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Model
Koryn
Posts: 35,821
Boston, Massachusetts, US


I explained a little bit about my work experiences and frustrations in this thread, near the bottom.

http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=901415

I'd been feeling shitty for awhile. After I wrote that all out, ostensibly to inform another poster about working in fitness industry, then went back and read through it again, I kind of had a realization. I shouldn't just be *thinking* about taking some time off from training, and going to get my yoga teacher's certification (about a year-long program), I SHOULD be doing that --- like right fucking now. I've been pondering it in my mind for --- oh, 5 or 6 years. Even my mom, who barely knows me, said a couple months ago, "Why aren't you a yoga teacher?" That just came back to me in a big, overwhelming burst, in the span of about the past 2 hours.

So, I went online and did the magical Google thing, sifted through a bunch of stuff that was too far away, too expensive, no payment plans, etc. Courses that were too specific for me at this time. A lot of training programs for yoga teachers, but nothing practical. Then, lo and behold, I found a legit RYS certification course 30 minutes away from me, with one location near where I work now, and another in the TEENY-TINY town where my boyfriend lives. As in, there's nothing where he lives except a stoplight, a doughnut shop and a field of junked Ford Mustangs ... and, apparently, a yoga school. They offer a payment plan. A motherfucking payment plan.

It might be that I'm just killing another year of my life, or wasting. I don't know, but I intend to keep up with my generic trainer's certification, and just better myself by immersing myself into a year of school again, then starting over fresh. I'm so burned out at this point, I can't see that it would be anything but good, and it's been six months since I've even been in a mood that would allow me to focus on personal yoga practice, even though it was always a HUGE part of who I was, up until recently.

I can't really see any reason to not go forward, other than I feel like I would need to leave my current gym job, just to get my head in a place to learn again and benefit, and be able to actually devote myself to a program. Quitting is going to suck. I've been there for a year, and I'm attached to both my clients and my co-workers. I suppose I can be upfront and honest about why I would be leaving, but it still seems awkward. I'd been thinking about leaving for a couple months, because I wasn't successfully making ends meet without cocktail waitressing two nights a week, and get so tired that I have to nap in my car during lunch time to make it through a lot of days. I just didn't want to *only* be working in bars again, with no plan. I hate having no plan; been there, done that.

Yet, thinking about just getting a fresh start from a different perspective in the health/wellness industry, with both a trainer's certification, and a yoga teacher's certification, feels so... good.
Aug 28 13 09:31 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Damon Banner
Posts: 85,249
Hayward, California, US


my personal philosophy this week is to not worry about making bad decisions.  Just live my life.  And when I'm dead, I'll have a smile BECAUSE i lived.
Aug 28 13 10:27 am  Link  Quote 
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Model
Koryn
Posts: 35,821
Boston, Massachusetts, US


Damon Banner wrote:
my personal philosophy this week is to not worry about making bad decisions.  Just live my life.  And when I'm dead, I'll have a smile BECAUSE i lived.

I think that's really what I should be thinking about all this. Just do what feels right, and try to use it to make me a more well-rounded person, and not hang on to things that are not working. I think what's making it so difficult to just leave, and start over from a different place when I'm ready, is that I believed so much in what I was doing when I went back to get my trainer's cert, and I studied my ass off for 9 months, and thought that was going to be "the answer," finally, after years of having no real legit career option work out for me. I really had a lot of emotional weight hanging on that, and when it became apparent that - while I'm in the right general profession - I'm not in the right angle of that profession, and chain gyms definitely aren't going to work for me, it was like ... well... it feels sort of like when your girlfriend or boyfriend breaks up with you, and you're just useless for awhile emotionally.

Aug 28 13 10:41 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
A S Photography
Posts: 1,211
Newark, Delaware, US


Koryn Locke wrote:
while I'm in the right general profession - I'm not in the right angle of that profession, and chain gyms definitely aren't going to work for me, it was like ... well... it feels sort of like when your girlfriend or boyfriend breaks up with you, and you're just useless for awhile emotionally.

Sorry to hear that you aren't happy with the job anymore.

Have you considered going independent and teaching one-on-one?

Aug 28 13 11:35 am  Link  Quote 
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Model
Koryn
Posts: 35,821
Boston, Massachusetts, US


A S Photography wrote:
Sorry to hear that you aren't happy with the job anymore.

Have you considered going independent and teaching one-on-one?

That requires being independently insured. I don't know anything about what policies an independent trainer needs to carry, or how much it would be price wise. I will say that, right now, I have nothing. About $50 I'm my checking account. Gym membership drops 50-75% during summer months. My last check for two weeks was less than $300 and I had to pay utilities with that. I've lived on a shoe string budget my whole life, but now I have absolutely nothing I could even invest in going independent, so I would still have to take a year or so away and just save and save, in order to get insurance and buy equipment.

