Sunday, July 05, 2015

Almost Certified (Possibly Certifiable)

Since school let out, I've been slowly-but-surely working my way through the National Association of Sports Medicine (NASM) Personal Fitness Training course. There are twenty chapters in the book, and this afternoon, I finished Chapter 15. The course goes slightly out-of-order, starting students on Chapter 1, then 19 and 20, then back to Chapter 2, where everything is then completed in progression. So, I have three chapters left, a lot of studying (there are free flashcards included), a few goes at the practice exam online, and one CPR course before I can take the certification exam.

It sounds like a lot, but these last three chapters are actually pretty easy. Chapter 16 covers various factors and chronic conditions that can affect training (youth vs. elderly clients; hypertension, obesity, heart disease, pregnancy, and even cancer, among others) and how a trainer can work with clients of varying needs in such a way as to promote health and good fitness without injuring or harming the client. Chapters 17 and 18 cover nutrition and supplements.

I've taken in so much information, and so much of it seems to have leaked back out, but as I progress through the chapters, I'm finding it's starting to click a little more. Concepts that seemed impossible in Chapter 6 now come back and I can see how it all fits in the great puzzle that is fitness training. The light comes on. Still, it's going to take a lot of vocabulary revision for me to pass the exam!

It's all very exciting. Of course, this is not a career move for me (right now, though it's nice to think that should I ever want or need a change, I have other possibilities that I enjoy), but rather a chance to learn more about fitness and how it all works so that I can help myself. It turns out that M. the Reasonable helped me set up a very solid foundation in terms of form and stability, which I'm still benefiting from, three years after my last workout with him. Because of him, I already kind of know a lot of the basic concepts I'm learning in this course, which helps.

My CPR course is on the 17th, and I have to take that before I can take the exam, so hopefully, I can take it before July is over. While I'm enjoying the subject matter, studying does take time away from other things, and I expect to be hearing from my new boss soon (as soon as my fingerprints clear) about how I'll be scheduling my classes--exciting! That will need full focus. I have a lot of ideas and, of course, prior experience teaching K-8 music, so that helps.

So far, I've learned some interesting facts about how the body works--everything from what makes up muscles, to how the muscular system works in conjunction with the nervous system and the skeletal system to make up human movement. Did you know that we carry most of our weight in the lumbar region of our spine?

It's good to have different interests and possibilities in life, and I'm glad I took the plunge (with my Visa) to take on this challenge. I've been wanting to do it for a good 2-3 years now, and the time seemed right. I look forward to helping my friends and family--and, of course, myself--with the things I'm learning.

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