Geralyn is an inspirational trainer, who over her career to date has done a lot of things. She is well know on the media circuit, having appeared in many magazines and on TV shows talking on the subject of health, nutrition and wellbeing. She also ahs soem books out and operates a well respected personal training consultancy. I will let her tell you the rest!
Tom Godwin: May I first of all thank you for giving up time in your busy day to take part in this interview.
TG: Let’s start from the beginning, what is your background in the wellbeing industry?
GC: I used to be a couch potato growing up. Never exercised at all, never played on a sports team, nothing. I assumed I would just get fat and out of shape in adulthood. But in college, I started working out. I lost about 20 lbs, totally changed the way I looked at felt. I fell in love with exercise and being in the gym. After college, I worked in various careers outside of fitness, but I didn’t enjoy any of them. Then I read a book entitled, “Do What You Love The Money Will Follow” by Marcia Sinetar. I decided to spend my day doing what I love and I got certified to be a group fitness instructor and a personal trainer. That was 18 years ago.
TG: You have become somewhat of a media personality, with many TV appearances and having been featured in a number of magazines. Can you tell me a bit about what started your involvement with the media?
GC: Years ago while managing a small facility in NYC, I would occasionally be asked to comment on a fitness topic or design a workout for a magazine. Then I was approached to be on a TV Show developed by Prevention Magazine, then later one on The Fine Living Channel. The more media work you do- as long as you do it well (and that means being a good partner with the media)– the more likely you are to stay top of mind and word spreads that you’re a good resource. You end up in more and more people’s contact files. Blogging and being on the internet help a lot, too.
TG: You new book Fit and Female is now out, can you tell me what sets this apart from other similar books on the market?
GC: The book actually came out in Sept. 2006, but it’s still selling well three years later. It’s a book about self acceptance, realistic goals and what a lot of women go through mentally relative to their body image. I’m very honest about my own painful experiences in the book. Many women have written me to say that they felt sure that they were the only one who felt this way and it was a tremendous relief to know that their experiences were common – and that a fitness professional has been through the same struggles and came through the other side.
TG: Can you tell us a little about you Best Me Ever system, and how it came about?
GC: I wanted a system that would simplify fitness for the busy mom who feels she can’t take care of herself because her day is so chaotic. I wanted to design an easy way that she could fit eating right, exercise and motivation into her day.
There are 3 separate workouts that can be done in 5 min segments, so women can do as much (or as little) as their time or fitness level will allow. Plus I included a bonus “Target Toning” video – a quick workout that hits the areas women want to firm up the most.
The healthy eating guide is designed to demystify the idea of “dieting” and create strategies that fit easily into the active woman’s daily life. To keep them on track, I have 2 audio CDs. The first is a motivational CD to provide a “kick in the pants” when people are falling off the proverbial wagon. The second is a relaxation CD designed to help reduce stress either before the day begins or at the end of the day before retiring.
TG: What would you say is the most important attribute that a personal trainer must poses and why?
GC: To genuinely listen to your client and do your utmost to give them what they need, while educating them on things that they may not be aware of which can help their health and well-being. Compassion would be number one…followed closely by staying up to date. This field is changing every single day, if you are not constantly learning – you will be a dinosaur in the industry before you know it. We all need to educate ourselves on an on-going basis to give the client the best possible service.
TG: What would you say has been the high point of your career so far?
GC: I’ve had a lot of “pinch me” moments. Being on The Today Show was one, meeting some of the giants in our industry and being able to speak with them peer to peer…but probably the best was last year when a group of my managers gave me a spontaneous outburst of applause, cheers and some standing ovations after a workshop that I’d organized. It was an outpouring of support and emotion which let me know that they were very appreciative of the work that I’m doing in my “day job” as the head of personal trainer education for Equinox Fitness.
TG: What would you say is the best part of your job?
GC: Sharing people’s lives with them. I’ve been there when clients peed on a stick and found out they were pregnant. I’ve been a brides maid in a client’s wedding and a guest a countless others. I’ve been at their kids’ birthday parties. I’ve held their babies just hours after they were born. It’s a privilege to share people’s lives with them. To enhance their lives and to feel the love and appreciation that they have for the value you bring to them.
TG: If you could only give someone one tip to improve their levels of health and wellbeing, what would it be?
GC: Be kind to your body. Feed it nourishing foods, do things that make you feel better afterwards – not beat up and miserable. Don’t go to extremes of any sort. Make smart choices most of the time and the rest will take care of itself.
TG: What does your average day look like?
GC: I get my son off to school. I workout for about an hour cardio about 4-5 days/week (I love to run or hike if the weather’s nice) and 2-3 days per week I do some resistance training. Then I’m at my desk most of the day working on projects for the department, doing media interviews some days. I have dinner with my family, help my son with his homework and get him ready for bed. After he’s tucked in I usually try to work on a blog, or an upcoming project like the book that I am working on now. I’m also a big Facebook person, too. I love staying connected with people from all areas of my life.
TG: What motivates you to go to work each day?
GC: The notion that I’m making the industry better in some small way both for individual trainers and their clients – and for the industry (hopefully) as a whole. I get to touch the lives of more that 1200 trainers, who in turn impact the lives of thousands of clients. To me that’s an honour and a privilege that I don’t take lightly.
TG: Thanks for giving up some of you time to share with us, it has been awesome!
My pleasure!! Thank you!!!
To find out more about Geralyn have a look at her website.