Balancing the Seasons

This summer finds me in London, once again sorting the balance out in my life. My upbringing defined the structure of my year into winter and summer and as a consequence the balance of my education, sports, friendships and employment had to fit this defined split. My winters are more settled now I have (almost!) the BASI Level 4 ISTD badge and can earn a living; it is time to get my summers in order.

My goal this summer is to become a Personal Trainer and gain as much experience and knowledge about the industry and my qualifications as I can; London seemed the best place to do it.

The weather has been fantastic (better than Les Gets!) this summer.

Stormy skies in London, although the weather has been great!

I chose Future Fit Training as they provide great support and flexibility, allowing me to make a start online with e-learning courses during the winter. Now I have chosen practical workshops and assessment dates convenient to me over the summer.

At the end of May, I completed the Level 2 Gym Instructor qualification and the search for a job began. I scoured the trusty World Wide Web for fitness instructor/coach/consultant positions. At university I was a member of Fitness First, so I tracked them down and discovered Fitness First underwent a huge rebranding in January and are now looking very flash. They are currently going through more exciting changes and I am delighted to join them as a fitness consultant at the Shepherd’s Bush club.

Sunny walk to Canada Water - enjoying the ducks, coots and other wildlife!

Sunny walk to Canada Water – enjoying the ducks, coots and other wildlife!

An hours commute gets me to work. Once there I am spying on Personal Trainers, observing other people’s work-outs to accumulate exercises, drills and ideas for my repertoire, questioning PTs and learning all about freestyle, functional training.  I am promised a proper introduction to the weights room (beyond just stacking weights back on to the racks for big guys who can lift big weights but not tidy them away… ahem!). And – I can’t forget – cleaning sweaty bikes, treadmills and mats, and bagging up soggy towels. I also deliver abs and core classes, and Fitness First’s very own Freestyle Group Training classes which allow time to interact with members and share some of my knowledge with them.

My brother and his girlfriend visited and I helped put them through their paces!

My brother and his girlfriend visited – I helped put them through their paces!

Back home, I am preparing meals to take to work (meals out of Tupperware are becoming the norm), eating or food shopping. I have me time in the gym, trying out things I have seen at work, using myself as a guinea pig, and having a go at quick workouts online with Fitness Blender – check them out! I am also running round Southwark Park and, once a week, with London City Runners which gets me out there with others, motivating me to run faster and satisfying my competitive streak.

Then I remember if I ever want to have a decent conversation with my boyfriend’s parents I need to resume my German lessons over Skype and, of course, it is a very useful language working in Switzerland. And why not offer my own language teaching services on Skype at the same time – all brings in that much needed CASH!

Enjoying an excellent burger in the sun with Sandro!

Enjoying an excellent burger in the sun with Sandro!

Last, but very much not least, are my friends and family. Finally I can catch up with them and I have all summer to do so. But, no doubt, November will arrive and I’ll still have failed to see some. Living on a budget and having to plan, organise and prepare meals constantly, when I meet with friends and family it is my ‘treat’ time and I let myself eat exactly what I want. I also try to eat meat as this is sometimes beyond my budget. The other day, however, involved polishing off rather a lot of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream with my brother and his girlfriend – but after our workout.

What?  . . . it’s all about that balance!