Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I am ready for a J-O-B! (Maybe)

So, I have been MIA in blogging lately. Last week I sat for my ACE Fitness Certified Personal Trainer Exam.  The 2 weeks prior, I studied like a maniac, trying to review everything I had studied since January.  Every spare minute was dedicated to studying whilst also having the kids home full-time. (School just started this Monday for 2/3 kids. Preschooler is home with me for another 2 weeks). I was pretty stressed, completely worried that I wouldn't pass the exam.  Failing was not an option as far as I was concerned. I had invested enough time and money into this that I didn't want to have to start over again.  So, that was my focus.  I am fortunate to have a husband who is completely supportive of me, and was able to help out as much as possible during the last couple weeks.  That included cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and keeping the kids out of my hair as much as possible. That, on top of working full-time, was a challenge for him. But I so appreciated it, and I feel that I would not have been successful without all his help and support. I am truly blessed to have a supportive spouse.
  So, yes, I did pass!! I drove to Harrisburg to take the exam at a testing center.  It took me almost 3 hours to complete the multiple choice exam.  It was challenging, and covered much of what I had studied.  I was relieved to see several questions that were "easy" and I was able to answer without hesitation.  There were a few, though, that it was difficult to distinguish the "best answer".  I tried to go with my first instinct, but did backtrack a couple of times.  I will never know what the right answer is, since you don't get to see the answers to your test afterwards, and to tell you the truth, all the questions went right out of my head as soon as I clicked on "Submit" on the exam.  What a relief to see that I had passed!
  Now the question is, what do I do with my certification?  I have been pondering that since I left Harrisburg that day.  I am also a Registered Nurse, but have not practiced since I was pregnant with my second child (11 years ago).  Ideally, I would like to incorporate Nursing and Personal Training together.  That could include being a "Wellness Educator", or something along those lines.  Currently, I have a couple of opportunities lined up.  In September, I will start coaching a "Running 101" program through the local YMCA.  I will be a run coach, with beginner runners preparing for a 5K race on Thanksgiving.  I am also starting a running group with the local running store. We will meet on Saturday mornings to do long runs together. 
  Neither of these are permanent jobs, but they are a start.  They are two opportunities to give me some experience and will hopefully lead me to another job.  I am also going to a Job Fair tomorrow, hoping to find some more opportunities. 
  I am excited for this new opportunity.  I am thrilled to finally find out what I want to do, my "passion". I am looking forward to help and inspire others to live a healthy life.

Are you happy with your chosen profession?
Do you ever think about trying something new? What stops you?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

J'aime beaucoup: Oiselle HQ

 While I was in Seattle post-Ragnar NWP, I had the privilege and honor to visit Oiselle headquarters.  Some of the Oiselle ladies in the area were meeting at Green Lake across the street to enjoy some post-Ragnar Jasyoga with Erin, yogi extraordinaire.  As it was a bit misty and chilly outdoors, we decided to move indoors.  Which led us to the headquarters of Oiselle. So exciting for me, since I have been a fan of this company for more than a year, and was selected to be part of their ambassador program (now called Oiselle VolĂ©e ) last October.  Before I headed to the West Coast, I had received an email from Kristin, the team manager, to let me know that I once again had been selected to continue on for another year. Yay me! And Yay Oiselle!
  It almost seemed surreal to me to enter the place that I had seen online so often since stalking following this company. Meeting some of the ladies was also a bit unreal to me.  You follow people through twitter and read their blogs, and start to feel like you know them is some strange, (maybe creepy?) way.  Meeting them in real life seems easier and seamless.  Sharing the bond of the Oiselle team definitely connects us. 
 As does doing yoga with a bunch of (virtual, now real) friends.  We chatted for a few minutes, then got set up for a great yoga session with Erin.  We worked on stretching glutes, hamstrings, hips and calves.  All the tight areas from sitting in a van for 30 plus hours and running many miles in between.  We ended the session with one of my personal favorites, legs up the wall.  The time just flew by, and by the end I was feeling very relaxed and felt like I had really worked out the kinks.  Just what I needed!
 But one of the greatest surprises to me was the appearance of Mama Bird herself, Sally Bergesen .  She is the Founder and CEO of Oiselle.  I was not expecting to see her appear on a Sunday morning, but there she was.  I was honored to meet her in person, and she agreed to take a photo with me.
What a nice way to cap off my visit to the PNW! Thanks Sally!
  And Sally also took this great picture of all the ladies at Yoga:
back row, left to right: Me, Morena, Sarah, Julie, Nolana
front row: Robyn, Erin and Jackie
And, to add to all the excitement, I also won the drawing for a free t-shirt from Jasyoga! How cool is that? 

So, now that I had a great yoga class, met a group of fantastic woman, and won a free t-shirt, what was next?  Sarah was nice enough to offer to drive me back downtown to where I was staying, and we decided to stop off for a coffee first.  We had a great conversation, getting to know each other better.  She then suggested we take a walk around Green Lake, since the weather had improved considerably. It was now warmer, and sunnier. So nice! (Sarah, and the weather)
 We took a nice stroll around Green Lake, talking about Oiselle, marathon training, our families, etc. She also gave me some great suggestions on how to spend my last afternoon in Seattle. After taking a couple of photos, she drove me back to my hotel. 

 How cute is Sarah? Such a sweet spirit, inside and out! So glad I got to meet her.
  Once arriving back at my hotel, and after arranging for my shuttle to the train which would take me to the airport later in the day, I headed to the waterfront and the market area of Seattle. It was a gorgeous, sunny day. I loved walking around, taking photos, riding the Ferris Wheel and eating lunch at Beecher's  and buying souvenirs to take home for my family.  I also stumbled upon Post Alley by accident and saw the The Gum Wall. Yeah, could have done without that, being the germaphobe that I am! Yuck!
  After a fun filled afternoon, it was time to head back to the hotel, and then to the airport. 
 This trip was better than even my best expectations.  I enjoyed the Ragnar Relay, meeting all the great Nuun people, other bloggers, the Oiselle team members, Erin from Jasyoga, and of course, Sally. Special thanks to Nuun Hydration and Oiselle for making my trip to the PNW so wonderful!