We love that our Sage Institute of Fitness students are all unique and have such interesting backgrounds. We recently chatted with Melanie Hill about the challenges of such a busy schedule and what she, and her husband, hope to achieve after completing their studies at Sage. Let’s see what Melanie had to say.
1. What is it that motivated you undertake a training course in Fitness?
My husband and I are both studying fitness at Sage together. As parents of four children, we are going through a bit of a transition phase after having other careers. I have a background in administration and retail. I was in the management team for a surf shop and my husband was in the cleaning industry, since he was 18 year old. Both of us were doing something that we didn’t really enjoy and were looking for a change and to do something different.
We definitely wanted to be able to decide our own hours and make sure we have plenty of family time as the kids get older and as we get older, we want to be focusing on careers that we really love. So this is what we settled on, as we are both passionate about fitness and health in different ways.
The outcome for us both is to become personal trainers and eventually open our own gym – so here we are!
2. Four children and study, that sounds pretty hectic! How do you manage to fit it all in?
Yes, it is! I’ve got an almost 8 year old, a 6.5 year old, almost 5 year old and a 3.5 year old. The older two are in primary school and the younger two in child care. When we go off to do our course on Monday and Tuesday, we use a combination of before care, after care and child care programs and dropping and picking up at two different places twice a day – and somehow we go to class in between all this.
“So Mondays and Tuesdays are really busy for us! It’s something we really want to do, so we are really passionate about making it work.”
3. What aspects of studying at Sage do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy the functional training courses. I really loved the boxing one with Dave from ‘Fighting Fit for Life’ and the ‘Crank It’ courses. We covered anatomy in the first part of the course and now we are focusing on the “in the gym” component. Some of the people we’re with are so motivating and so fantastic. Your style is definitely shaped by those around you, and the energy is amazing.
It is great to be learning with people who have already had experience in the fitness industry too and can add a different perspective. We get to bounce ideas and share experience and knowledge with each other, which really adds to the learning. I couldn’t ask for better people to be doing my training with!
4. What’s the ‘dream job’ you’re hoping to pursue when you’ve finished your course?
Well, probably something that’s more weights oriented, like a weight-lifting gym – but this may change as I gain more experience in the industry. We might end up with a small studio, but I suppose it will end up being based on the type of clients we attract when are working as Fitness Coaches.
I plan to do an administration refresher course at some stage, as I would really love to work behind the scenes of a fitness related company part-time to complement our own business. We both have different focuses at the moment and I love that both of us are fulfilling our needs from the course.
5. What are some of the biggest learning challenges you’ve come across during your course?
We’re at the Oakleigh campus and started in late February. We have covered a lot in this short time, so it feels like half way already. It’s pretty hard work and maybe a bit harder than we thought but it is definitely worth it as you learn so much!
Finding the time also to fit in the 120 hours of practical placement for both of us around the kids is another challenge. My husband has stopped work for a while and we’re chatting to some local gyms and I’m sure it will all fall into place. I heard that the best thing you can do is spend a bit of time in different locations as it is about putting together a network and gaining as much varied experience as possible. I’m keen to experience a boxing gym or something martial arts related as I’ve never really seen those environments before.
6. What advice would you give a new student commencing their course at Sage?
Definitely take it one step at a time and take as much as you possibly can in along the way. If you get stuck, everyone is there to support you so there is no need to worry.
“The student support is great – each and every person is so supportive.”
7. How do you like to spend your ‘chill time’?
Chill time; well, I don’t get a lot of spare time but I try to go to the gym for 1.5 hours every night. I like to consider this as my “therapy session”!
I used to run a hand-made company making little girl’s clothes but I have had to pack this away for a while as I am just too busy! I do love to catch up with friends – I’m a pretty loud person and I really like to have an outlet.
8. Who provides you with inspiration, and why?
Different people inspire me for different reasons…Strong women who are very sure of themselves, I find inspiring. I like to socialize with people who are naturally self-motivated. There are a number of successful and self-motivated women in my life. My Mum should be first on the list. She runs a successful rose business from home and is out and about hauling and delivering things, so Mum is very inspiring from a business perspective. I would also include my Grandmother who is an artist and is fit for her age and my Aunt who is an IT manager with NAB bank.
Sage Institute of Fitness – it’s more than a job, it’s a rewarding career.
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