If you’re looking for some serious inspiration for your future career and studies, our amazing student Karen has got you sorted! With her commitment to her studies, passion for the fitness industry and love of learning, we couldn’t be more proud to have Karen as an Onfit Student (and Student Spotlight winner!)
LET’S GET TO KNOW KAREN…
Could you tell us a bit about your journey in becoming passionate about health & fitness?
I have always been a healthy mum playing netball during my 20s and 30s. When I turned 40 I wanted to find something challenging to change my body shape and keep me fit. I found the Crossfit community and have been an active 5.30 am morning person for approx. 7 years.
Was there an ‘aha’ moment that led you to decide to study?
Like everyone, COVID changed my working world and I needed something to keep my brain active. My daughter and I train together every day and never really knew what muscles we were working and why and how to modify a movement if we were sore or injured. During a COVID walk one morning we were talking about our future selves and I wondered how I could learn more about something to do with fitness & body movements. I wondered if I was still young enough to learn something new, in a new industry, in a modern online way? The answer is YES I am!
What are your goals once you’ve graduated?
Once I graduate I would like to work one-on-one with people over 60. I can see myself going into Aged Homes or Retirement Villages and doing one-on-one PT sessions with clients to keep them as independent and strong as possible. I also think from a holistic point of view that I could encourage them to exercise their mind & their social connections while actively moving every day.
What do you think is important when deciding to start a study journey?
The most important thing is the support and the encouragement to just start. I met Louise Sutherland from Onfit and she was so encouraging and supportive to start my journey. You may not know how to study online, you may not know how to reach out to the tutors but with Onfit the communication and the website was so easy to navigate and work my way through. I think it is also important to share your decision to start studying with family and friends so you have their support and interest while you learn.
What does a typical day look like for you?
My typical day starts with a 4.30 am alarm. While I drive to Crossfit I do my grateful list of the 3 things I’m grateful for every day. My Crossfit schedule consists of 1 hour of training plus extras 6 days a week. The support and connection we all have starts my day on a positive note every day. I am the Director of a large real estate firm that employs 21 staff. My family & I have owned the office for 27 years and I specialise in the Property Management side of the business. I am at the office by 8 am and work 5 days a week. My afternoon consists of family time or study. I normally unwind with meditation and hit the pillow by 8 pm.
What helps you to stay organised with balancing work, family & study commitments?
I am a very routine person and I think that helps me with good habits rather than being all over the place. I am very dedicated to my work during the day, where my energy goes into customer service and providing a great working environment for our staff. Luckily I work with my family so the balance of seeing them is fairly easy to cover. I enjoy studying after work where I can switch off and concentrate on something for my future self. I usually stick to a time frame of 1 hour so I can unwind and switch off before bedtime. I think being organised with where you fit everything in each day allows you to feel planned and not rushed or chaotic.
What helps you to stay motivated throughout your studies?
When I started with Onfit they provided a calendar of what assessments I should be completing per month to get me through the 12 months of study, I found that really kept me focused on my weekly goals. I am a very visual person and found that writing motivational quotes or goals on my whiteboard really helped me. Sometimes when I feel a bit lost I would read a quote and know that there is a bigger purpose for me and it’s on my whiteboard to bring me back to task. One of my whiteboard motivations is “remember your values” – that always brings me back to what is important to me.
What do you enjoy doing to unwind and give yourself a break?
I love a good coffee with friends where you can stop and be in the moment and listen to their journeys and share their ups and downs. I draw a lot of love and energy from my crossfit coffee crew.
What have you enjoyed the most so far in your experience?
I have loved learning about the modifications you can make to any exercise for any person training. I particularly enjoyed learning about hypertension and how to modify over head movements to minimise any serious health issues. I have a leaky heart valve myself and know that my personal movements are restricted to a certain heart rate before my body would be placed in a dangerous position. I think learning this information has directed me to wanting to work with elderly people with heart conditions in the future.
What study habits/tips could you share with someone considering or who’s just started their studies with us?
My best study habits would be tip 1 – stick to a plan if you set up to study twice a week for 1 hour then honour yourself and stick to your plan. Tip 2 – share your journey with someone who cares about you, the more they care about your study the more you will too. Tip 3 – enjoy the journey and reward yourself after you pass every assessment – be proud of every step you take.
HERE’S WHAT THE ONFIT TEAM HAVE TO SAY ABOUT KAREN…
Karen is one passionate and hard working woman! No matter how crazy busy life can get, Karen always ensures that she has time to study, train, run her business and help others! Karen started her health & fitness course as it is a true passion of hers to be able to have a better understanding for what she does daily at the gym, so she can then apply that to helping others achieve their health & fitness goals. Karen will make a phenomenal trainer as she is the most encouraging, supportive and positive person I know who genuinely wants to help people, especially older adults which is where she would like to specialise as a trainer! Karen has an absolute thirst for learning and really cares about people wanting to help improve lives, she is an inspiring and empowering woman. So exited to see Karen thrive with her continued education with us here at Onfit and in the health & fitness industry.