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Technical Writer to Certified Personal Trainer

September 4, 2003

I began my coaching sessions with Meg Montford on April 7, 2003. That was the day my career began to transform in a positive way. Meg and I started the coaching process with my completion of a client intake form that required some deep soul searching as well as some objective observations of my life, values, and goals. In reflecting on my experience, I believe this was one of the key factors that helped me realize aspects about myself I hadn't thought about in many years - and certainly hadn't thought about them in relation to my work.

Meg also clarified the type of communication style that would be most comfortable for me, and I believe her awareness of the importance of this issue was another key factor in the success of my coaching experience. I needed to find focus regarding the issues I was having with my career, and Meg was able to hear clearly what I had to say.

Meg and I met via telephone for 30-minute sessions once a week for approximately three months. She was always there when I initiated the call and there was never an interruption of any kind. Her focus was completely on our conversation during every single meeting. She also made herself available via e-mail and telephone for any follow-ups or breakthroughs that occurred during the time she was coaching me.

She was always there for me, and that was a great comfort. It was astounding how quickly we became acquainted and how thoroughly she understood my situation in such a short time. She had my situation in clear focus at all times - and I really appreciated that. Meg listened and I talked and she asked all the right questions.

At the time we started my career coaching, I was working as a technical writer for a large corporation working an average of 60 to 70 hours a week. (I have been in business communications for more than 20 years with a B.S. degree in Journalism/Advertising). I wasn't sure if I wanted to try to "fix" the job situation I was in or find a new career path. I just knew that I wasn't happy and couldn't go on in my current position.

Meg asked me to complete an assignment that required me to create my personal dream job - anything I wanted to do. The assignment required details about my daily schedule for a week - with whom I ate lunch, what meetings I attended, what awards I won - every detail. I just couldn't do it. There was no part of any job I could think of that I wanted to pursue, so I decided to write the weekly schedule around all the things I wanted to do outside of work. That consisted of doing my exercise classes, yoga, walking, and writing. I was actually very discouraged that I couldn't think of ANY job I wanted to do.

We discussed my [non] work schedule and she said that she could tell I had a passion for exercise and writing, so why couldn't that work as a job? My initial reaction was, "What? I could do the things I love and get paid for it?" I had so equated pain with work that it was truly hard to accept the idea at first. So, Meg suggested that I look closer at the activities I love to do outside of work, i.e., exercising, helping others, and writing. That spelled "personal trainer." And, not only could I help people with their fitness goals, but I could also utilize my writing talents to write fitness articles for magazines and assist health clubs with their newsletters.

I can still remember that "aha" moment and how excited I was - and still am! It really was the dream job. Meg and I discussed the business reality of the idea and I did field work that confirmed that it was a viable option for me. I couldn't have been happier. But, wait this is really "out of the box" for someone who has worked in Corporate America for 20 years. I would have to take a proctored exam to become a Personal Trainer. I have no experience - except the 20 years I have devoted to exercise on my own.

Meg helped me through the initial doubts that something so wonderful could really be a profession I could successfully pursue. We worked through that, and at this point I envision success that includes being a leader in the field of personal training.

I am currently pursuing this dream and have already completed two courses and plan to take the American Council on Exercise proctored exam in the next few months to become a certified personal trainer.

My experience with career coaching was nothing short of life changing. I never expected this kind of result and I am so grateful to Meg for guiding me to my new career path. She did it with kindness and thoughtfulness. She heard things that I never knew I said, but she would "play them back" for me. This allowed me to find my way to this new career on very solid ground.

I knew the minute I discovered personal training it was really the place for me. I truly don't believe I could have ever found this place for myself without Meg. It was her expertise in listening and evaluating our discussions led to this wonderful discovery. Her fieldwork assignments also were invaluable. These assignments helped solidify each step of the way. Meg’s expertise as a coach has allowed me to discover a job that I can pursue with passion and really help make a difference in the world.

Thanks so much!

Kathy E., Kansas

Meg’s Note: Kathy earned her certification by the end of 2003. She now works at a fitness center helping middle aged women get into physical shape. She still does some writing, mostly for the center's newsletter. She envisions starting her own business one day where she will provide her services to women in their own homes.

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