ETA: I started this post weeks ago. It felt good to write things out, but I got distracted toward the end & never finished. I was hoping that in the mean time I would get my results, but I still wait. I've already told many of you this same info, so feel free to skim over. In case you don't know, read on.
Last weekend I attended a Personal Trainer Fitness Certification through AFAA. This is something that I've wanted to do for sometime. Especially since I have no college education it does give me some credibility to be certified in my area of work. Since coming on as Wellness Coordinator, I also took on being the head of Personal Training at my Y. Even if I didn't take on clients myself it would be helpful if I was certified & knowledgeable in leading my team of personal trainers.
Truthfully before taking this course, I already knew most of the material. In fact, I teach and certify the Y's version of similar information. If I don't then I've taken the same course myself. Honestly, though, the Y is a little behind the curve on being up to date with the latest information. I don't speak this in a negative manner. However being a non for profit organization, focusing more on member relations is more prominent that being on the cutting edge of fitness information. As a result, the Y does not have specific certification courses to make one a Personal Trainer. So we turn to other well known, credible organizations that do.
So fa-la-la-la-la, off I go to this training. I skimmed over the ginormous book that I was sent, but didn't otherwise stress. I had to travel 50 miles (each way) going to/from the training. I could have gotten a hotel, but after realizing that Jim commutes 30 miles a day I figured I could handle it for just the weekend. It was a very enjoyable training. I did learn a few new things or had things presented/taught in ways that I had never heard before. Very informative & refreshing. The trainer was wonderful, did a really great job!
After 2 days of classroom learning we were armed & ready with all the info that we needed to study for the test. I had been taking notes all along the way. Once I got home I buckled down and re-wrote all my notes out in chronological order. Look up more information & noted that. Completed the study guide pages like the trainer recommended. Of course I was balancing all of this with my family time. After all they wanted to be fed supper once I walked in the door and I needed to go buy groceries since we were low on many things. (Yes, Jim offered to do the shopping for me, but I had so much to get and.....well, just somethings are better done the normal way then delegating it out.) So I guess it didn't happen as soon as I got home. But I did at some point feel like an actual student & pulled out my info and got to work. Before I knew it it was late so even though I wasn't done, I went to bed.
Annnnnd I was back up at 4:30 a.m. My plan was to finish studying, go for a run, then review one last time before heading out for my last day of training & testing. I fully admit I'm not good at time management. I did however realized how much studying/reviewing I still needed to do so I gave up on the idea of running that morning (oh you know I got a run in at some point that day, but it wasn't in place of studying. See, running isn't always put first before everything else). Eventually the time came where I needed to hit the road. I was slightly nervous, but also full of confidence.
Specifically what I was nervous about wasn't about if I knew the information or not. I know it, I've been working in this area for over 17 years. I've learned a lot. I've completed plenty of various training. I train people myself on it. I KNOW IT! I'm not perfect or "know it all" & I fully realize I don't have a BS behind my name. But all my years of experience and what I believe is a God given talent has given me what no college degree can, besides a bunch of factual information floating inside of my head. What I was nervous about was could I pass THEIR test. I'm not a good book learner or test taker. I don't even think I'm a very smart person. (And I don't mean that as a put down to myself, so don't lecture me. I'm just being honest with my strengths & weaknesses). Testing can be so tricky because it's a group of answers that they are looking for. I could be a genius and still fail any given test.
Enough of that though I had to get there & just getting the testing over with. On my 50 mile drive there I heard a noise that made me look in my rear view mirror & wonder what I ran over. I saw nothing. Odd, or maybe just a bump in the road. I continued on. About 10 miles later I started to hear a really weird, really loud noise. Is that me? Is that the radio? What is that noise? The car still seemed to be driving fine, but to err on the side of caution I pulled over. And this is what I found:
I was actually closer to my training than I was home, but I called Jim to come help me out. I'm sure I could have figured it out if I had to, but I've never actually changed a flat time. Call me old fashion or whatever, but I just rely on my husband to take care of things like that for me. Yeah, I'm a big girl, yeah I'm tough and strong. In some ways I'm independent, but in many ways not....that is what my husband is for. I lean on him, trust him to take care of me.,,,,and he always does! So instead of trying to do it myself out on the interstate with cars & trucks zooming past me where it was really cold & windy and it started to snow, I called for help & waited to be rescued.
I knew that within reason my tardiness would not be held against me. I did my best to remain calm & remember that God IS in control of things anyway. I used the down time to study a little bit more, although honestly I was fairly distracted. Once my knight in shining armor (Jim) got there he got to work to get the doughnut tire put on. I was still under the assumption that it was "just a flat", but when he arrived & got the tire out, I had a better glimpse of what had happened:
Once we got things taken care of Jim took the car back home & I continued on with the van to my training. My training continued on for the rest of the day, it contained a lot of review & prepping for the test. Our trainer was very good at teaching to the test, meaning she was very specific with what we did/didn't need to know. We had a practical portion of the test, in addition to a multi-choice 125 question test. The practical portion of the test seemed to be no problem. I might have messed up a little bit, but nothing drastic. The written portion went well, this is what I was most nervous about. I tried my best to remain calm & go with my natural instinct with what I knew to be right. When I was done I still had an hour left & I began to go back over all my answers. After the first few questions though I suddenly had a peace come over me & realized I had done to best that I could. Going back over questions was pointless & I might even be over thinking or talking myself out of the right answers so it was best I just leave it alone.
Now for the really hard part: I have to wait 4-6 weeks for my test results. I'm sure I did fine on my practical exam. It's the written portion I wait & see how things went. Even if for some reason I don't pass, I don't feel it's a bad reflection of my skills. It just means I didn't answer their questions they way they wanted me to. From a trainer stand point myself I know that test questions can be very specific and worded rather difficult. I'm trying my best to remain calm & collected, but it's really killing me to find out how I did. I really want to pass & be able to say I'm a CERTIFIED personal trainer! So I wait & I promise to let you all know one way or another how things come out.