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ACE-certified Success Stories

Wendy Williamson
ACE-certified Personal Trainer
Gold-Certified Advanced Fitness Specialist
Genesis Health Club
Witchita, Kansas

2nd Runner-up, 2005 ACE Personal Trainer of the Year

After teaching school and coaching, I arrived at the fitness club ready for a good run and workout when I noticed a personal trainer working with a lady. The fitness program seemed basic and they appeared to be having lots of fun. I thought to myself, "I can do that. I could work one-on-one with an individual just as easily as I can teach 30 students in a classroom." It was on that day in 1995 that I began asking a lot of questions and pursuing a personal training certificate from the American Council on Exercise.

My persistence was a pure leap of faith, as I did not know what training would entail. I had worked within the confines of school health (coached and taught health and physical education), public health and corporate health. It wasn't until an international fitness consultant overheard me while I was conducting a personal fitness assessment that I thought I might have a career waiting to emerge. He said, "You've got it, you have the necessary skills." and I knew the opportunity had presented itself. It was up to me to develop the opportunity.

If I was going to change my career, I knew I had to give it my all. That was the only way it could be since I was single and no one was going to do it for me. I was raised to work hard and I knew that someday my hard work was going to pay off. I attended personal training seminars, observed other trainers, developed my own skills and gained knowledge. My "investment spending" included studying for hours, asking a lot of questions, performing many consultation-training sessions and building a professional network. The clients began to come my way. Eventually, my schedule took hold, and today, I train between 40-50 hours per week.

What is truly meaningful to me is my ability to make a difference, to improve a person's quality of life, and see them reach their goals. What a privilege. It is hugely rewarding.

And through it all, I have never truly left the classroom. Through my tenure as a personal trainer, I have continued to teach at the collegiate level and continued on as a student myself, pursuing my Ph.D. in exercise science. I continue to have the opportunity to teach trainers and spend time with those beginning their careers. During the last few years, I have also had the chance to speak locally, regionally and nationally.

The best piece of advice I can give new and experienced trainers is to build yourself a network of exceptional people who know more than you. I am fortunate to have a network of medical and fitness contacts I consult with on a frequent basis. Through these individuals, I continue to learn, grow and develop further knowledge.

In addition, when fitness professionals view our field in the highest regard, and prepare ourselves in the highest manner, we can only expect great things. We can never sell ourselves short. We must continue to dream big and have faith that perseverance will result in rewards beyond measure.

INSPIRE,MOTIVATE,EDUCATE...become ACE-certifed today!