5 Reasons to Become a Fitness Instructor as you are! No 'perfect' body required.

Photo courtesy of Roz the Diva 

Photo courtesy of Roz the Diva 

I can recall a random conversation I had with one of my girlfriends about wanting to become a fitness instructor in the DISTANT future to help me maintain my weight loss and earn some coin in the process. (Gym memberships aren't cheap!) I didn't see myself becoming one when I was 200 lbs of jolly. But several other people saw that I had what it took and proceeded to harass, I mean, encourage me to go for it. Fast-forward to today, I now have 3 fitness certifications under my belt and others I'm considering. I almost missed a calling because of my own silly reservations about not looking the part of a fitness instructor. Don't be like me! Grab your awesome and be a fitness instructor as you are.  Here's 5 reasons why you should: 

1. You've got the goods

"If you got it, flaunt it!" That's how the saying goes, but it doesn't just apply to T & A... If you have an amazing ability to teach/coach, encourage/motivate, and know your stuff (i.e. dance moves, knowledge of anatomy and body mechanics, an understanding of strength and conditioning, etc.), then you're a natural born fitness instructor waiting to be unleashed. Or maybe you used to be an athlete, dancer, or you were trained in some other physically demanding activity from your wonder years, dust off those old cleats and slip back on your dancing shoes! Somebody could use a few lessons and coaching from you. 

2. You're willing to learn

Maybe you don't have all the boxes checked in number 1. Who says that you can't learn? Being a fitness instructor is a constant learning process. Every day, class, participant, and instructor is different. You can always learn as you go along. No one starts out being perfect. Acknowledging your shortcomings and working to improve them will only make you better. Watch videos. Read books. Shadow an instructor then go out and instruct a class. The best way to learn is by doing.  Some of the best fitness instructors in the world probably had rocky beginnings, but they improved with time and commitment to honing their skills.

3. You need a challenge

You thought taking a class was tough? Try instructing one. (Whoa chile!) As the leader of your fleet (your class or client), you are expected to rise to the occasion and perform by providing great instruction and demonstrating knowledge of your craft. If you've ever been in an aerobics class, you'll see that all eyes are fixed on the instructor as they await for their cue to move. The instructors movements are big and expressive, which means a whole lot of energy. You are expected to be the guru. You are expected to perform. Take on the challenge and become great! 

4. You will inspire and motivate others 

"If she/he can do it, I can do it too!" This sentiment is something special that 'perfect body' instructors don't have. This isn't to bash or put any person down, but to recognize the unique position a fitness instructor who isn't 'perfect or ideal' possesses. Becoming a fitness instructor as is, allows you to demonstrate a vulnerable, yet brave quality that is sometimes needed to motivate and encourage participants or a client. With each session, you are telling your participants: "I can do this. You can do this. We can do this together." The anxiety and doubt participants feel is attenuated and the belief "I can do it!" rises.  

5. It's fun!

Try instructing a class without smiling once. I dare you. People are funny. They will make you laugh on some of your worst days. Destroying your choreography, saying the darnedest things (re: cursing you out for adding another rep), or maybe a loud outburst for FINALLY nailing a move they couldn't do for weeks, these are just a few of the perks that come with job. 

Bonus: The connection you will make with your participants and other like-minded instructors is priceless. 

The support and love from your new extended family is golden.