11/19/12 Who Do You Think You Are?

Take a moment to get away from what you think is your crazy life and step into my crazy.

I fight with myself over things I might be good at. I wonder if everyone has this little voice inside that tries to sabotage everything you do. I mean, where does such negativity come from? And how can you even have this little negative voice if the positive choice was your decision in the first place? It’s like Sabby is my own little personal devil’s advocate. I almost hate to share this, for a variety of reasons, least of all that you’ll think I’m completely certifiable, but I have got to get this off my chest! This is my opportunity to check myself once and for all.

Ok so every so often I feel like asking myself, Monique, who do you think you are? You think just because you lost a bunch of weight you can now counsel other people on how to lose weight? You think because you exercise and dabble in strength training you can actually be a personal trainer to someone else? You think because you like to dance you can be a Zumba instructor? That’s what you think?

I have to admit I’m a little confused as to why my alter ego is doubting me. I mean, I’m me. And for the most part? I’m pretty fuckin’ fabulous, so with confidence I answer, YES, YES I DO!

And in my crazy, I respond, Like I said, just who, exactly, do you think you are??? Personal trainers are basically health professionals. Health professionals are pretty much scientists. You hate science and you aren’t really all that good at it. Your body is still a flabby mess. The only parts that are showing serious muscle tone are your arms. So what if you’re stronger? No one can SEE that. And face it, you are now entering into a career dominated by looks. YOU are gonna be judged by how you look. You have philosophical differences with the whole judging appearance thing. Yet this is the path you’ve chosen?

Your jump from personal trainer to scientist is weak at best. If not being good at science means it doesn’t come easy to me, then that’s true. Yeah, I have to study a whole lot harder than if this were math or literature, true. But the subject is independent of my level of intelligence. Though it may not come easy to me, I’m smart enough to not only grasp the concepts, but also practically apply them in real life. It may take me longer to understand, but it is definitely not beyond my level of comprehension. And so what if my body is still a flabby mess? That is TEMPORARY!!! I am a work in progress and I will continue to improve upon my body and my health. I look and feel better today than I did a month ago, let alone one year, 5 years, 10 years ago. As flabby as I may be, my before and after is still one hell of a transformation and one of which I am proud! It took commitment and dedication to achieve my goals. I’m not just stronger physically; I’m stronger mentally, too. I am entering a career dominated by health, not by looks. It may seem different from the outside looking in, but trust me, it is about health. People have always and will always judge me for how I look regardless of my profession. I truly do not believe it will hinder my success one bit. So, yes, this is the path I’ve chosen. I have chosen that which I am passionate about. I have found a way of helping people have a better quality of life in which I can also make a living. I can get paid to do what I love! Why are you hatin’???

So yeah, these are the conversations that are had in my head. When I first ordered my materials for my personal training certification course, I was so excited! Then they arrived and I felt completely inadequate and overwhelmed. But I told myself I could do this, and I began to study. That was four months ago. Today I realized I was more than 66% of the way through my course and could actually access my final exam online! I couldn’t believe it! When I first started the course, I felt like that was forever away and now here it is. I’m not going to start the exam, though. I just can’t work that way. I have to finish ALL the quizzes, then study ALL my notes, re-do the ENTIRE workbook/study guide, then take the practice exam. After ALLA THAT, I’ll start my final exam. Yes, it must be done that way. I’m a nerd, so it is imperative I not only pass the exam but that I also retain the information. My success depends on my knowing all this information, not just regurgitating it on a test. I only get one opportunity to re-take the exam if I don’t pass all sections. I am a perfectionist and it will devastate me to have to re-take any portion of the exam. I will somehow feel like less of a person. I wish I was kidding, but I’m so sincere. I only have two more sections (233 pages) to go before I’m all done with the 700-page text. So today I come home and try to plan to see how long it will take to finish the text. Then I look at the practice exam versus what will actually be on the final exam. And I got completely and totally overwhelmed. And scared. Again I began to think, who do you think you are??? And then I remembered a quote that I see on the ISSA message boards all the time:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” WHO SAID IT? MARGARET WILLIAMSON?
This quote speaks to me in so many different ways and I’m so glad they chose it. I will let my light shine; and in the spirit of my alma mater, I will pass it on to others! As my line-sister told me all those years ago, “Do it scared.” So I will press on. All I have to do is stay focused and study hard like I’ve been doing the past four months. I’ll treat it just like my weight loss, baby steps. I won’t even concern myself with the final exam for now. I haven’t been concerned about it; why get concerned just because I can access it online? Monique, you’re being ridiculous! Especially since you don’t even want to start the exam any time soon! Just focus on each section, unit by unit. And the next section is on your favorite topic: NUTRITION! I bet you are going to breeze through all six units in that section!

I think what scares me is the fact that I’m about to make a serious life change. I’m not just changing jobs, I’m entering a completely foreign career. And there is no chance of this not happening. It is inevitable. I mean, what else would I do? Waste the money I paid for the certification? Waste the time I’ve invested in studying for this exam? Of course not! So it’s like I’m stepping right out on faith and trusting that this is a good idea. Ultimately, I want to be a business owner, and this is scary to me for a variety of reasons, but that is another blog for another day. It’s just that when I think of the very near future, the unknown is so great, it makes me feel anxious. I have no idea what’s on the other side of all of this. I have a feeling, though, 2013 is going to be a good year and the start of many great years to come.

So here is my plan, if you could call it that. On Sunday, December 2, 2012, I am attending Zumba Instructor Training to become a certified Zumba instructor. On December 12, 2012, I am going to the American Red Cross to get certified in CPR/AED. I am anticipating receiving my personal training certification by the end of January 2013. I have until March 2013 to take the exam, but if I continue at the rate I’m going, I’ll be done by the end of January. Beyond that? I have absolutely no idea.

Ideally, I’d like my schedule to be super flexible. How do I picture it? I drop Reu off at school then go teach two Zumba classes or one Zumba class and one personal training client. Then I would pick up Reuben, drop him at day care, and then go work at Weight Watchers for a few hours. I could then pick up Reuben, go back to the gym for more training/Zumba while Reu played in the playroom for 90 minutes. My days would vary where his dad would pick him up so that I could put in more hours at whatever job I was working that day. I may even do early morning bootcamps outdoors in the spring, summer, and fall months. I just feel like the possibilities are endless. And when I think about it like this, I get excited. Again.

I got this.