I never believed that I could build a career as a fitness professional.
In my twenties, I dreamt about a career in fitness. I worked full time, and teaching “aerobics” was my side hustle. I led classes only on evenings and weekends to make extra cash.
I thought teaching group exercise classes could never be a full-time career path for me. In the traditional model, the salary wasn’t enough to live on. I also had so many limiting beliefs about what a fitness pro looked like that I talked myself out of the possibility of working in the industry. I was fine with it because I also loved my career as a recruiter and HR professional.
Fast-forward to my thirties.
I was a stay-at-home mom looking to earn extra income doing something I loved. I began to think more creatively about how fitness worked as a career for someone like me, a full-time caregiver to my twins. I found part-time, flexible fitness jobs that I could bring my babies to—either as participants in Mom & Baby classes, or where there was free gym childcare. Suddenly working in the fitness industry was a very realistic option for me.
As I met moms in my exercise classes who were going through career transitions, I felt compelled to help them with their job searches. I certainly had the skills and knowledge after my early career experience in recruitment/HR. I coached my new friends on their transferable skills, wrote their resumes and LinkedIn profiles, and supported their interview prep.
You can build a career doing two or more things you love and are good at. That’s what CareerFit Mom is for me.
I remember the first CareerFit Mom Boot Camp I offered. I felt so validated because I sent out an email to some of my mom friends and within two days had twelve people registered. Some of those clients are still exercising with CareerFit Mom after ten years! (Thank you!!)
Those early classes were so easy to get off the ground. I decided to try something. I put it out there to the world. And I showed up with my best intentions to provide an exceptional experience.
The formula was successful. I hired my first instructor (yay, Teresa!) and, after a few years in different parks and dance studios, I joined forces with oaks ‘n acorns (yay, Winnie & Nicole!). Eventually, CareerFit Mom employed ten instructors and hosted over fourteen classes a week. Hundreds of women have exercised with us in East York. We grew a community, and it felt amazing to be a part of it.
People told me that CareerFit Mom classes were more than just a workout. They were a place where they felt they belonged. In an age where social isolation is a predictor of mental health challenges, I was honoured that our class setting provided moms the connections they needed to feel healthy on a more holistic level.
Running CareerFit Mom classes was my dream job. Especially the teaching part! If you’ve ever been to my classes, I hope you felt how much I loved and appreciated the opportunity to facilitate your workout.
Over time, I moved away from teaching. Physically, I couldn’t sustain the high levels of exercise. Financially, I needed to scale my business. I’m grateful that demand continued to grow on the career development side of my business. Coaching and writing personal brand materials is a lot easier on my body!
In early 2019 I began feeling “off” about the CareerFit Mom group classes in East York: for many reasons, including the fact that I was barely seeing the community of moms who are our clients. My family and I moved to a new home sixty minutes away from East York in 2017 and while I continued to commute each week, I felt uncomfortable with how much time I was away from my family. My girls are twelve now, and this is a precarious time in their lives that I want to be present for.
I’ve also felt called to do something different with my fitness offering. It took my new friend and neighbour in Uxbridge to show me what is possible with online services. (Thank you, Patti!)
I decided in April that I will no longer operate live classes in East York. Making that decision was incredibly hard. Admitting it to myself made me feel like I was going to vomit.
2019 marks my tenth anniversary in business. Celebrating this milestone is my evidence that I can build a community and programs that support it. I know how to do that in East York, and I don’t yet know how to do that online. I am ready to grow personally and professionally in this new direction. And I’m big time scared–that’s how I know it’s the right thing to do.
I’ve coached countless women who are making a career pivot and I finally experienced the feeling of terror that they’ve gone through. Sure, starting my business ten years ago was a pivot from working as a full-time HR generalist. I was fearful then, too. Now, switching one of my business’s major revenue generators to something so unknown for me (online fitness) is incredibly hard.
I understand that fear equals growth. While I’m unsure of how the next phase in my business is going to play out, I am confident that I’m expanding in ways that will provide more value to more women. That really excites me.
Our brains look for past evidence of success when we’re making a change. I have no evidence of success with virtual fitness. I launched a video-based product eight years ago, hated how I looked on camera, and never marketed it!
If you’re feeling “off” about your current job, please take a closer look at what else is possible for you. I have a calling to create and distribute my new online fitness service, Vitality Practice with Beth. My rational mind hates this idea. My heart knows it’s the right way to go.
Our last CareerFit Mom class on the Danforth is June 27. To all of you who’ve taken classes with us, thank you. It’s been so wonderful to serve you.
I am naturally a community builder and will find a way to do so online, in my own special way. If you want to explore joyful movement with me, I’d love to exercise with you in your home. You can participate by streaming the online videos I’m filming. Each month I’ll deliver a new Movement Journey to support your vitality practice with exercise that manifests in your healthy, beautiful body and calm, clear mind.
I’d love to experience this next iteration of CareerFit Mom fitness with you, if it resonates. Please let me know if you have any questions at all, and thank you for your ongoing support.