I spent the first 3 years of my coaching career as a group fitness instructor. While my work gave me fulfillment, I felt a disconnect in the purpose of delivering deeper value to the people I worked with and towards my personal vision.
In this time, I considered leaving the fitness profession multiple times because I wasn’t certain if I could sustain a lifelong practice of earning a living through hourly wages.
In 2019, I moved to the city of Mumbai, India (one of the most expensive places to live in the country) and started working with a functional fitness affiliate gym full-time as a group fitness instructor while also working with personal training clients.
In my time there, I realized I was able to deliver more value and build deeper connections in the 1-to-1 setting. As much as group fitness was important to my personal growth as a coach in building a better coach’s eye and developing better movement-specific cueing, that is all it did.
What I could not justify to myself time and again was not providing deeper-level fitness solutions and connections for these individuals in this setting.
As a result, training 1-on-1 became an important part of my growth as a coach. It led to deeper connections, respecting capabilities and extending the fitness dialogue outside the environment of the training space. It became more crucial at this point to understand and respect personal capabilities.
A big part of taking on the personal challenge of moving to Mumbai was to be financially independent as a fitness coach. I did manage to make ends meet (credit to my affiliate providing me with the opportunity to build my network and take on work) but it was challenging to say the least.
I lacked security and safety and felt I could not take time off as it would be a loss of income.
While I did earn a living in the hours I was at work, the ones I wasn’t working I was draining wealth. It was changing my relationship with money and what gave me joy (educating individuals and delivering fitness) was now burning me out mentally, physically and emotionally.
I had been following OPEX for sometime now and had an idea and understanding of their principles and, at the end of 2019, I had my first call with my coach advocate (thank you Meghan).
Fast forward to 2020 and the entire world stood still. Gyms were closed and, like many people, I had lost my source of income overnight.
During the health crisis, the first thing to take a hit all over the world were fitness facilities. And so as the world stood still, I found my way back to the city of Gurgaon, only one year after my ‘big move’.
The only certainty being uncertainty—of health for my loved ones, of people I knew and of resources.
In March 2020, I was lacking hope of the present and future and had no idea what I was going to do. What followed next was nothing short of a miracle.
OPEX launched a scholarship spot during the pandemic and I was fortunate enough to be extended the privilege of learning from James and his team directly after my application. It was humbling and one of the most significant moments in my life that changed what was to come next.
The OPEX Coaching Certificate Program (CCP) gave me the tools and confidence to onboard and work with clients and what started out as a year without employment and loss of hope, soon became my best year as a fitness professional at the time.
I dedicated time to education and application of fitness, pivoted an in gym clientele to an online one, and continued to learn and grow as a fitness professional. My vision was clearer than ever and I was transitioning from merely surviving to thriving.
Fast forward to October 2021, I was in Mumbai once again but the affiliate facility that I worked with had closed doors and I transitioned to an online roster full time. Individual design became my bread and butter.
Today, I run a personal practice that allows me to work from wherever I am and deliver high-level value with a roster of 30+ clients. I am constantly looking at becoming better and growing as a coach and have clarity on what I need to do next for my practice.
It’s been almost 3 years since I’ve gone through the CCP. I am grateful for everything that it has allowed me to build to date and I know that I am now better equipped to work toward a brighter, more promising future.
CCP was the bridge for me to transition from what felt like the career of a part-time fitness trainer to a full-time fitness professional delivering deeper value to the people in my life.
Today I am a business owner and take pride in the value I get to deliver and what I have built.
The OPEX tribe is growing in my country and my fellow coaches and peers see the value in the individualized model and I couldn’t be happier that we are moving forward and growing as a community of professional coaches. Three years ago, I was one of the only coaches pursuing the OPEX curriculum in India (a country with 1.3 billion individuals) but since then we have had a lot more people sign up for the CCP, because there is more to be learned and value to be delivered.
Here is hoping we build a world where professional fitness information and coaching is accessible to more people!