The BIG One

To all my readers: sorry for the long absence. These past months have been a blur of activity.  I can hardly believe that only a short while ago I was living in Japan.  Life certainly can change very quickly!

I want to brief you all on relevant goings-on in my life. Especially for those of you who are also considering a career in training, I want to highlight how some of the preparations I made really paid off. But more on that in a minute.

First and most importantly, I like to introduce you all to Valerie Myers! We were married on August 14th in front of a group of family and close friends. She has been the best part of my life for over three years, and I’m so proud to call her my wife. Without her, I never would have had the guts to follow my dream of personal training.

Back to Business

As many of you know, the original reason for this blog was to talk about my dream of becoming a personal trainer, and how the heck I was going to accomplish this when everything in my life seemed to be pointed in another direction.  In January of this year, I took a couple of steps in the right direction:

  1. I offered free training sessions to a limited number of co-workers in Japan.  The response was overwhelming!  Out of 100 people in the entire state, I received over 20 emails, and out of those, was able to find 4 who were able to meet me in the city at least once a week.  This gave me 4 solid training sessions a week, plus experience programming for different people with different needs.  This was by far the best thing I did.
  2. I began studying for the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) Personal Training Certification.
  3. I started reading anything & everything about fitness I could get my hands on.  I took notes (lots of notes).  I put some of the things I learned into practice, first with myself, then with my volunteer clients.  I got better.
  4. I kept blogging about my experiences on freefitguy.  Daily at first, less so later on.

In other words, I surrounded myself with fitness.  I made sure that no matter my situation, I  made time to practice training and coaching first hand.

The six months I spent doing this proved to be invaluable experience.  Through the act of doing, not only did I become a better coach, I was able to prove to gyms back home that I was serious about this career path.

Don’t wait on life to give you lemons!  Go and knock them out of the tree yourself.

Coming to America

To make a long story short, two days after my wedding I had a meeting at my “dream gym” – a place that was full of Olympic weightlifting plates, pull up bars, kettlebells, and LOTS OF SPACE.  I was able to talk about my experiences in Japan with the owners, and was offered a 1-month unpaid internship working about 35 hours a week.  I gladly took it.1

 The End Result (drum roll please…)

After a month of hard work, I was offered a full-time position at the gym!  That’s right, I’m now officially a PERSONAL TRAINER!!!

It wasn’t always easy, but now I get to live my passion each and every day.

However, this isn’t the whole story – I still have lots to talk about, including:  internships, coaching, community at microgyms, business, and of course, more workouts, recipes, and fitness troubleshooting.

Stay tuned.  🙂


  1. This is a common practice in gyms, especially microgyms where the staff is small.  They want to try you out for size to make sure you fit.  They are bringing you into their family and their community, after all, so it’s an important decision!  If you really want to be a trainer, and can afford a month with no pay, don’t hesitate!