When I decided to scrap my old blog (or at least seriously revamp it), I kicked around a lot of ideas as to what the new title should be. Raising those Bars seemed to be the most logical fit, because I obviously love lifting and I own a pretty young business that happens to be a bar. Plain and simple, two huge facets of my life wrapped up in a pretty package. But the more I grow personally, the more I realize how appropriate my blog title is for another arena of my life. In November, I started my journey towards becoming an ISSA personal trainer. Since I was already engulfing myself in fitness related research on a daily basis, it really seemed like the next natural step.
One thing that I seriously regret about my past is not finishing college. Don’t get me wrong, I am very comfortable with my career and I feel that I’ve derived more education in the past 3 years as a business owner than I would have studying for an advanced degree, but it still kind of chaps my ass that I didn’t have the determination or intellect to finish something I started. College was an iffy time in my life – I didn’t know what I wanted to be, or even who I was, and although I always had enough common sense to support myself and land on my own two feet, that was about it. I screwed up royally, burned a lot of bridges, and successfully dropped out weeks before I flunked out.
Now things are kind of messy. I have half of a degree in political science and pre-law, with a really shitty GPA, no universities in an hour radius of my house, and no determination to pursue a degree as a lobbyist or a legal clerk. This is why an ISSA certification seemed to me like the first logical step back into the educational groove for me.
Completely online and on a “work at your own pace” schedule (with an 8 month cap), the flexibility alone has been a lifesaver with my chaotic career. When you sign up, you are shipped a big box of goodies, including this heavy duty textbook, and access to all their online resources.
So far, I am really enjoying my studies, and I have been learning a lot. I have been able to apply the things I’ve learned to my own actual training (selfish, but yay!) and I have taken on a few test clients who I have yet to kill. This can only be good.
Although I know a certification is in no way comparable to an advanced degree in exercise sciences or years of experience training clients, this is my first step towards raising my educational bar. I like that the essays you have to write require you to go beyond the book and actually think critically. I like that ISSA offers many more follow up certifications and to stay in good standings you must continue your education in the future. I like that I am actually taking the time out for myself to complete a course I feel passionately about.
Maybe I will use this one day to develop my career, or maybe this is just one of those “prove that I can do it for me” tasks, but right now, I like being student, even if it is on my own terms.
I am looking to be certified by the end of May, and I’m completely satisfied with my current pace. I’m also already itching to dig into some other certs, and I’ve started a nice little educational fund for myself in the meanwhile. So yes, this is my effort to raise another bar – this time one that will help me leave my past behind and move towards a more positive future full of less self loathing.
How do you all feel about continuing education? Is it something you make a priority in your lives?