From Corporate to Fitness Productivity Trainer, Speaker, and Yoga Teacher
How Did This Happen?
As I sat there at my desk a few years ago, I realised I wasn’t breathing well.
I’ve been practising yoga for years, breathing was a big part of my practice. And although I was into fitness ever since I can remember (not the die-hard type) I never thought of the air I had to breathe while working in a perfectly beautiful and new office building. Nor did I thought of my joints and posture so much although I’d work on them in downward dog many evenings after work. It was like both activities were so separate in my mind. I work. I exercise.
It wasn't an epiphany. It was noticing my lifestyle and who I was, what gave me the most pleasure and how I could make this pleasure stay longer. It was also a sudden fear that crept in me after I turned 38 (I don’t know why at 38). What if I get sick if I continue to work for 30 more years in (beautiful no doubt) corporate buildings? What if this air-conditioned air we breathe season in, season out, is responsible for my tiredness? It was a fear out of nowhere, and it became a pressure matter in my head for months. I don’t know what triggered this, maybe seeing my own parents getting older? Maybe.
So being behind a computer and being always drawn into a task or a meeting didn’t do me any favours. Yes, I was aware of how important it was to take a lunch break and walk outside but it wasn't always the case. Not for me, not for most of my colleagues. I started feeling adrift. And I knew I had to do something more than that. Whenever I closed my eyes I had this picture of me being old and training, walking, stretching outside in nature. I imagined myself being over 70 and still be very active and full of life. That’s how this whole thing started; leaving an office job and a corporate career to become something I always was.
A dose of perspective is required. We work for money. If you don’t do it for the money then it’s not a job. I decided to keep a distance from my hard-working self until I figure things out. Yes, I loved doing yoga and running and exercising and telling people what to do to get stronger physically and emotionally but if this was something that I wanted to do professionally I had to give myself time. I was still floating, I knew I was too responsible to change anything fast. And then it was all these preconceptions I had about myself and my career path. I had a Master’s degree, I had a well-paid job, and deciding to turn things upside down was a scary thing to do.
I started visiting plenty of yoga centres and officially recognised fitness schools, I talked with teachers, I listened to teachers, I listened to myself and the people around me and I decided that it was time to live my life outside glass doors and high buildings. That was it.
And because I don’t want to make things sound easy and straight-forward, there was plenty of passion involved in this change. I was working for a year on my fitness blog, on my social media profiles, slowly but very driven by doing something I loved. I don’t believe you always have to do a work you love. You can just do a work that pays you good to then do all the things you love. But if you want to make a change you need to know either way why you do that or to have this maybe subconscious drive that takes you there on its own. Or both, if you’re lucky. So it wasn’t easy and still isn’t (and I’m not only talking about the huge salary gap of leaving corporate for a freelancing career) because it’s a constant process of learning about you and about your business and your people, your clients. And what amazes me still today is how much trust you have to have in the process.
And imagine my fitness work is still my side-gig. My main work and income comes from my other big passion, my writing and brand & web-design business. It takes a lot of focus and organisational skills to balance everything. Not easy.
But I now work helping people to unwind, and strengthen both physically and therefore also mentally. I help people gain emotional freedom by exercising, breathing correctly, and do yoga. I help companies to take care of their employees, I work with employees who need to gain their productivity and creativity back. I love what I do just as much as I loved everything I did so far in my life and career. We don’t need to see things as being big changes and we don’t need to consider anything as permanent. Because, and at least in my case, nothing is permanent. And you can always try a change out and go back to what you left behind and see if you can jump right back in. And if not, you’re there to figure things out again.
And yes, I might go again into corporate, contracting, international organisation anything. Or I might not. I’m not a future-teller.
Are you looking to offer fitness productivity training to your employees? Or would you like to offer yoga workshops for your team, organise a special yoga team event? Visit my corporate yoga and events page and get in touch to talk details. I’d love to work with people and organisations looking to invest in their clients’ and employees' well-being.
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