Also, I've only lived in my current community for just over a year, and have lived in different parts of Massachusetts before that, then in the Southeast prior to the end of 2008. I do not have a lot of contacts, or know very many people in the area. Being well networked in your community is part of going independent.  I'm a very introverted person and don't really attract people to me anyway, so I've never been good at getting people's attention. Combine that with only having lived in eastern MA for 14 months, and I don't even know anyone I could train. My current clients (I only have six consistent ones. I had 12-15 back during the winter) attend that gym because it is close to their houses. I will probably offer them to some of the other under employed trainers there who are desperate for clients.

At some point, I would like to work independently, but it's going to be at a time when I have revenue built up from another venture. Right now, it would be incredibly difficult and likely unsuccessful. Right now, I can't even really afford to spend $10 to post ads on Craigslist.

Aug 28 13 11:50 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Anastacia Nikolaeva
Posts: 95
Brooklyn, New York, US


Yoga is great, and I appreciate the training I got, but career-wise, it's not less frustrating than personal training. The market is hugely over-saturated with both teachers and styles of yoga. Clients and class attendees will still drop in the summer. People will just disappear.

Of course, I'm certified in a style of yoga that isn't hugely popular, so finding studios that offer it is an enormous pain.

Actually, I'm heavily considering starting personal training. Equinox Fitness is offering to pay me to train to be a PT for them. Soul-sucking corporate gym work? Yup. But it's money, and I need it.

*sigh*

On the other hand, my yoga training changed my life for the better in many, many ways.
Aug 28 13 12:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Anastacia Nikolaeva
Posts: 95
Brooklyn, New York, US


Also, with yoga, you will still need to be independently insured. A lot of studios don't offer insurance for their teachers, and if you teach privates, you need to be covered.

I'm currently not. Hopefully soon, I'll be able to afford registering with the Yoga Alliance, witch is now offering a lot of awesome benefits, including liability insurance (I think it's about $100/year), discounts on a lot of services like ZipCar, and computer products, and yoga courses and products, and also affordable health insurance for teachers. Woot.
Aug 28 13 12:05 pm  Link  Quote 
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Model
Koryn
Posts: 35,821
Boston, Massachusetts, US


Anastacia Nikolaeva wrote:
Also, with yoga, you will still need to be independently insured. A lot of studios don't offer insurance for their teachers, and if you teach privates, you need to be covered.

I'm currently not. Hopefully soon, I'll be able to afford registering with the Yoga Alliance, witch is now offering a lot of awesome benefits, including liability insurance (I think it's about $100/year), discounts on a lot of services like ZipCar, and computer products, and yoga courses and products, and also affordable health insurance for teachers. Woot.

thanks for the info. I'm not looking to make a career specifically in yoga, but to use the additional education to broaden my work options within the industry, so I can make more by just being qualified to do more different things. If you have a few different types of certifications, and are training one on one, then also teaching some specific thing other than basic gym-type classes, it seems like you can do ok.

I LOVE training people, especially small groups, but I'm awful at marketing, self-promotion, and just getting people "hyped" over what I'm selling. I also know that, being five feet tall and having most people assuming I'm barely out of high school, doesn't help my credibility. Fitness culture is weird. I've seen big, burly trainers who totally suck at their jobs, sell huge packages just because they have big muscles, so people think they look like the "real thing." From my experience, yoga culture is not like that.

Aug 28 13 12:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Damon Banner
Posts: 85,249
Hayward, California, US


Koryn Locke wrote:
and thought that was going to be "the answer," finally, after years of having no real legit career option work out for me. I really had a lot of emotional weight hanging on that, and when it became apparent that - while I'm in the right general profession - I'm not in the right angle of that profession, and chain gyms definitely aren't going to work for me, it was like ... well... it feels sort of like when your girlfriend or boyfriend breaks up with you, and you're just useless for awhile emotionally.

maybe it's still the answer.

you are just in the wrong place. 

You can add yoga teaching on top of that. 

Maybe you can train and teach yoga at your current gym.  Maybe something else.... just keep flowing with it all like a reed of bamboo..     *bruce lee mode*

Aug 28 13 12:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Anastacia Nikolaeva
Posts: 95
Brooklyn, New York, US


Koryn Locke wrote:

thanks for the info. I'm not looking to make a career specifically in yoga, but to use the additional education to broaden my work options within the industry, so I can make more by just being qualified to do more different things. If you have a few different types of certifications, and are training one on one, then also teaching some specific thing other than basic gym-type classes, it seems like you can do ok.

I LOVE training people, especially small groups, but I'm awful at marketing, self-promotion, and just getting people "hyped" over what I'm selling. I also know that, being five feet tall and having most people assuming I'm barely out of high school, doesn't help my credibility. Fitness culture is weird. I've seen big, burly trainers who totally suck at their jobs, sell huge packages just because they have big muscles, so people think they look like the "real thing." From my experience, yoga culture is not like that.

Additional education is why I'm doing the Equinox thing. Part of the training is business and marketing, which I really need. I'm not great at putting myself out there, either. Actually, I'm downright terrible. It's an affliction. Hopefully, it will allow me to build my clientele, too.

But yeah, the more you know, the better you're off. Register with the YA after you get certified. Complete a 500-hour training when you're able to. It's an arbitrary system, but it gives credibility. YA mandates continued education, so you will have to always learn and grow in your teaching.

