We are so proud of all of our graduate of the Fitness & Nutrition Expert program! To celebrate their amazing achievements and inspire you to take action to go after your dream career, we are going to be featuring some of our amazing grads on the blog who have had great success in creating their career in health and fitness since graduating from the program.
This week we are so proud to introduce you to Jennifer Commisso. Jennifer is a recent grad who began the her journey with the FNE program in Sept 2016 who now teaches group fitness and offers personal training. Check out her story and prepare to be inspired!
Tell us a little about your career?
My name is Jennifer Commisso and I am a group fitness instructor and personal trainer at Integrity Fitness. With two locations in Vaughan, Ontario, Integrity Fitness is well known for their dynamic and fast paced circuit training style boot camp classes, that are exclusively and specifically designed for women. Integrity Fitness has established itself as an award-winning fitness studio, receiving the Gold award by ‘Best In Vaughan’ and the ‘Top Choice’ award for best fitness studio in Vaughan for 2013, 2014 and 2015. I am very fortunate and humbled to work alongside a World Class Team of trainers who bring their own unique flavour and experience to each class. My co-workers –or teammates as we prefer to call each other –are supportive, inspiring and very experienced in their craft. They have really welcomed me and allowed me to learn from them well developing my own unique training style; which has been especially helpful seeing as I am new to the industry. I began teaching at Integrity Fitness in April, literally days after receiving my FIT CHICKS certification and I could not be more happier! In just a few short months, I have worked my way up to teaching up to 20 classes a week with personal training clients in between.
What made you decide to get certified and start a business or become a trainer in fitness and nutrition?
I started taking fitness and nutrition seriously about 5 years ago. I was in my first year of university and recently of the drinking age, so partying and poor health choices went hand in hand at that time. I had always thought I was eating healthier than most and was active throughout my childhood, being a part of many sport teams, dance programs etc. However, being slightly overweight, binge eating and drinking, and attempting to pursue a degree in university that I was half-heartedly excited about, I was desperate to realize my self-confidence and find my “true” self. It was then that I decided to make a change and seek out professional guidance through hiring a personal trainer. I had always tried and failed to ‘get fit’; but having little will power and little knowledge, I could never commit to a training regimen. I can honestly say my experience with my personal trainer is the reason I have decided to take the fitness and nutrition route I am on today. My trainer inspired me and taught me how to achieve my goals. I felt accountable to him while also realizing this was for ME. When I began seeing the physical and mental changes I was capable of –the physical changes not just in inches and pounds, but in increase in strength, energy levels, skin complexion etc –I developed this drive to see what else I am capable of. I genuinely wanted to learn and understand how I had the ability to make these changes. So, I began doing my own research on strength training and nutrition. I started working out on my own without my trainer and I began trying new exercises and methods in the gym. It was when I was on my own that I realized I want to learn MORE and do what my trainer did by teaching me to help other people realize their fitness goals. At this point I was also at a crossroads in my career/education. I was unhappy with my university program and my part-time job and I felt like I was just going through the motions. At the time, I felt like I was not pursing the success I was capable of. I had put my degree (which was is jazz vocal music) on a hiatus and was teaching private music lessons full time. I didn’t want to go back to school and do another 4-year undergrad and start from square one. I wanted something that would be practical for me to begin my career in fitness. That’s when I found the FIT CHICKS Academy through some online research –and that’s when my life truly began
What has been your biggest successes since starting your business?
I think my biggest success would have to be applying for and sustaining the current job I have now! When a friend told me that that Integrity Fitness was hiring, I had literally JUST gotten my FIT CHICKS certification. Honestly, I almost considered not even applying for the job! I already knew how established the studio is in my area and I also knew how intense it is. I figured: “I don’t have enough experience”, and “I’m only recently certified” etc etc. But then I remembered the valuable life lesson learned throughout the FNE experience –especially in the Wellness Section, where I remembered a specific quote about not comparing your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20 –so I gave it a shot and got called in for an interview and here we are 5 months later almost working full time hours!
What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
A friend of mine who is also a Zumba instructor got in touch with me because she wanted to run a 4-week challenge for her clients. She wanted to bring the nutrition component and she thought we could be a good fit for each other. I thought it was a great idea but she told me that she wanted to start in 1 week. I was so nervous and my confidence issues attacked me but I didn’t let fear to hold me back.
This time pressure made me run to put all my processes on place. I didn’t have experience working with 10 people at the same time and by that time my nutrition coaching appointments were long and slow, so I had to change my structure for something easy to understand and implement for my challengers. Also I need to have all the paperwork like waivers, photo release, Par-q, food log, tracking sheets etc. ready before launching day. It was a crazy week but we made it! I coached 10 people in Nutrition in 5 days with different backgrounds and I learned a lot about ethnic foods, habits ,and routines. It was crazy but fulfilling now, I do the same thing every 6 weeks with no hassle at all. I’m very grateful for this experience.
How do you feel the Fitness and Nutrition Expert Program helped you create your biz or dream job? What part of the program helped you grow the most ? What was your fave moment of the program?
Surprisingly, it was the Wellness section and all the quotes given to us throughout the course that have really helped me to realize my dream job. All those little reminders of my self-worth and capability, really encouraged me to keep going on my journey. That’s what I love about FIT CHICKS as opposed to other fitness certification courses. The FIT CHICKS program is not solely about memorizing muscle groups and fancy health terms; FIT CHICKS provided valuable practical life lessons to help truly turn my passion and new found knowledge into a career. FIT CHICKS provided a community of like-minded women to share their thoughts, their struggles and their triumphs. I felt inspired by my classmates and supported by mentors Amanda and Laura. They truly care about the success and well-being of their students and that’s what makes all the difference when trying to change your career path like I was. The educational videos in our Facebook group, the links to podcasts and recipes and other outside sources of knowledge that Amanda and Laura provides really gives students that extra bit of inspiration to learn and grow. Their presentation of material was interactive and informative without being dry and long winded.
How do you stay motivated? What keeps you motivated?
It’s not always easy to stay motivated, even as a ‘Fit Chick’, we all have our days. It’s remembering that one or two days out of 365 will not make or break your progress or success. Remembering that you are human and it is OK to fall off the wagon — as long as you get back up again! That’s what really counts! The best way I personally stay motivated is to plan it out! I create a set schedule for my day. From my meals, to my workouts, I wake up early and PLAN to crush it every day. That said, I also plan for down time to keep myself sane!
Where do you see your business in the next year? What do you want to achieve and how do you plan to do it?
I would like to take the next year to really grow and hone my craft. I want to establish myself as a reputable and knowledge trainer at Integrity Fitness and earn the popular title as ‘World Class Trainer’ that is used to described the seasoned trainers at the facility. I want to be to create personable relationships with my clients, help them to achieve their goals, and make them sweat! In this ever-changing industry, there is always room for growth and learning. Whether that be simply reading articles on new nutrition studies, or having more practical experiences from my current work environment, I plan to immerse myself whole heartedly in the industry to continue to keep this passion as my career. I plan to go back to school to receive my holistic nutrition diploma so I can further aid my clients in their progress and overall wellbeing. I have always taken an interest in nutrition and the effect it has on the body, so I am excited to learn more about how food can be medicine for the body and soul.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us Jennifer! We are SO proud of you and everything you have accomplished! xoxo
Are you ready to start working towards your dream career? There’s still time time to register for the next class of FIT CHICKS Academy Fitness & Nutrition Expert program! It starts March 28 – download our FREE 30 page program brochure here!
And if you want to find out more about Jennifer and Integrity Fitness, here are her deets: