Where Can I Learn About Living More Sustainably?

Another topic you may have noticed on my social media is living more sustainably and reducing the amount of waste we produce. I personally have made a lot of lifestyle changes in the past 18 months and continue to learn as much as possible about the impacts of climate change and what we can do to help mitigate the issue.

The amount of information out there can be seriously overwhelming and I get the most interaction with my followers on this topic (which gives me so much hope!). If you are looking to learn more and start to explore how you can have a positive impact on our planet, here are some good places to start:

Books*

  • Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard (founder/owner of Patagonia)

  • The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard

  • Live Green by Jen Chillingsworth

  • Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan

  • Drawdown by Paul Hawken (this is on my “to read” list!)

*please consider using your local library or checking out a used bookstore!

Documentaries

  • The True Cost

  • Food, Inc.

  • An Inconvenient Truth (and the more recent sequel too)

  • No Impact Man

Organizations

  • Sierra Club

  • Greenpeace

  • The Nature Conservancy

What are some other good sources of information that you have found?

Reach out to me via Instagram @candicepeak and let’s chat!

How Do I Become a Fitness Instructor? Getting Started.

How did you get into fitness and what tips do you have for someone who wants to start teaching?

I get this question several times a week either through social media or in person and it is honestly one I love to chat with people about. Let’s break down each part of the question:

I have been an athlete almost my entire life. I started swimming competitively at 8 years old and retired from swimming at 22. I was a nationally-ranked backstroker from the age of 15 and the peak (see what I did there?!) of my career was competing at the 2008 Olympic Trials and the NCAA Championships for the University of Wisconsin. Long hours, training hard and dedication to a goal is part of who I am. When it was time to step away from the pool, I found I almost instantly missed being part of a team and the regimented nature of a sport like swimming. I turned to long-distance running to fill that void which ultimately lead to me running my first marathon in 2013. I ended up with an over-use injury post marathon and decided indoor cycling would be the best way to stay in running shape while allowing the injury to heal. I stepped foot into The Handle Bar in November 2013 and instantly felt connected to the team atmosphere and the overwhelming sense of positivity that filled the room.

After working at the front desk for about 6 months, I auditioned to be an instructor in the summer of 2014 and entered the training program. Several weeks and two community rides later, I officially became an instructor teaching one class a week. I continued to take on more time slots through subbing opportunities at the studio and eventually was given more permanent time slots as the quality of my class improved. I had to earn those time slots and prove I was capable and committed to filling the room. After two years of teaching at The Handle Bar, I began teaching at EverybodyFights as a bags x beats instructor where I remained for a few years until I had the opportunity to teach at Barry’s Bootcamp in May 2018. Now, I teach 8 classes a week as a Master Instructor at The Handle Bar and an Instructor at Barry’s Bootcamp.

The fitness industry has blown up over the last 10 years and I think has seen some massive growth specifically in the last 5 years. So, when I get asked “how do I become a fitness instructor?”, the first thing I mention is that it is not as easy as it was when I jumped in 5 years ago. The Handle Bar was one of maybe three other boutique cycling studios in the city of Boston, and the other two had not been open that much longer than The HB (I am not counting the BSCs, BACs and SportsClub LA in this because gym cycling vs boutique cycling is very different). Today, there is an indoor cycling studio on every corner. It is so much more competitive. I had ZERO teaching experience when I auditioned. If that was the case now, I would not even be considered as a candidate to audition at most studios. If you want to teach at a boutique studio, I strongly suggest getting teaching experience at a bigger gym for at least 6 months before attempting to audition.

The second thing I mention is the time commitment. The pretty Instagram post of your favorite instructor in the perfectly branded studio merchandise does not show the amount of time and energy it takes to go through training or prep for class when/if you finally make it through training. Training to become an instructor is emotionally draining and physically exhausting. You train for hours on end (usually late at night), you are required to ride in/take as many classes as possible and I would be lying if I said it didn’t take major blows to my confidence at times when I was going through it. Once you start teaching you commit to time slots that typically don’t change if it is a holiday or a beautiful summer weekend or super early in the morning. If you are scheduled to teach a class, you better be there with bells on.

If I haven’t scared you off and you still want to start this journey, keep reading! I will say that teaching has been one of the most fulfilling opportunities that I have ever had and I still love walking into the studio and leading classes. I will go into that another time but here are some things I suggest you do to get started:

  • Get some sort of certification as they are required to teach at larger gyms (and you’ll need that to get teaching experience if you want to go the boutique route).

    • For a cycling certification, try MadDogg. For a group fitness certification, try AFAA or NASM.

  • Start building a relationship with the studio where you’d ultimately like to end up teaching. Go to as many classes as you can. Introduce yourself to the instructors and the staff. Become friends with other clients that you see taking the same classes as you. Go to studio events. Maybe even see if there is a front desk position open.

  • Let an instructor know you are interested in teaching and ask about the next auditions . Inquire about the process for how that studio finds new talent. Ask who else you should take class with or get to know.

This post was a bit longer than I had intended, but I will plan to follow up with something that touches on what happens once you become an instructor and how to start building something, how to differentiate yourself and how to make teaching sustainable for you.

Questions or comments? Connect with me on Instagram @candicepeak and let’s chat!

