Guest Blogger: Rachel Gann - “When working out is your job… literally”

May 04, 2016

Guest Blogger: Rachel Gann - “When working out is your job… literally”

Sitting at my desk, staring at a computer screen, trying to generate the tiniest bit of enthusiasm for the current excel file I had found myself buried in, I slowly began to count down the hours until I could leave work and head to INLINE. This was the daily situation I became stuck in after years in public accounting. Then one day I decided enough was enough. I began teaching barre classes on the side for fun. Slowly I noticed a trend… whether I was taking a barre class or teaching one, somehow I always felt depleted when I arrived and energized when I left. That exhilarating feeling is what led me to quit a very stable job as a Certified Public Accountant after five years to pursue a career in the fitness industry. 

Fast-forward to a year and a half later and I am now thanking whoever is looking out for me from above. I am so thankful for the unique opportunity I was given to switch career paths so abruptly and somehow succeed (though somehow the word thankful doesn’t quite do it justice).   I now teach an average of 16 barre, Pilates, and HIIT classes per week; I see about 10 private training clients per week; and spend the remainder of my time managing the amazing studio that took a chance on me.

Since I made this transition, I have often been asked… What has it been like? How did you do it? You must be so in shape? And my personal favorite… That’s so cool you teach classes, but what do you do all day?

So for anyone considering taking a leap of faith and jumping off the corporate hamster wheel or for anyone who is just curious about what I do all day, here is my random list of 5 things I have noticed in my year and a half of “working out for a living.”

  1. We all have bad days, but when you teach fitness classes six days a week… you are only allowed to be grumpy one day per week.

When life starts to get you down, as it inevitably will for everyone, you quickly learn to suck it up, put a smile on your face, and file your troubles away in some hidden part of your brain so you can pull it out and think about it later. Because when you teach a fitness class, you have to be ON! You are the energy everyone is looking for after their long days at their jobs and sulking about your problems isn’t an option. This has actually been incredibly helpful for me. I’m slowly becoming better at compartmentalizing my troubles and not letting them eat away at me.

  1. No, I do not get a good workout from teaching classes. So yes, I have to find time to workout myself.

Teaching classes is about the people paying to be in that class. Not me. Do I workout sometimes with them? Yes. But do I feel like I got in a solid workout when I leave? Not really. That means I have to find time somewhere else to get in a workout for myself, which can be harder than you think. When you teach during prime time hours, it’s not always possible to take the classes you want to take. Most of the time I end up running outside and using benches along my run for things like push-ups, tricep dips, and step-ups. The gym really is everywhere people!

  1. My “business attire” is a tank top and leggings, and yes, it’s awesome.

I won’t lie, this is probably one of my favorite things about my job. I always hated wearing pencil skirts, ill-fitting “business” tops, and uncomfortable flats or high heels. I hated being uncomfortable and didn’t (and still don’t) understand why professionals have to wear these things. I truly believe the world would be a happier place if everyone just wore gym clothes all day.

  1. Filling the 4-5 hours between classes or private sessions in the middle of the day is not as hard as you might think.

After being hired as the fitness director for INLINE Group Fitness and INLINE Barre, I found that 24 hours a day really just isn’t enough. In my “downtime” (i.e. not teaching a class or a private session), I am constantly brainstorming marketing ideas for the studios, events for our customers and the community, new class ideas, reviewing reports, exploring social media, and trying new moves. I find myself thinking about the studio ALL. THE. TIME. But hey, time flies when you’re having fun, right.

  1. Last but not least (this is for anyone who attends a group fitness class)… Before I started teaching, I never knew how much the person at the front of the classroom cared about every person LOVING every minute that they are with you.

The passion that goes into being a group fitness instructor is on another level. You may not notice it, but we take every comment/suggestion/remark/etc from students VERY personally and VERY seriously. We do it because we love it, and we want you to love it too. Every detail is important and if anything goes awry or doesn’t go the way we planned, we worry it affected your experience. Just know that there is a lot of love that goes into your classes!

Rachel Gann

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