A week earlier, a friend encouraged me to check out a Craigslist post for a local business that was for sale. She thought I might be interested because I was doing something similar on my own. This is the same friend who suggested I become a personal trainer. So I checked out the ad and replied. However, the ad right below it caught my eye. "Personal Trainer needed at local gym". They asked for both a resume and a paragraph explaining my personal philosophy on training. I didn't know where I was applying, but I opened myself to all possibilities, so I sent it in.
When I received an email reply requesting an interview, I shuddered. The email address revealed that I'd applied to a gym I'd adamantly refused to consider upon earning my certification. My former boss, the one who fired me, was a member there. His partner was a personal trainer there! I was really scared of the possibilities. When the owner of the gym emailed me requesting an interview before my scheduled interview, I broke out into a cold sweat. I imagined a conversation where the owner and my boss's partner had an intimate conversation about me, and I'd be described as crazy, irrational, or rude. I'd walk into this interview and get grilled about what I'd done to get fired. I just KNEW this was going to happen. However, I was determined to leave the past in the past. Bad people don't have the right to haunt me.
So here I found myself still standing at the edge of the cliff. I had two choices. I could give in to the fear of my past. By blowing off these invitations, I could avoid the possibility of confrontation with explaining my termination and everything that came after it. I would prevent any stumbling and bumbling words that might escape my lips that might falsely reveal a bitter old bartender who's got a problem with authority. Or, I could accept and trust that I'd nail the interview. I could trust that my personality, my talents, and my passion for health and fitness would radiate from every pore. I could just trust.
So I replied, saying that I'd "love" to meet him. Gulp. I jumped off the cliff.
Here's a few clips from my interview.
- Owner: "I love that you've been running your own business. I'm sure you've learned a lot."
- Owner: "We actually want our members to come in. We want them to use the gym. We're here to change lives."
- Me: "Giving a client the tools they need to succeed, and then watching them reach their goals, is the greatest feeling in the world."
- Owner: "We want all of our members to reach their potential."
- Owner: "I have a budget for continuing education. I'll pay for certification classes and ongoing education, but you've got to commit to me."
- Me: "I'm committed to a lifetime of learning."
- Owner: "I think this is going to work out. We'll see you at 6 am on Monday."
- Me: "I think this is going to work out well. It sounds like we're all working for the same things."
I'd avoided this opportunity out of fear. My fear thrived on an unsubstantiated belief that some fairly crappy people still sought to make my life hell. Nurturing that fear limited my options and gave power to people who are powerless to affect my life. Taking the leap of faith proved, once again, that I am in good hands. My faith expanded my life again, and continues to open up all possiblities. My belief empowers me to say, "YES! I will face this challenge because fear is a mirage. Fear is nothing to me."
Two weeks after I was hired, my past confronted me in the most extraordinary way. After an amazing "test" training session with my boss, I saw a former co-worker. She is a terribly bitter, negative person who acted, in part, as the fly in my boss's ear in an effort to eliminate me. I was smiling, thrilling at the experience of having nailed this challenge. My kids were at my side. I look better and feel better than I have in years. I saw her. She saw me. My stomach dropped a little, but I neither smiled nor acknowledged her presence. I simply carried on my conversation with my kids. Happily.
Two days ago, I saw my boss's partner. I was working with a member, helping her pefect her squat. I was smiling. I was confident in every movement. I looked up and my brain registered, "Oh, that's him." And that was it. I experienced no physical sensations associated with fight or flight - no panic, stomach drop, increased heartbeat, adrenaline rush...nothing. Nothing but pure nothing.
And that's exactly what fear is - nothing. It's an image, a monster, a wall we create in our minds based on what we think might happen. Fear prevents progress. Fear inhibits growth. Fear destroys imagination and confidence and possibility. It causes us to live our lives as fractions, because we cannot simultaneously entertain the wall of fear and rush forward to take risks. It prevents the us from contributing our greatest good to the world. It denies us the possibility of accepting and sharing God's gifts and appreciating the boundless love in our lives.
So here I am. Accepting this job has presented some new childcare issues and forced a me to strike a new balance with family, friends, and personal time. However, these challenges are relatively easy considering where I came from! On some days, even as I've panicked and stressed about exactly how it's all going to work, I've come back to THE central theme in my life: I have faith in God, and that's wildly empowering. But in the past four years, He's presented me with some life-changing challenges, and now some almost unimaginable opportunities, because, quite simply, He has faith in me.