Just Doing It

So, remember how I said I have big news? I can finally tell you about it. I’ve been dreaming of writing this post for months, and now, I can’t believe I actually can say it.

I put in my two weeks notice at my current job in advertising and am going to be a full time personal trainer and spin instructor.

Um, what. Let me re-read that. Is this really happening?!?! Yes. Yes it is. This post might turn into a bit of a ramble as I go through my thought process of the whole decision, so apologies in advance if I bore you. But if you’re debating changing careers or are unhappy at your current job, I hope you find this helpful.

Before I went to college, I was really torn as to whether or not I wanted to go for design or for fitness. I ended up choosing design, and don’t regret it for a second. Fitness was always a huge part of my life during college and after college, but never thought it could be anything more than a hobby. Then, back in January, something changed. I started teaching spin at Recycle Studio, and it was a huge epiphany. The feeling I got from getting on the bike and leading others through a 45 minute session was way more rewarding than the feeling I got after leaving my desk for 8 hours. Then, this little blog started picking up. Getting messages from strangers you don’t even know, telling you that you’ve inspired them in some way, that you made a difference in their decision to get healthy, has been really incredible. For real. Thank you guys. Then, I became a FitFluential Ambassador, and I started thinking to myself… okay, maybe I’m onto something here…Β At the beginning of summer, I was seriously toying with the idea of leaving my job. I met with a bunch of local studio owners (including my own boss at Recycle, who left advertising to open her own spin studio, at the age of 27…NBD), other instructors, and personal trainers; just hearing their stories and getting advice. At the end of May, I interviewed for a full time personal trainer position, but chickened out last minute because I still wasn’t 100% sure if I wanted to leave my job.

Workout gear taking over my design bookshelf..
If that’s not a sign, then I don’t know what is.

Here’s the thing- a career change is SCARY AS F*CK!! Just thinking about it was causing me severe anxiety and stress (remember my weird illness this summer? Anxiety attacks. Crazy, huh?). I was worried about leaving my current job- I love all the people that I work with. Would they hate me now? Would I miss seeing them every day? I was also worried about what people would think of me. Would my friends in NYC think I couldn’t cut it in advertising? Will people think I’m coping out? Would I regret leaving? What if I got burnt out from doing fitness full time? What if I get bored? Will I even like it? WTF!?

So yeah, needless to say, I was stressing myself out a lot. I had (another) huge epiphany this summer when I was in Scotland with my boyfriend and was absolutely DREADING coming back. I wasn’t dreading coming back because it was the end of vacation- I was dreading going into work. That is a HUGE sign right there. No one should feel that stressed, anxious, or pissed off about having to go to their day job. So that was my wake up call. I started doing my personal training certification online, started doing tons of networking in Boston, and started going on interviews.

Let me just say that there is NOTHING wrong with working in advertising, and I genuinely love the people I work with. But the lifestyle just isn’t for me. Long hours, client demands, tight deadlines, waiting on people… I’m just not cut out for it. I’m super impatient and organized (rare for a creative type) and I was just continuing to lose my mind every day. I would look up to my superiors (who are awesome) but I would ask myself “do I want to have that lifestyle 10 years down the road?” and my answer was always a big “no” (again- no offense to these people! They would probably rather gauge their eyeballs out than get up and work out at 5AM, so really.. different strokes for different folks, eh?!). While most of my friends and coworkers were spending their free time at the office working on personal design projects, reading AdAge, playing around in Photoshop, I was researching nutrition articles, Paleo information, new workouts, planning my playlists, writing blog posts, reading blogs, etc. Big sign right there.

Last week, the studio I had interviewed with back in May (when I wimped out on the job) re-interviewed me and then offered me a full time position. This time, I wasn’t going to say no and have regrets later. The final question in the interview was “Are you SURE you’re ready to do this?!” And even though I was scared/still am scared, I said “YES” with a huge smile on my face (wow.. how cheesy did that sound.. it’s true though).