CP

Something New Coming Soon...

As of late, I’ve had a flurry of ideas rush into my brain. One of those ideas is to bring this space back to life and connect it with my social media, specifically Instagram. I enjoy writing, creating original content and sharing my ideas all while promoting a sense of community. I figure I should use as many avenues as possible in order to really build something.

Stay tuned and I am excited to connect with more of you!

2018 Goals for Growth

Yesterday, I mentioned on Instagram that every year my goals are centered around growth. I typically keep them to myself, but I think sharing them publicly may help me stay accountable and motivate others to focus on only a few growth opportunities rather than setting 100 resolutions that aren't realistic/are far out of range of their day to day life.

With that being said, below you will find my two goals for growth in 2018, specifically in my personal and fitness life. My full time career goals I like to keep a little more closed off, mostly because I am using this space for fitness related subjects (but if you have any questions, just ask!).

1. Give back and be more involved in the community

Before I became a fitness instructor, I spent a lot more time volunteering with various organizations within the city, and I'd like to insert that back into my life. Even if it is once every 3 months I spend a Sunday volunteering with an organization that is crucial to Boston's overall wellbeing, I'll consider this goal a success. 

2. Find deeper ways to influence

This is very vague, but I want to see how this one takes shape organically. I have numerous platforms to share my thoughts and motivate others. I want to utilize them more and dig deeper into the content. I want to connect with more people and find ways I can have a positive impact. My initial thought is it use this website more often but I think Instagram is extremely powerful for engagement purposes as well. I have a voice and I'd like to use it. 

That's it. Just two. Hello, 2018!

CP

The Side Hustle: Getting Started

A recent episode of Workaholics highlighted the world of "side hustling" and although it is not the most intellectually stimulating program, it did inspire this post. I often hear "I don't know how you do what you do". Honestly, sometimes I don't either but I can tell you that I am not a robot and it is possible to do more than one thing at a time. I can also tell you a side hustle can be overwhelming if you don't approach it the right way but equally as rewarding if you do. For those of you who are interested in making a little extra money outside of the 9-5 (while still keeping your career moving) or are looking for a way to discover a new passion (without the risk of being unemployed), you have come to the right place and here are some questions to ask yourself as you brainstorm:

What are you already doing outside of work?

Find something you enjoy doing. Shopping? Pop into your favorite store and ask if they are looking for part time help. Working out? Contact the studio or gym you love the most and ask if they have any open desk staff positions. Love taking selfies? Post 18 pictures a day and you'll definitely become instafamous. These are just a few examples of how a hobby or passion (maybe not the last one) can be turned into another source of income rather than just depleting your bank account. The possibilities are endless.

How much extra stuff you can take on?

This is important. Be totally honest with yourself and do not fill every bit of free time with something.  I have struggled with this (and still do from time to time) because I want to do everything. Take a hard look at your life even though it seems a bit dramatic. What parts of it are flexible? What parts are not flexible? Are you really going to be OK with not being able to go out for drinks on a Thursday night with coworkers because you made a commitment to pick up a shift or teach a class? Is this going to cause your friends to stop asking you to hang out because your response is always "I'm too busy"?

Is it worth your time?

Your time is valuable and spending that time the right way is crucial to your happiness. Do you get an employee discount? How much are you getting paid? What is expected of you? Do you like the people you would be working with or working for? This doesn't have to be totally monetary, but remember you are adding onto your day and working longer hours. Make sure it is worthwhile.

Do you know how to use Google Calendar?

You may think this is a joke but I'm serious. Juggling multiple jobs requires organization and you must become a master of your schedule. Personally, having a visual spot to put where I need to be and when is how I am able to teach 8 classes a week, work full time, spend time with people I love, and also have 5 seconds to myself. It assists with deciding what I need to say no to and what I can comfortably say yes to. Being organized with my schedule also keeps things in check so the quality of work or time I am spending with people doesn't suffer. Yes, there are times when things get out of control but it's temporary.

The above has helped shape what I want to do outside of my full time job and make the long days manageable and enjoyable. Things haven't always been that way and there is an element of trial and error. Regardless, I am a strong advocate of embracing the side hustle because if it is done well, you could potentially uncover skills and passions you may not have discovered otherwise while putting extra money in the bank. I could go on and on about this particular subject and I anticipate there will be many spinoff posts to come. 

Questions, comments, concerns? You know where to contact me.

CP

 

Hello. It's Me.

I have officially decided to take up more space on the internet! The purpose of this site is to have a home base for what is currently going on in my life while sparing you all the TMI details.

If you don't know me and you have accidentally stumbled upon this page, my name is Candice and I am a Boston based fitness instructor (I thoroughly enjoy riding stationary bikes and punching things), financial services professional (I am super grown up and mature), model (TBD...currently trying to figure out what to do with my hands in photographs), athlete (I will hang onto this title until I die), crazy dog lady (my dog has his own Instagram) who is on the wrong side of 25 (I honestly see this as a positive).

My class schedule, special events, & anything else I feel may be interesting or relevant in order to connect with more people will be here. I anticipate this space to be geared towards the fitness community but I am excited to see how it develops and I hope you are too!

For now, that's all I know. Stay tuned.

CP