I came to Plymouth State University three years ago, unsure of what direction I wanted to go. I spent the majority of my time here as an undecided major, constantly thinking about what my future at PSU would look like, or if I would even have one. It was not until my second year at Plymouth State that I discovered an intense passion for health and fitness. I would spend hours every night at the HUB gym releasing all my frustration and stress. At the time, I was going through a lot personally and I truly believe that my newfound passion for fitness was exactly what I needed during such a difficult time in my life.
I distinctly remember a conversation I had with my mother about a year ago. She told me that as a kid growing up I never finished much. I would play a sport for a while, then get tired of it, pick up new hobbies and then move on to something different. I always had a new favorite thing whether it was a movie or food, every couple weeks it would change. Despite this continuous pattern of mine, health and fitness was the first thing my parents have seen me light up about more and more as time went on as opposed to seeing that light dim over time. After discovering the health and fitness world, I decided in my sophomore year of college to leave an unhealthy relationship, better myself mentally and physically, and devote my life to sharing this new passion of mine. Since making these lifestyle changes I am healthier and happier than I have ever been. After seeing how the fitness industry has impacted my life, I have decided my mission is to teach others as a fitness instructor in hopes that it could impact others lives as it has mine.
The first experience I had training an individual was with my mother. She was roughly 70 pounds overweight and suffered from high blood pressure that required medication. Although I was only learning, and still am, I convinced my mom to let me show her how these lifestyle adjustments could change her perspective on health, fitness, and life in general. Reluctantly, she agreed and after many weight training sessions, meal plans and a lot of hard work, my mother successfully lost all of her excess weight and became a much healthier individual. Ironically enough, my mom was so inspired and passionate about this new lifestyle, just as I was, that she decided to open her own personal training gym in our hometown. Being able to coach someone that had very little knowledge of health and fitness, and knowing I was a small part of my mom’s new passion to live a healthy and inspiring life is indescribable. This motivated me even more to push myself towards creating a degree I know will benefit my future career immensely.
At first glance, a degree in Health Promotion seemed like exactly what I was looking for. I began taking some health-related courses last year but still felt there was something missing. My dream is to open my own personal training gym one day and be able to train clients online as well as in my own gym, one on one. Although a Health Promotion degree would help me towards this goal, I felt as though combining a health degree and a business degree is exactly what my future goals require. Just last semester, not having any knowledge of the Interdisciplinary program at PSU, I never thought this would be possible. Luckily enough, I met with an amazing advisor to discuss my options, and found out about the possibilities of receiving an Interdisciplinary degree. This option seems like the perfect fit for me to build my knowledge in the health and fitness industry as well as the necessary knowledge and foundation I need to start my own business.
I’ve carefully selected classes I believe will benefit my future in the health and business fields. BU 2450 Principles of Marketing was one of the first business classes I took at PSU which taught me a lot about different aspects on how to market a business. Having the knowledge I do about my mom’s gym, I know marketing is a huge part of this industry. BU 3340 Consumer Behavior covered a lot of information on what consumers look for and how to better market towards the demands and needs of consumers. BU 3370 Branding and Marketing Communication teaches you how to make your brand stand out from competitors through advertising and marketing strategies. This class has taught me how to analyze data and figure out the best marketing techniques to maximize profits. BU 3480 Social Media Strategy focuses on promoting your business through the always changing social media, and the power of communicating and engaging with consumers through different social media platforms. This will be particularly important for the online portion of my future business. BU 4260 Interpersonal Relations teaches necessary managerial, communication and problem-solving skills required to run a successful business. BU 3420 Organizational behavior is another course I plan to take at Plymouth State that develops leadership skills, organization skills and other core things that are necessary when owning a business.
In regards to the health portion of my major, I have selected classes that are not only extremely interesting to me, but will give me the necessary knowledge I need to be a successful part of the health and fitness industry. HE 2400 Physical Activity and Health provides me with a foundation for examining health and fitness, assessing fitness and learning about exercise guidelines. HE 3200 Stress Management provides you with different modes of managing stress, which is a big contributor to weight gain. PE 2428 Flexibility, Core and Balance Training provides instruction necessary for health fitness professionals including preforming, analyzing and instructing a variety of physical activity applications. PE 1999 Health Risk Appraisal is a course I had transferred from a previous college. It provided me with important knowledge on how to safely preform exercises including proper form and posture and how to analyze the body to avoid injury during physical activity. PE 2755 Intro to Exercise Science Profession /Essentials for Exercise Science is the other class I had transferred to PSU that grew my knowledge in the fitness field a lot. This course covered basics of exercise science including nutrition, analyzing body composition, developing workout plans for clients and how to conduct meetings with new and potential clients. PE 3570 Kinesiology is the study of human movement, which for a fitness professional is key to understanding proper form during movement. In order to be prepared for these classes I will be taking several other courses including anatomy and physiology as well as Resistance Training techniques but did not include those in my contract.
PE 2850 Wellness Choices for a Healthy Active Lifestyle is a class that taught me how to encourage positive healthy goals in all aspects of life. This included nutrition, fitness, weight management and body image, among many other aspects of health. PE 3580 Physiology of Exercise teaches you about how the body functions during physical activity to understand the effects of exercise on the cardiovascular system and musculoskeletal systems. PE 4010 Exercise and Health Psychology focuses on physical activity behavior including health behaviors, psychological growth and different techniques to enhance the health of other individuals.
I believe the combination of these courses will provide me with the degree and foundation I need to create a successful personal training business. Instead of just having vast knowledge in one of these fields, receiving a degree that is both business and health/fitness focused will prepare me that much more for my future in owning my own personal training business. I am extremely grateful to have found a career path that I am not only passionate about, but that the Interdisciplinary program has allowed me to create.
Since submitting my application and having my program accepted, I’m one step closer to earning my degree. I can’t really say that much has changed as far as my application and program go, although I’ve definitely been preparing myself for graduation and whats to come after that. One thing that has changed since my application essay is the summer internship I recently completed. I was given the opportunity to work for a local real estate company based out of the White Mountains. Over the course of the summer I was in charge of the companies blog posts, ads and social media marketing. Through this I was able to really expand my knowledge in the marketing field as well as put some of my prior knowledge to the test. I learned a lot about myself and my abilities throughout the summer and gained a lot of confidence within the marketing field. Although marketing is only one half of my degree, it has really opened my eyes to the different possibilities that could be available to me after graduation. My dream is still to work within the health and fitness field but it was really interesting to see what I could do if I eventually decide to utilize my marketing skills in a different way.