During the last 26 years, we’ve certified over 119,000 health, nutrition, and fitness professionals. Each month, we recognize one of our distinguished graduates who use what they have learned to inspire others and make a difference.
How did you initially become interested in health and wellness?
It was while attending college that I discovered a GREAT passion for learning about how the body can heal itself and what we can do to help it heal. It led me to obtain a BS degree in Biology with a minor in Biochemistry. While there, I also started learning kickboxing and self-defense. I spent years training in the art of kickboxing with the International Karate Association in Alaska. I started training as a way to protect myself on a very potentially unsafe college campus. I quickly became hooked on how strong and fearless I would feel after a session. The teachings have stuck with me for almost two decades now. I really stepped back into training over the last few years. I can’t imagine not living my life by the principle and practices of the sport—respect, self-control, integrity, and courage. Feeling the strength that it has given me in both my mind and body have been invaluable! In fact, these practices have even helped me to lose 100 lbs, manage my Hashimoto’s (thyroid disease) and fibromyalgia, recover from two high-risk pregnancies, and overcome a spinal fusion with a plate and pins in my lower back and a plate in my foot. Having to navigate all of these obstacles has helped me to better relate to my clients from all different backgrounds and places in their lives.
Which certification did you choose, and why did you choose AFPA?
I happened upon AFPA while trying to find an accredited Kickboxing Instructor certification. I was instantly impressed by the recognitions and accreditations that AFPA has. I also loved that they update their course materials to keep their graduates current and have so much knowledge and support. The payment plan option not only allowed me to afford my KI certification but also continue my education even further and receive my Personal Training certification.
What was your career like prior to getting certified?
I wasn’t actively pursuing a career in the fitness part of the health industry prior to getting certified because I was overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start. I had a business in wellness, but I wasn’t too motivated to actively build it.
What is your career like now?
I can’t even believe how incredibly FAST my business is growing since I made the announcement that I was AFPA certified! Not only did it give me the confidence to pursue the career of my dreams, but it also gave others around me the confidence to trust me enough to become my clients.
What are your favorite parts of your career?
Being able to integrate kickboxing and personal training with my background in wellness has been such an incredible blessing! When I am teaching any of my classes, I am in a place of pure joy. It is by no means work. I approach all my classes with fun and enthusiasm. It is not about how well a student performs; it is about the joy that they have while learning and improving their overall health.
Do you have any client success stories you would like to share?
I have so many awesome clients and success stories, but one of the first ones that pops into my head is one of a woman who came to her first class so very shy and timid. When she came in a week later for the next class, her whole body posture had changed. She was standing taller, had such confidence, and had her guard up like she’d been doing it her whole life. When I looked at her with a huge smile, she exclaimed, “Today, I invoke my inner warrior Goddess!” That was the moment I knew I was totally hooked on empowering others to feel happier and healthier.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering a career in holistic health?
Follow your passions! If you love to incorporate health and wellness into your own life, then that love and passion will be felt by the people around you. When they see you walking the walk, they will more readily trust you to help them walk theirs. Trust is key in obtaining and maintaining client relationships!