Once I worked out the details of my hours and everything, I had to give my notice at my current job, which I was FREAKING out about. I was so nervous to tell these people that I truly care about, and didn’t want to feel like I was letting them down or that I was a quitter. But I gotta say- the response was overwhelmingly positive (they were SO happy to get rid of me… ha!) Every single one of my supervisors and co-workers all agreed that it was obvious how passionate I was about fitness and health (probably because I never shut up about it) and how happy they were for me. People were even giving me hugs and congratulating me on taking such a big leap. And a few people even told me that they were jealous, and that they wished they could do something like that. This made me a little sad, because it made it seem like people were trapped. And I’ve had that feeling before, and it sucks.

Here’s where I’m going to get a little sappy and sentimental (feel free to leave). At the beginning of the summer, I was telling one of my best friends how unhappy I was at my job, and he practically got mad at me. He said “Don’t waste another SECOND doing something you don’t like. You are young, you have a ton of interests and talents. Get out there and do something different. Seriously, Emily, don’t waste another day doing something you don’t love”. And he was so right. What’s the point of staying somewhere where you’re not happy? Because you’re worried what other people will think? Because you’re scared to do something different? Because you’ve gotten comfortable and complacent at your current job? All I have to say is, fuck that. Seriously. Those excuses ran through my head a gazillion times but at the end of the day, who is this decision about? It’s about YOU. It’s about YOUR life. You can keep complaining about it, and watch days, months, years fly by you while you sit there and be miserable, or you can get out there and do something about it. Finding a new job isn’t easy, taking that leap and mentally preparing yourself to do something different isn’t easy, but it’s WORTH it. And guess what? You’re not the only one who has ever left their job. Think about how many times people change their careers over the course of their lives. People do it all the time. You just have to, well… DO IT!

I guess that wasn’t very sentimental, since I said the F word and used caps and sort of started yelling. That’s my version of being sappy I guess. So you can imagine what I’m like when I’m angry and riled up…

ANYWAYS. Wrapping up. I could not be more happy about this decision. In addition to getting to do full time training, I also get to help out the studio with some social media, marketing and graphic design work. So I’ll still get to do everything I love, I’ll just get to do it for something I actually care about. My new hours will be 6-1, and I’ll have plenty of time in the afternoon to blog, work out, cook, teach spin, and do graphic design. Oh, and I’ll be right around the corner from my old office, so I can still see all the people I love.

Can someone please pinch me? I think I might be dreaming…

Literally have listened to this song on repeat for the past month. The chorus is so f*cking uplifting I can’t handle it.




28 thoughts on “Just Doing It

  1. Embo I’ve said it already, and after reading this I’ll say it again with much more enthusiasm… I’m so proud of you! I can see how excited and relieved you are feeling… follow yer dreams!!!! Love you girl. Get dem people in shape πŸ˜‰

  2. So excited for you! Congrats! Looking forward to hearing all about your working out adventures πŸ™‚

  3. I love stories like this. Oh man, the majority of the population dreads thinking about and going to their jobs. I’m semi like that. I don’t really dread but I definitely know I could be happier doing something else. That’s the thing though, I don’t know or don’t think I know what else I could be doing. Glad to hear you’re happy now and all the best!

  4. This is fantastic news! It is shocking how sick anxiety can make you feel without being aware that anxiety is the problem. I spent about six months having tons of tests done because I was forever dizzy and sick to my stomach. Anything I ate went right through me. I lost about 20 pounds (I am a small person to begin with). It got really out of control. No idea that anxiety had anything to do with it. That shifted my whole outlook on life. Am I where I want to be? No, not by a longshot. But, being aware of how you want your life to make you feel is a big step in the right direction. All the best. Don’t look back. πŸ™‚

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who has gone through the anxiety stuff (I mean, I don’t wish it on anyone, obviously) but same- I spent so much time going to doctors and taking meds. Crazy. I hope you find a less stressful place!

