‘Sorry, you are probably a little old for this Course’.
That was the response I received from a training organisation when I applied to join the Group Fitness Instructor course 6 years ago. I was 57, newly retired and looking for something to not just fill the void but to challenge me. I had wanted to become a personal trainer for sometime, so with the encouragement of my darling husband, I applied for the Certificate III Fitness only to be told – we feel you are too old!
That was a huge blow to my self-confidence as I had always prided myself on living life regardless of my age. Looking back, I should have pushed back but at the time I let my dream go. I remember I told this story to my friend and mentor, Peta Gillian from Strong Healthy Women and she encouraged me to ‘just do it and don’t take ‘no’ for an answer’.
Fast forward 5 years and I was still wanting to do the course. My husband said to ‘go for it’ so I did. I applied to an Online Option, walked into my local gym and told them what I was doing. To my pleasant surprise, the Manager was very welcoming and supportive of my decision and found a young personal trainer to act as my Supervisor and also provide ‘clients’ as volunteers for my studies.
I also had support from Peta who provided the opportunity for me to complete my Group Fitness Assignments through the Strong Healthy Women Virtual Studio.
Overcoming obstacles and challenges
The biggest challenge of the course was finding a Supervisor and ‘clients’ in my local area. I thought I might be finished before I started, however, as I wrote above, the local gym manager helped me overcome this hurdle.
My learning: I put my feelings of doubt aside, went for what I wanted with determination and self-belief and overcame the obstacle of not having any local contacts.
The next challenge was Module 3 which I have written about previously in my post Sometimes you just need that kick up the butt – I just couldn’t seem to get past it but I kept pushing along and with the assistance of the P.T. I completed it. Whilst I was struggling with this, rather than let it derail me, I pushed on with the theory section of other modules that I could complete.
My learning: Don’t give up no matter how difficult something is. I found a way to overcome the mental block I had with this particular subject, kept going but also found ways to keep going with the Course rather than being stuck with potential of giving up.
The final challenge was COVID-19. I had completed most of my Course except for the Group Classes. We received an email from the Assessor to say that he would extend our finish date by 6 months, due to social distancing restrictions which meant we couldn’t give group classes.
That didn’t stop me! I could have waited the 6 months but I had a stroke of inspiration. As most of the Fitness Industry was turning to Virtual Studios during the pandemic, I asked the Assessor if I could complete my Group Classes online under Supervision and record the class to send to him. No one else had thought of this idea but he agreed and so I kept going.
My learning: Just because something gets in your way, there is usually a way around the problem. I didn’t want to wait 6 months so I found a way around the issue by putting my Virtual Studio idea to the Assessor. What was the worst that could happen? The Assessor may not agree and I would have to put my course on hold.
Yesterday, I received an email advising that I had officially completed my Certificate III in Fitness and a Certificate would be sent to me. (Of course, I’ll be sharing a photo of me holding that so watch this space!). I felt such a sense of satisfaction which brings me to……
A new opportunity
I have been offered a very exciting opportunity to become part of the Strong Healthy Women Team. I have accepted a position as a Group Fitness Instructor within the SHW Virtual Studio. This opportunity means I will also be able to share with you the philosophies of Peta Gillian, CEO of Strong Healthy Women and provide you with ways you can also connect with the SHW community.
Strong Healthy Women believe the foundations of living Healthy, Strong and Connected can be developed in 3 keys ways. We call these our foundations and they are… MOVE. EAT. LIVE. Which is exactly how I want to live my life.
I love the style of the Fit/Flex class which is a combination of Strength and Flexibility training. The classes are 45 minutes long – the first part is about Strengthening our bodies through exercises with hand weights and resistance bands. The second half of the session is all about Flexibility with a Yoga/Pilates style stretching session. Here is a link to SHW for more information, we can work out together!
Here is an extract from the SHW Newsletter advising members of my appointment. For those of you who don’t know me, you may learn a little more about who I am.
Meet Sue, our newest member to the Strong Healthy Women Virtual Studio team.
I am excited to welcome Sue as a friend and trainer to the SHW team. She brings many years of everyday life skills and qualifications that will see your continued progress during your health and fitness journey. You’ll see Sue working out with you and as an instructor. It’s lovely to see one of your trainers working out with you, wouldn’t you agree? Sue shares a little of herself here.
“I’m Sue Loncaric, an almost 63 year old living on the Gold Coast. I’m married with two children, two step children and 5 grandchildren. In my younger years I kept active as a Ballet and Dance teacher for 15 years, however after having children and moving to Queensland I took a more sedentary job and let my fitness slide a little.
I’ve always tried to live a fairly healthy life as my parents and brother all died in their 60s. At 50 I decided to get back on track seriously with fitness and health and took up running and engaged a P.T. I recently completed my Certificate III Group Instructor Certification which has been a dream of mine. Why? Because I love helping others stay healthy and active to enjoy life beyond 50 and because I want to be a healthy role model for my grandchildren. We are never too old and it is never too late to start and I can’t wait.
We all have dreams and aspirations and sometimes the road to achieving them is definitely not smooth. However, if you are passionate and persistent and consistent you will make your dreams a reality just like I did.