My position granted me the opportunity to strength train a variety of clients of different ages, experience levels, in both group and private settings. I was also a part of shadowing how chiropractic appointments are conducted, and how specific conditions are assessed, diagnosed, and treated. I was also a shadow for physical therapy, and was able to guide clients on my own through their physical therapy exercises. For business experience, I got to work on some marketing outreach through our electronic health record software.
My greatest accomplishment in this internship was getting the chance to lead a group fitness class completely on my own. I was very nervous and worried about doing this at first, but once I got in there it felt so natural and reassured me of why I love this field of work.
My greatest lesson was learning how to manage time with clients effectively. I struggled at first with assuring clients got adequate rest in between sets, and ended up finishing all their exercises way before session had ended. As I started getting more comfortable with patients, and they began to open up more with me, the reciprocal happened where I began taking up too much time and finishing late. My boss told me this is a common mistake that gets better with experience, but it starts with being assertive at the right times in regards to making sure they take a proper rest break and stay focused on the session. I'll add that making sure the intensity is sufficient can help insure they take the full rest time given they will be more tired after a greater level of exertion.
What advice would you give?
My advice would be to really focus your energy on being a positive figure in your clients life. Make sure you smile, say their name, remember significant things in their life, listen intensively, express empathy for their struggles, and shower them with positive reinforcement when they achieve something. Make the effort to be the light to someone's day; you may not know what they are going through in life, and these little things can leave a greater impact than you'll know. Also, don't be afraid to take on new challenges. If your boss asks you to do something you may think your unqualified for or scared of, do it! It's okay if you mess up on something, it's a part of learning and developing yourself as a professional. Sometimes failure can teach you more than any textbook or lecture. Be confident in your knowledge and skills, you're here for a reason, people will gravitate to you and listen if you let your passion for what you do shine through.