Saturday, 1 October 2016

Back to school

So I'm studying to become a qualified Personal Trainer. This blog post will explain why, what's involved and how I see links with fitness training and other areas of my work.

I've long had an interest in fitness, but particularly in the last 7 or 8 years or so. My interests started on a very personal level as a quest for fitness and a changed image (both physically and mentally) of myself became part of how I reinvented myself after a difficult divorce, giving me motivation and fuel to become someone different, and better. I developed this into doing random endurance challenges to give focus to my fitness training, and learnt more about what fitness was and how to train. I've then developed this into racing in triathlons and from there fitness training has become a valued and indispensable part of my life.

I also have a professional interest in it. As a senior HR figure in several organisations I have had overall responsibility for health and wellbeing, and on occasion full blown health and safety too. I understand the links between physical and mental wellbeing, employee engagement, productivity and performance, and know that there is significant evidence to suggest that a fit and healthy employee (in every sense) will out perform one who is unfit and unhealthy. So I push these things at work too.

And I'm doing the qualifications to further my own knowledge and seek recognition or accreditation for the knowledge I already have. They are likely to help me improve my own training, and help me improve the health and wellbeing programmes I oversee in work.

I'm lucky enough to work for a qualifications provider so I can get easy access to the qualifications, and feel fortunate in this regard as access hasn't been easy in previous roles despite my enquiring!

I've blogged on the HRDirector magazine site HERE about employee wellbeing and how organisations need to be more proactive in promoting it. So I'm following my own advice. .

I've blogged also on Gem Dale's fitness blog HERE about my own approach to wellbeing and the backstory to why I'm interested in fitness. So here's the next chapter. 

There are actually two qualifications I'm completing, one after the other. The first is a Fitness Instructor qualification that in theory would allow me to run exercise classes in a gym. I'm mad keen to run my own spin class for anyone who will turn up and that looms large as a possibility now. The second is the conversion to Personal Trainer status and that would allow me to work individually with anyone wishing to improve their fitness. I'm looking forward to doing that too.

Professionally the qualifications will help me with my understanding of approaches to wellbeing in the workplace and particularly how individuals may benefit from a more tailored approach to wellbeing. They should help me to analyse organisational data on wellbeing and absence (etc) and suggest more appropriate and effective solutions.

They also should help me to coach leaders, something I do regularly anyway, but enabling me to offer a different dimension to looking at performance issues and their resilience etc. This is something Sukh Pabial blogged about very well HERE too. 

Of course, my blog is called The Power of Three and in the About Me page I talk a little bit about this holistic approach to individual development and performance coaching. So in essence all I'm doing is putting this into practice.

Speaking of practice, I'll need people to practice on when I'm doing the Personal Trainer part of it, so if you're interested in being a case study / guinea pig, let me know.

I promise I'll be as mean as you need me to be.

Which is only a little bit meaner than you want me to be.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking to change professions and become a full time personal trainer. But I wouldn't mind helping friends, family and colleagues in my spare time to become even better at health and fitness.

I'm hoping I'll be rather good at it.

I'll keep you posted on my studies.

Till next time.

Gary

PS in other news, we are already looking at 2017 holidays and it may be our final one as a whole family before at least one child gets too old (and too cool) to come with us. Now that makes me feel old…