Build a web presence. Have a FB page, a website, a Tumblr, a blog, etc. I've been neglecting mine lately because, like you, I've been evaluating my options, but it does help.

For me, part of the struggle is that my yoga training is very traditional, and I honor a lot of those traditions. It's difficult for me to see how commercial and watered down yoga is becoming. And how yoga is to other professions as acting is to modeling.

"Oh, you're too short to model? Try acting!"

"Oh, you're aren't good enough to be a pro dancer? Teach yoga!" or "Oh, you aren't getting enough modeling work? Teach yoga!"

I'm coming to terms with the fact that I'm going to need to start capitalizing on my appearance to do well. I don't like it, but that's life, I guess. I kind of hate that I'm just another skinny white chick teaching yoga.

Aug 28 13 12:36 pm  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
Robb Mann
Posts: 10,008
Baltimore, Maryland, US


The yoga training will be awesome, it'll give you more options, but what you're essentially doing is trying to start your own business. Be sure to brush up on that side of things too. Keep your contacts from the gym, network, network, network!
Sep 01 13 10:09 am  Link  Quote 
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Model
Koryn
Posts: 35,821
Boston, Massachusetts, US


This week, I'm going to some drop in classes at the place I'm most specifically considering for certification classes. It sucks because just drop-in classes are $15 each, and $15 is a lot for me to spend right now. But, ultimately, when I finally get up the nerve to put in the two weeks' notice at the gym, I'll be cocktail waitressing an extra night every week, so I will actually be making a living wage again, which will be a relief. I want to wait until I'm 100% decided on a certificate program before I tell the gym I'm leaving. That way, the regional manager can't try to reason with me to get me to stay on for awhile. It sounds strange, but I just can't afford to work there anymore. It's an hour-long commute round-trip every day, and sometimes more because Monday-Wednesday, I often end up doing split shifts, leaving for four hours in the afternoon and having to be back at 4pm, so I'm driving an insane amount every week.
Sep 01 13 01:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Vintagevista
Posts: 10,594
Sun City, California, US


If the regional manager is going to try to talk you out of it - he values your participation

Leverage??

Can you leverage your way to better times, income, from them?  Enough that it will give you the room to work on this next phase?
Sep 01 13 02:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Carle Photography
Posts: 9,227
Oakland, California, US


Damon Banner wrote:
my personal philosophy this week is to not worry about making bad decisions.  Just live my life.  And when I'm dead, I'll have a smile BECAUSE i lived.

< ---Aspires to be more like Damon...

Sep 01 13 03:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Mischief Vixen
Posts: 5,661
Toledo, Ohio, US


This sounds like a really positive idea for you. I think you'd be a great yoga teacher.
Sep 02 13 09:07 am  Link  Quote 
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Model
Koryn
Posts: 35,821
Boston, Massachusetts, US


Vintagevista wrote:
If the regional manager is going to try to talk you out of it - he values your participation

Leverage??

Can you leverage your way to better times, income, from them?  Enough that it will give you the room to work on this next phase?

the regional manager loves me. He hired me on the spot, at the interview, despite the fact I had zero experience. But, ultimately, he is not in charge of anything. Pay scales are set by corporate ownership, are specific and bases on percentages of sales. There aren't real "promotions" there. For example, after you sale $3000 in training, for three months straight, you move up to "Tier 3" and make something like 3% more on your commissions. Benefits are also based on sales. You earn one vacation day for every $5000 you sale. Virtually no one earns vacation pay. You just can't hit that for more than a few months out of the year, so it's a system that's set up to prevent employees from increasing percentages of commissions, and also to prevent us from consistently earning benefits.

Even the manager who likes me a lot admitted to everyone at staff meeting that he gets bitched out every week about why sales never hit goal numbers, how he's got to ride our asses until we earn more, and how he can get production up. He's perpetually stressed out, and sweating and you can tell right after the ownership gives him hell because he comes into the weekly sales meeting with psoriasis all over his neck. He also told us that neither of the head dudes who co-own the company know any of our names, don't want to know our names, just our sales numbers every week, and that we're "all expendable to them." even if that guy wanted to help out an employee move forward, it wouldn't happen. He's under so much pressure to sale sale sale sale sale, I don't think he's going to last much longer.

My coworker who's been there for eight years, and hates life, everyone and everything, said most of the managers last a year or two at most until they can't take it anymore, or develop a drinking problem and have to go into rehab. I laughed, but really, it's not funny.

Sep 02 13 03:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
A S Photography
Posts: 1,211
Newark, Delaware, US


I suspect that other gyms will have the same financial issues (you only get 20% and they have the same seasonality problem).

There appear to be some personal training companies in Boston.  Can you work for / through any of them? Hopefully one that doesn't place the emphasis on selling supplements.
Sep 02 13 05:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Artist/Painter
Two Pears Studio
Posts: 3,317
Wilmington, Delaware, US


Sent you a pm.
Sep 02 13 06:37 pm  Link  Quote 
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