22 Feb A Day In The Life Of A Female Strength Coach Part 2
“To hell with this.”
Those were the exact words I spoke when I was a couple months into my career as a personal trainer.
Don’t get me wrong, I always envisioned a living helping others get healthy and become beasts. Plus, I saw myself wearing sweatpants (and no bra) to work every day.
But let me first be clear: starting out wasn’t a cakewalk. Like a rookie in any industry, you have to more or less “pay your dues.” That being said, I went into work at 5:00AM every week day only to see one dude trudging along on the elliptical while watching CNN. Sweet. And due to low business, I snagged any clients I could, even bitch moms going through menopause. I worked weekends and couldn’t party like a rockstar like the rest of my friends. I had to teach myself accounting 101. My down time was (and still is) spent reading strength training blogs and peer-reviewed literature.
Often, people ask me how my “10 jobs” are going, as if I’m a fucking alien. Admittedly, I’m a little confused by this one because anyone involved in strength and conditioning has never had ONE JOB. Most of us have dabbled in sports coaching, skills coaching, strength training, seminar speaking, or like me, binge blogging.
I know it’s hard to put what we do in one, cute little box, but this is the reality of our careers. Multiple streams of income = BAE. <3
In lieu of grinding it out, today I’m extremely grateful for my four years in the industry. I’ve worked with amazing athletes – some pro, others starting out at age 8, but the majority of the time, grandpas who just want to be able to walk down their driveway without huffing and puffing.
I coach about 30-40 hours a week, do grad school homework twice that amount, and squeeze in time for blogging 2-4 hours a week. Relaxation, for me, includes chugging wine, while reading Supertraining and catching up on the Strength and Conditioning Research monthly studies. Or combing through other training blogs for cues on the squat to ensure my clients don’t do this:
The field I’m in is in constant oscillation. One day people swear by front squats. Seconds later, they’re the devil. To add more to the shitshow of fitness, technology is becoming increasingly popular, and if we want to stay afloat, us coaches must stay up-to-date. GPS tracking systems, for example, track an athlete’s velocity, caloric burn, linear speed, and distance. I wouldn’t be surprised if these gadgets eventually track when athletes take a shit.
Needless to say, this is a lot to keep up with on top of writing programs, manipulating periodization, and coaching in a highly stimulated environment of crashing plates and barbells. To add more insanity to the mix, high school girls going through puberty and asking me advice on how to deal with boys. I speak a lot about day-to-day stuff like this in my first A Day In The Life Of A Female Strength Coach post.
One more thing (I promise): squeaking by with 3 work outs a week is an AMAZING week for me. And getting in 4 is like winning the freaking Super Bowl. Depending on how many clients I see, how much homework I have, and if I’m writing at least two blogs per week, getting under the iron myself is an uphill battle. Especially when my five cups of coffee crash finally hits. ;-0 #strengthcoachproblems
Lastly, you’re probably wondering where my boyfriend or husband is during all of this. He’s non-existent.
As much as I want to say I workout a shitload, do bikini photo shoots, have a sugar daddy, and partake in crazy shenanigans, I don’t. Sure, if you follow me on social media, I attend the ocassional rave, but a spectacle like this is a once every few months type deal. Most weekends, I’m hiding under my blankie, embracing the bliss of silence, and hugging my life size teddy bear.
Just like any other field, you put in your time and work your ass off. Being a female strength coach has never been anything glamorous. But it certainly has been rewarding, invigorating, and energizing. I love connecting with a wide variety of beings both in the gym and on the soccer field. Alas, 6-7 days a week of work has shifted into a lifestyle instead of a career, and the word “Saturday” has become pretty effing meaningless. LOL. And being single amongst married friends makes me look like a crazy, cat lady.
To conclude: the strength coach journey goes on, as I continue to lean into the beautiful ebb and flow my career presents. For me, the mystery keeps me on my toes, and my zest for life fresh. To end with a profound quote from The Lord of the Rings: “Not all those who wander are lost.” 😉