I heard something recently that really struck a chord within me: your identity is not in WHAT you do, but in WHO you are. For the last 5 years I’ve been somewhat at a crossroads. When I left Stanford Athletics as a fitness trainer back in 2009, I was fortunate enough financially to be able to take a couple years off and really think about the direction I wanted to go. Having been a fitness trainer since 1997 and during that time made my way up to a fitness supervisor, a fitness manager and then eventually branch out on my own with private clients and working at different clubs in different states, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue in the field or not. I realized that although I have a passion for fitness, I don’t think it’s my calling. In 2011 I branched out into a whole new field in the Social Services field as a Community Partner/Stakeholders, helping trainers re train Social Workers as well as being a part of inventing the 23 model behaviors Social Workers are suppose to start implementing when engaging families. I got so much out of working with the Social Workers and seeing a first hand look at all they go through and how overworked they are but mainly, I got joy from knowing that we (the Community Partners and Trainers) were teaching them a new way to interact with their families that could lead to kids being kept out of thet system as well as giving the skills, tools and power to the parents to help make that happen. It was a nice change from the pressures of FEELING like I have to maintain a certain superficial look when working in the health and fitness field and having my eating disorder kick into overdrive!
My dilemma however is this: their isn’t a lot – if any – of positions I can branch off into from being a Community Partner as this was a 5 year grant given to specific counties to see why Native American and African American kids STAY in the system so long and how we could correct that. Although I’ve had this experience that’s been outside of fitness, I still feel like my identity, who I am, is tied to me being ‘Trainerchick’. The fitness trainer for 12 years who has worked for clubs, a top notch college in the Athletics Dept. and who was able to have enough private clientele by referral from current club clients to be able to pay the bills strictly from that. Lots of pluses there, but do the negatives outweigh all those things? The eating disorder being kicked into hyper drive? Putting pressure on MYSELF to look a certain way and even when I reach that look, STILL not being satisfied? Yes, all these things are conundrums I’ve been pondering for going on 6 years now and I wish I could just find ME, start fresh and finally be happy.