Monday, September 7, 2009

Testing, 1, 2, 3 ...

I figure one of the advantages of having a blog is that I can occasionally use it to toot my own horn, so if you don't like that kind of self-generated noise, please cover your ears, because I have an announcement to make.

I passed the American Council on Exercise personal trainer certification exam on Friday! Hooray for me!

I took the computer-based version of the exam at TechComm partners, a proctored testing center in Smithfield, R.I. The exam was divided into two sections — 150 multiple-choice questions and a two-part training simulation involving two different client scenarios.

The exam took me 3 hours and 20 minutes to complete. By the end of it, I had no idea whether I'd passed, nor did I care at that particular moment. My head was spinning, my stomach was growling, and I just wanted to go home.

Maybe I'm just out of practice at taking tests — let's just say it's been, ahem, a while — but I found the experience grueling.

So I hit the "submit" button and then held my breath while filling out a brief survey about the testing experience. I guess I had expected a screen with fireworks to come up if I passed, so when the survey was over and I saw a sentence that began, "The test scores you achieved on the comprehensive ACE Personal Trainer Certification Examination ..., " my heart sank.

But then I read on: "... appear below. Congratulations! You passed the test!"

So does this mean I can now call myself a personal trainer? No, not exactly. In a few weeks I will receive my certificate from ACE, a respected organization in the fitness industry, attesting to the fact that I possess a good base of knowledge that I can use to safely and effectively train clients and to promote health and fitness.

I do hope to start doing some training in the near future, but that will require setting up a business structure, obtaining insurance and taking care of a few legal matters. I'll keep you posted on those developments, and I'd love to hear from any of you who already are personal trainers if you have any advice on getting started.

In the meantime, I plan to savor having completed that first step toward reaching my goal, and to continue learning. We must never stop learning, whatever our interests and passions are.

I take the responsibility of personal training very seriously. I want future clients to know that I will hold the trust you have placed in me with care, gratitude and respect. I look forward to meeting you and working with you, and sharing in the joy of your success.


  1. Wonderful job! I think that the fact that you are sharing your knowledge and experience with other people is great.

    I've always wanted to work with a personal trainer. Maybe someday I will!

  2. Hey Kathy,
    Thank you for sharing your good news with us.
    I, for one, am not at all surprised that you passed on your first try. Congratulations!
    I wish you every success in your new endeavor.

  3. Congratulations Kathy!!
    I had no doubt you'd pass with flying colors. Your goal is in become once again a full-fledged trainer to the many who want someone who is more understanding of the more mature individual. That person not only wants to keep in shape but requires patience and respect. You are definitely that person who will provide a level of service far beyond what a 20-something trainer could offer.

  4. Thanks, MaryAnne and Babs, for your votes of confidence!