  5. Hmmm…reading this blog was great…I’ve been toying with wanting to do fitness full-time for years, and every single time, I chicken out because I feel like I can’t afford to let go of that stable, corporate job. So I think reading this is gonna make me take another long, hard look at what’s best for me. Thanks for putting it out there!

  6. Congratulations! I love this post – you are following your passion and I think that is both brave, and amazing. I already know you will be successful at motivating others in terms of health and fitness, because you have motivated ME in the past few months. (Kind of one of the things I was trying to say to you in some verbal explosion after class on Thursday! — lately I have been crunching data in front of a computer all day, without human interaction for hours, which I can only determine seems to seriously stunt my one-one-one communication skills (!!)) Anyway, as I had mentioned to you, your blog overall has really hit home for me, and this post as well. I am a MD – but one who has questioned my place in the field of medicine lately – health, fitness, family, friends, interests outside of my academic pursuits, whatever they may be, and overall just life balance — have been a struggle to maintain, at least in the way I want, since I entered medical school in 2006. Taking this year for myself has been the first time in a long time that I have started to remotely feel like myself again. The classes that you teach have a lot to do with that, and there have been many times that I have come home thinking, and have even said it to one of my medical friends as well as my husband, that being a spin teacher (at least a good one!) – sitting up in front of a room and motivating and pushing people to be the best they can be for that hour or 45 minutes – allows you to be such a pure and uncomplicated source of positivity, leading people to a better place (I mean really, no one ever says – “damn it, I wish I didn’t just work out, or sweat, or push myself, like that!” – no one!). This post was great and made me realize more fully that change can happen at any time, if you are brave enough to make it happen and to acknowledge what makes you happy and what you are passionate about, rather than just sticking with the status-quo and the familiar. I can’t think of anyone more perfect for the career you are choosing to do. Thank you for already inspiring me, or at least leading me in a few “therapy” sessions on a bike every week. It is very, very much appreciated. πŸ™‚

    • Thank YOU for always coming to class and bringing your A game! I’m so glad that you’ve been enjoying coming, and it’s nice knowing that there are MD’s out there that will have a healthy holistic approach. I’ve re-read your comment a few times, makes me so happy and gives me confidence that I’m doing the right thing, so thank you again πŸ™‚

      • Awww!! Just saw this — you ARE doing the right thing! And thanks for the thank you, in person and on here — I can’t wait to see/read how your new career unfolds; I am super, super excited for you. Now – my next step is to get Steve (my husband) to one of your classes so he can experience the awesomeness!! πŸ˜‰

  7. Love this post! Congrats to you! I have been in the same boat as you for quite some time so I completely identify with all that you say…I won’t go into details but I recently made the scary decision to take a big risk with my career (while I’m still doing what I went to school for, I decided to head down a slightly different path)…it was scary but worth it…I’m so much happier…I will say though that my ultimate vision it to ditch all that and get into personal training/health coaching, or something of the sort. When you mentioned that you found yourself researching and studying health/fitness principles rather that working on projects directly related to your profession I was like “omg, that’s me”. Haha, I should be nerding out reading journal articles and researching new treatment methodologies (I’m a speech pathologist btw) but I’d rather come home and learn choreography for my group fitness classes, blog, and design workouts for friends…hmmm…maybe that’s telling me something! By the way, what personal training cert did you go for if you don’t mind me asking…sorry this message was so long! Congrats again! πŸ™‚

    • I loved this message! It’s amazing how many women out there are making the leap, and good luck to you, whatever you decide to do! It’s awesome that you do group classes on the side so you get best of both worlds. I did NASM

  8. Wow! Congrats!
    I feel the same way. Although I am not as young as you are. I am 46 with a daughter in college and tuition payments. So the thought of pursuing my dreams which are holistic health Crossfit Paleo etc are so scary. This blog is an inspiration! Good luck on your journey! You made the right decision!

  9. So happy for you and congratulations! I’m also planning a little career break/change at the moment. Mine’s not until 3/4 months later so I’m a little jealous yours is coming up soon! haha

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