2018 Personal Fitness Trainer Graduate
ACSM Certified Fitness Trainer
Personal Trainer at the Kent County YMCA in RI
Wellness Coach/Owner at Make A Choice Wellness in Coventry RI
"Michelle has brought so much enthusiasm and excitement about her work as a Personal Trainer. She is a great asset to the Y in her ability to engage with the members and share her passion for Health and Wellness. She embodies the values of the YMCA and is an outstanding member of our team. MTTI has provided Michelle with a solid foundation of knowledge in her chosen field. The direct contact with Instructors that MTTI offers is preferable to online courses of study to achieve personal trainer certification."
Eva Thompson, Kent County YMCA
Something was missing in my life.
While working in HR / Payroll for 15 years, I was good at identifying problems and coming up with solutions. I just didn’t want to do that in a corporate environment for the rest of my life .
I trained as a Master Gardener and worked as a greenhouse manager.
It wasn’t the fit I was looking for. When they ended that program, I needed to find another career.
I got a life coaching degree online.
I read books, took tests and put projects together. There was no one to talk with--and no opportunity to interact with others. I didn’t learn the soft skills needed to coach others.
I recognized I needed a change.
I could have gone back to a payroll position and made more money—but I wouldn’t have been happy.
I wanted to work in a way that contributed more to the greater good.
When I learned about MTTI’s Personal Fitness Trainer program, I asked myself, ‘How can I become a Fitness Trainer? I’ve never even gone regularly to a gym!'
It was a huge leap to consider training for a career in fitness.
I didn’t think I could jump careers at the age of 47.
After a lot of soul searching, I decided to go to MTTI.
Even a week before school started, I thought I might cancel. Ultimately, passing up this great opportunity and going back to my ‘old’ life was more terrifying than going to school.
At the beginning of the course, I said to myself, ‘OMG—what are you doing?’
It got more comfortable as I began to recognize what I bring to it.
The instructor, Chris, puts you at ease.
He respects that people learn at different speeds and in different ways. He works to meet every class member’s learning style, which is really important for adult learners.
The work you put into the program is worth it.
Chris will give you the tools you need to get where you want to go. In the past, I thought I wasn’t a good student. As I earned 100’s on quizzes at MTTI, I realized that not only can I do this—but I can do it well. When you put in the work, you get the knowledge and skills you need to be a good Personal Fitness Trainer.
I found my voice by going to school at MTTI.
I used to be the quietist, shyest person—standing in the back of the room. Even my quieter classmates found their ‘voice’—your true voice doesn’t have to be loud.
There is no faking it in this industry.
As a Trainer, you are selling yourself to others. You have to bring who you are to it, and even be a little ‘larger than life’. At MTTI, you learn to do that by practicing how to interact with clients.
Going to MTTI was definitely life-changing!
Everybody at MTTI wants you to succeed. That positivity comes through in all of the messages they give you.
I interviewed at the YMCA.
My boss had just interviewed more experienced certified personal trainers. She said she hired me because of the passion I bring to coaching others and my desire to help them achieve health and wellness.
Working at the Y has helped me embrace my uniqueness.
You touch the clients by bringing yourself to them. I need to reach them on a personal level, so I can coach and encourage them to make healthy changes.
I bring a lot of fun to clients—even as I push them to reach their fitness goals.
By making it fun to work out, clients are encouraged to come back.
I use exercises that are familiar—but make sure the workout is both fun and functional.
I integrate basic & functional movements that mimic what we did in childhood, when we used to play. I want to bring back that fun—ball bounces and rope climbing. I call it ‘exercises with a twist’.
I am a huge believer in positive energy.
When my clients leave ‘strutting’ as they walk out the door, or are standing straighter and have a little ‘hop’ in their step—that’s is the best feeling in the world.
You are going to have days when you ask yourself, ‘Is this what I want to do?’
There can be slower periods in building clientele—or days when regular clients can’t come in—especially if you work with people who have disabilities. This is something you need to expect and learn to roll with.
Feedback from clients helps you know that you can do this.
Someone I have been training for a while will say, “All those aches and pains are gone! Or, “I can fit into my wedding dress.” Seeing how what I do for clients helps make their lives better reminds me about why I am doing this.
Everyone has a learning curve when they start a new career.
Doubts still do creep up from time to time. But I have a lot of tools in my ‘tool kit’. I have the education. You can get quick certification—but the 900 hours, including the hands-on learning in the gym—makes a huge difference.
I love the community at the Y.
We work as one team. Doing something I enjoy, in a great work environment, brings me out of myself.
When you find something you truly love to do, your inner light shines.
Now that I have completed the program and am working as a Personal Trainer, my husband looks at me and says, “You have a light about you that you didn’t have before.”