The rain was drizzling down not unlike Boston or Seattle when we pulled in the driveway last night. We had spent 12 of the last 36 hours in the car and were worn down to nearly nothing. I shuffled over to the front door, unlocked it, then listlessly flopped open the mailbox, only to discover a certificate sized-envelope from ACE Fitness.
I then spent the next ten minutes running around the house in glee, shouting “It’s here! It’s here!”, much to the consternation of the puppies and the exhausted amusement of Lor. Funny, that.
Recognition In An Envelope
I eventually calmed down enough to open the envelope, and was able to spend a few moments basking in the glow of my achievement. There, in my hands, suitable for framing, was my ACE Fitness Personal Trainer Certificate.
You might find my enthusiasm a little odd. I’ve just finished getting my first book published. I’ve spent the last 14 months losing nearly half my body weight. Why all the excitement about a professional certification?
Mainly because I wasn’t sure I could manage to earn the certification.
My novel is very exciting. Losing 130+ pounds has been life-changing. But the certification…it involved using my brain. Extensively. Including parts that don’t work so well anymore – mainly my memory. I can barely remember my own name half the time. And I was supposed to learn enough to get through a 150 question exam? On subjects that I knew almost nothing about?
Remember, I am the guy that flunked out of Biology twice in High School.
So, yeah. This is a really, really big deal for me.
Base Camp Achieved
Let’s take a look back in the rear-view mirror, shall we?
In September of 2015, I was morbidly obese. I weighed almost 300 pounds, and the majority of life was barred from me.
In September of last year, I was 2 months out from bariatric surgery. I was down to 224 pounds and was beginning to think that I had achieved my weight loss goals.
And as of last night, I am professionally certified to assist others with their own fitness journeys. How about that?
If the “weight-loss” journey is like climbing a mountain, I can safely say I’ve reached a major base camp before tackling the higher parts of the ascent.
I needed a publisher to get my novel written. I needed an awesome medical team to get me started losing weight. But I had to take that ACE Fitness exam all by myself. With a broken brain, no less.
This achievement was personal.
The Climb Goes Ever Upwards
So, I am a certified professional. Now I am going to start taking on clients and building a practice, right?
Well, no. Not exactly.
I began my CPT training largely due to Misdirected. I kept fielding questions. About diet. Or about exercise. Maybe pertaining to obesity and surgery and genetics and fat-shaming.
And I did my best to answer these questions, I really did. But, anytime someone would ask me what my qualifications were, I would have to say something like “Well, I used to weigh a lot more…”
I realized that I was going to have to expand my scope of knowledge, and in an organized way. Certified education seemed to make the most sense. Since I am mainly dealing with questions about day-to-day life, becoming a personal trainer just made the most sense.
When creating content for Misdirected, I now have the backing of an international organization with 65,000+ healthcare professionals to draw on. I can look through my manuals, check online training, or chat with fellow trainers. I feel much more secure now, creating content from the perspective of a trained professional.
Also, this isn’t the end of my education. My intention all along has been to specialize in working with obese patients, especially those who are looking into or who have just gone through bariatric surgery. There is additional training available for me to broaden my knowledge in those fields. And I will be pursuing it, as time goes by.
A Laser-Like Focus
Also, now that I’ve split my fiction news off to a whole new website at the Ash Falls Gazette, Misdirected can get back to what it does best. We will return to exclusively focusing on weight loss, exercise, diet, and the occasional “this is my life” post. Many of you have requested that change, and here it is.
I am very excited to have made it this far with all of you! I look forward to our continued growth as a weight-loss and lifestyle change resource for you.
We’ll see you here next week. To stay plugged in throughout the week, remember to follow us on Twitter @tjschofield or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tjeremyschofield.
Keep Putting One Foot In Front Of The Other,
Jeremy C. Schofield
ACE Certified Professional Trainer