I have always been in awe of my best friend, Melinda Whittin Group, because from 10th grade, she knew what career path she wanted to pursue--pharmacy. And more than 30 years later, she still works as a pharmacist. It's just something I was never able to figure out in high school, or for the first two years of college.
I remember my father saying once that a lot of people don't know what they want to do until they're 39. And the piece of advice I give my children (and step-children) regarding their careers is to be sure you choose what you love, because you have to get up and go to work every day.
Now, don't get me wrong. I LOVE my job. I have always had a knack for reading, writing, grammar and spelling. I'm a good problem-solver; I like to plan issues 6-10 weeks out at a time.
At the same time, I have always been athletic, always been active, always wondered if I should have chosen to be a gym teacher. Well, that's not going to happen at my age (and with children in college and yet to go to college), so I'm considering the next best thing: getting certified to be a personal trainer.
It would be especially satisfying working with women older than 40, since that is really when my athletic "career" began. In my 20s I ran races, and in my 20s I started lifting weights, but the two were more recreational. I also taught some aerobics classes. After continuing to work out at home in my 30s when my children were young, I began really running again at age 42, when the kids were old enough to be on their own while I left the house for an hour, then two, and then three (during marathon training). And that's when I discovered that not only do I love to run, I more enjoy competing (especially because I'm pretty good at it).
So, with the realization that it's never too late to chase a dream, and to mine an aspect of your life that you currently do only for yourself, I'm seriously thinking about signing up for this certification.
And once I establish myself as a personal trainer, or fitness instructor, or lifestyle coach, it doesn't have to supplant my other career choice: editor of the most awesome weekly newspaper I know. And I could be making a visible difference in someone's life--helping her meet her potential, whether it's through weight loss, running a 5K or improving overall health. And that would be cool indeed!