As another New Year gets underway, most of us are afflicted with either guilt over the way we’ve let our bods deteriorate, or being bored to death listening to other peoples’ similar stuff. Worst of all, of course, is having to hear all of the penitential resolutions about joining a gym, starting a work out program, etc. ad nauseum. On a more tolerant note, good intentions are better than nothing, but only if they’re acted upon. Yet, for the many of us who routinely gym it, the arbitrary changing of the calendar year has, gratefully, little meaning. The one thing that we do, however, notice, is that all of the gyms throughout the country are now jam-packed with new members. Converts, if you will, to a healthier lifestyle. True, most of these folks will go a few times, and then lapse back into their idle slothfulness. So the crowds you see will soon disappear into their couches, leaving more work out space for the rest of us. (How to burn extra calories at work!)
The gym is, in many ways, a microcosm of the office. Gyms have, after all, a series of goals and objectives, staff, an operating budget, a bottom line and the usual plethora of problems intrinsic to all companies. Ironically, and if we’re honest about it, some of us do a helluva lot more work in the gym than at the office. And, to compound the felony, or paradox, we’re paying to work at the gym, yet get paid for being at the office. So much so, that we often think, especially when we’re totally disgusted with the cube life, about how great it would be to work in a gym. Sorta like the ‘kid in a candy store’ analogy. Hmmm.
Here’s a summary of the three most common gym jobs that could, with some work on your part, be a career change option. Or, maybe not…
While the trainer may look and sound like a stereotype of a typical Army Drill Sergeant, replete with leather lungs, the reality is that this job calls for a lot of training in physiology, bio-mechanics, athletics and coaching methods. There are certifications to be achieved, and licenses to be obtained. The trainer has to be patient, communicative and responsive. Often, trainers, like hairdressers, have their own following and are considered the top of the gym food chain. The training that trainers must do to keep fit is done on their own time.
Though it may seem that lifeguards do nothing but loll around a pool, the reality is that they must be alert, very alert, in insuring swimmer safety. And that means that they never take their eyes off the pool. They also mediate disputes such as ‘he scratched me with his fins’, or ‘she splashed water on my face’ kind of stuff, while also stopping horse play, diving in the pool’s shallow end, and a host of other injurious possibilities. Usually certified as lifeguards by the American Red Cross, many are also capable of rendering CPR, as well as less ominous first aid. So, and if you love the smell of chlorine burning your nostrils all day, then this may well be the job for you. But, and like their Personal Trainer colleagues, you don’t get to swim on duty, except in a rescue situation.
Blending tranquility with agility, the Yoga coach seems to have the best of all worlds at the gym. The room’s dark, the music is mantra-ish and the poses are a lot more difficult to do (and hold) than they at first seem to be. Make no mistake, this too is a highly skilled job, and the more legitimate coaches have a lot of yoga practice years under their loosely fitting belts. Having less personal interaction than the trainer, yet more engaged than the lifeguard, the yoga coach gets to lead classes where talking is just not appropriate. But, at least this coach, unlike the above counterparts, gets to actually exercise as part of the daily gig.
Depending on the type of gym you use, the times you go, and what your fitness objectives are, will pretty much determine who your work out colleagues will be. Sure, there will be the narcissists crowding in front of the full-length mirrors, eying and admiring every curve and sweep of their muscles, and the exhibitionists, who persist in thinking that everyone else wants to watch them, as they groan and sweat while struggling to lift excessive weights. No gym would be worthy of the name without also having its’ machine hogs, the people who are obsessed with staying on one machine for what seems like forever.
Doesn’t sound that much different than life at the cube factory, does it?
This career advice blog post is by Jobacle.com team member Victor Kipling.
Career Resolutions for 2011:
Career Resolution #5: Leave Work in the Past
Career Resolution #4: Become a Parrot
Career Resolution #3: Get Updated!
Career Resolution #2: Take a January Vacation Day
Career Resolution #1: Drink More Water (How Water Saved My Career)