Why we created the PT Collective
Brenda and Laura have been in the Health, Fitness and Recreation industry for over 20 years. In that time they have experienced almost every aspect of the industry from front line Personal Trainer to Facility Manager to coordinating provincial and national projects.
All of this experience allows them to truly understand the various challenges that Personal Trainers, Kinesiologists and other exercise professionals face both personally and professionally. They couldn’t sit back any longer and watch Trainers, new and experienced alike, feel overwhelmed and burned out! They could no longer accept the norm that many exceptional Trainers start to question their passion, their abilities and their career choice. It’s simply not ok that our industry is losing the type of trainers we need the most!
The Personal Training Collective is designed to fix what’s broken and provide a place where great trainers can discover a new way to harness their passion, feed their love of learning, and fulfill their need to be connected and supported by their peers.
Our members are truly amazing people! While they are all unique and different in their own ways, areas of specialty, certifications, level of education, interests and passions, we’ve noticed some common themes…
- They truly care about helping their clients, and go above and beyond to guide them towards meaningful and sustainable goals.
- They believe that connection and collaboration with each other is the path to success, not competition
- They have a desire to represent what’s good in the fitness industry and create a new and better culture
- They love to learn and apply new knowledge and skills to becoming better Trainers, mothers, fathers, spouses, friends, and [insert other roles here]
Brenda started in the fitness industry while she was in high school. This early start gave her a significant jump on what would become her professional career. By the time she finished her kinesiology degree she already had 8 years of experience in the fitness industry when most of her classmates were looking for their first job.
As a competitive athlete, and perfectionist, she learned early on how to take on a lot and keep all the balls in the air. She lived her life at a feverish pace for the better part of 10 years before finally hitting the wall. In those 10 years she finished her degree, started her master's degree, became a certified Life Coach, ran a provincial fitness organization, chaired a national fitness leadership committee and ran the third largest fitness centre in Canada. As many of you can probably relate to, you can only go at that pace for so long….
Add to that:
- feeling like if you asked for help people would question your ability to do your job
- living in fear of making a mistake, doubting yourself and your choices constantly
- feeling isolated and alone
It’s no wonder she hit the wall.
Hitting the wall was the best thing that ever happened. It forced Brenda to look at what was really important to her. What was the contribution she wanted to make, what was the legacy she wanted to leave behind, what did she want to be remembered for? It was in answering those questions that she saw that her true passion, her true calling, is to support, motivate and inspire other fitness professionals who work in an industry that often leaves us drained and burned out.
Brenda believes that when we work together we all achieve more. Her entire career is a model of how well that belief system works when it’s truly at the core of what you do. In everything she does she looks to collaborate and build community so that the fitness professionals have the absolute best opportunities to positively impact the lives of others.
Laura will be the first to admit that her career path, while extremely rewarding, has not always been easy. An elite athlete in high school and college, a knee injury ended her competitive career. Still passionate about sport, Laura continued to pursue her Kinesiology degree, though struggled with the loss of her sport and worse her identity. Being active just for the sake of being healthy was a foreign concept and she spent many years trying to reframe her own concept of what it means to be healthy. The competitive, perfectionist “all or nothing” mentality was wearing her down. While she excelled in every role she took on, she could never quite measure up to her own expectations and was plagued with self-doubt.
“It never felt ok to admit that I was struggling so I kept a brave face and continued to put enormous pressure on myself to be better.” Working crazy hours between 3-4 different jobs, and putting unrealistic expectations on her own health and fitness finally led to her breaking point. “I didn’t want to train clients anymore. I didn’t want to work crazy hours. I didn’t want to keep trying to 'look the part'. So I stopped. It was only much later that I realized it didn’t have to be that way, that everything I thought and felt was the direct result of a fractured culture that could be changed, that I could be a part of changing”.
Since recovering from her own personal burnout Laura has spent the past 8 years working in public health promotion, most recently with a regional health authority. As the Health Promotion Strategist with the Personal Training Collective, Laura is focused on taking evidenced-based health care strategies and applying those to develop new and effective personal training approaches.
Laura is hopeful that our industry can fix what’s broken and it starts by changing our own attitudes and biases. “We already have the evidence, knowledge and tools to do better for our clients, we just need to let go of old habits, be open to learning new concepts and realize there’s a better way to do business".