loved that because it felt like dancing. I even had a Jazzercise birthday party one year! (I haven’t thought about THAT one in a while!). In college, my roommate would make me go for walks strictly for the exercise of it. It seemed strange to me at first because in my mind, walking for exercise was something older people did. It wasn’t for young folks like us who were healthy. Late in our college career, the school built a new fitness center and one of our friends was a personal trainer. I had no idea what that actually meant, but he gave us a progression of exercises through the machines and we did them religiously. I felt victorious when my roommate declared that progress had been made because she could see muscle definition in my quadriceps which “used to look like pencils.” HA!
My husband and I got married right out of college and I started teaching fourth grade. He went to the gym with friends, but that wasn’t really my jam. I started to explore a variety of different types of exercise. I swam laps. I walked the dogs. I even found a Jazzercise class! I took kickboxing from two MMA fighters who offered to train me to fight…Um, you think I’m going to let someone actually hit me in my face?!? No, thank you! When we moved and we found out we were going to be parents, I joined the YMCA. It was there I found a love for lap swimming, yoga, and group fitness. After another baby and another move so I could pursue my Masters in Special Education, I joined the JCC in Nashville, TN, and really got involved in group fitness classes. I had a class I enjoyed attending Monday-Friday. The instructors and other members were so fun to be around and I loved getting in a workout and fulfilling that social need of young mothers to talk to someone in the same boat.
After our fourth child was born, I started thinking that making some extra money would be nice, but going back to full time teaching wasn’t something that excited me. Getting my group fitness certification seemed perfect. I could still be home with my small children and teach just a few hours a week. As it turned out, teaching fitness was a dream come true! I loved helping people find movement that felt good and helped them reach their goals. I just had one problem, I am a stickler for form. If you are doing an exercise with bad form, you aren’t getting as much out of the exercise as you could be and there is greater potential for injury. If you get hurt, you won’t be back in class and that’s not good for anyone! I found that I would get hung up correcting someone’s form and the rest of the class would end up doing WAY more reps than I intended. I fixed this problem two ways: I started using a timer to signal the end of sets and I got my personal training certification so I could work with clients one-on-one and give that much needed attention to those who wanted it.
For the last 12 years, I have worked with dozens of clients under the mentorship of a wonderful training company. Some I’ve helped a little, some I’ve helped a lot. I really enjoy what I do and I know I’m good at it. I have collected multiple certifications and learned about many different approaches to fitness so that I can inspire people to move in a way that feels good to them. We added a fifth child to our family and I underwent some prophylactic surgery to make sure I will be here and healthy for many years to come. I love to be outside hiking, riding horses, biking, or paddling a canoe or kayak. In fact, it was a retreat on a farm outside Chattanooga that inspired my latest move in this industry.
In April of 2022, I hopped in the car with a girlfriend to checkout of the daily grind for a weekend at an “Off the Grid” retreat led by one of our friends. We hiked, we meditated, we ate delicious food, we did yoga, and we received Reiki from a wonderful new friend. It was during the Reiki session that I experienced what I can only describe as a message or calling from Something Greater. Some might call it the Universe, I call it the Holy Spirit. As clear as a bell, I was I told that I had to be a Life Coach. This came as quite a surprise to me because frankly, I didn’t really know what that meant! Another lady on the retreat asked if I wanted to be a Life Coach or a Health and Wellness Coach since I was already in that industry. I replied, “I don’t know, I just found out I’m supposed to do this yesterday!!!” I did a little research and found a reputable program that earns a dual certificate in both. I have loved my studies and I am so excited to start working with clients. As I’ve gone through this process, I have noticed that door after door is opening to me. I wonder how long the Spirit had been trying to get my attention before I finally opened my ears and my heart enough to hear.
As of the writing of this post in July of 2022, I am not certified yet, but will be by mid October of this year. It is so exciting and a little bit scary to leave my current company and start my own training and coaching business in Golden Hour Coaching, but I know it is the right path for me. Using my knowledge to help others step into their power and their right path will be so rewarding for years to come.