After successfully completing my fitness instructor training program, this was the answer I received from my first fitness boss.

” I am sorry but you are not strong enough to teach the nighttime classes!”

I was 31 and full of energy and enthusiasm. I had put myself through school in the evenings as my kids were all under under 5 years old. I needed to work at night so I could be at home with them in the daytime.

That man’s words crushed me. Especially since I had been attending this small club for many years and was also helping to run the place.  I believed that I was a very good teacher up until those words were said to me and then the monster of self doubt began to grow inside of me.

We sometimes forget how powerful words can be.  I may have given up my pursuit because of the way that he worded his answer.  I wonder how differently my life would have turned out, had I listened to him and given up.

Thankfully the lady who trained me needed a substitute to fill in for her during the summer so I did get my start.  I was liked so much that she ended up giving me a class in the evenings. After teaching my first 12 week session, the class was so popular that there was a waiting list to get in!

Well over 15 years later my classes are full and more importantly my students are healthy and happy.

In retrospect, I do not hold anything against my first “fitness” boss. He was simply not good at communicating. He could have chosen a far better way to word his opinion. 

When I am experiencing one of my many moments of joy while teaching, I often flash back to that meeting and smile and thank him as because of him, I pushed myself to be the best teacher that I could be.  I also realized shortly after taking that first job, that it is not my mission to be the “strongest” person in the room. My mission is to help my students to be their best!

Follow your heart and thank your critics because they can sometimes give us that little bit of magic that separates us from the crowd.

Have a great day everyone!