Fitness Career Spotlight on David Balderston, American Business Forum
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA, RD on MARCH 1, 2018
Meet David Balderston, Juris Doctor candidate and USC Gould 2019. His experience in the sport and fitness world have been influenced by the Growth Mindset where he continues to excel and learn from successes and challenges. His gung-ho attitude, drive, and determination inspire others while bringing fulfillment to his life. The industry of fitness is changing and David is on the forefront. Read on to learn more. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of fitness and exercise?
I have always prioritized fitness in my personal life, so when a position arose in the industry it was a natural fit. Additionally, I have always been a huge sports fan; anything related to the realm of sports interests me.
Your Job Title:
Company you are with now:
American Business Forum (ABF)
– Instagram: @dapperhippie_
A typical (or not so typical) day in the work-life for you:
Being a full-time law student as well as working 20 hours per week as a learning specialist at USC’s Student Athlete Academic Services, I don’t have a typical work schedule with American Business Forum (ABF). Most of my work is project centric and my schedule is full of peaks and valleys. Projects I have worked on include testing science skills of collegiate and professional athletes, writing articles for ABF’s website, presenting on behalf of ABF, and connecting athletes with interviews.
How did you get your current job in fitness and exercise?
I fortuitously met Jarmal Richard, the CEO and Founder of the American Business Forum, on the USC Law campus. Jarmal, a Gould Alum, was visiting and we happened to strike up a conversation. I briefly mentioned that I was interested in sports law, and inquired about potential summer opportunities. He happened to have a position available in ABF’s Sport Data Project, and we took off from there.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I am a big believer in the growth mindset and that the vast majority of skills I possess are the product of my environment and hard work. The greatest skills I have are my work ethic and the ability to use “failures” productively.
I obtained my work ethic from my mother, whom I watched put herself through graduate school while balancing working full time and being a single mother. She is my hero and inspires to do my best every day.
I owe my ability to use setbacks productively to my former football coaches at Skyline High School in Oakland, CA, who installed the growth mindset within me and taught me that failure is a crucial component of success.
I have been a social person as long as I can remember, but I do not know if sociability is a skill I was born with or more a product of my mother teaching me how to treat others. The answer is probably somewhere in the middle.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
While I am constantly on a search to become more fulfilled and successful, and have a long way to go, here is my advice:
- Don’t become obsessed with tangible objects. Even if you are able to acquire the objects you desire, the joy they provide is fleeting. We are constantly being taught to want bigger and better things, yet we rarely take the time to appreciate what we have. Reject the sheer pursuit of things. Instead, appreciate what you have and pursue time outlets that provide flow. When you find flow, money and things come as a byproduct, but they will hold little value compared to the fulfillment brought by doing something you love.
- Live in the moment. It is so easy to become obsessed with the thought of the past and the future. However, the present moment is all you will ever have! Love and appreciate it. Mindfulness spawns true creativity and productivity.
- The simplest changes can be the most impactful: Eat more veggies and less processed food, drink more water, sleep more, and take time every day to appreciate all that you have to be happy for!
- Build lasting and nurturing relationships and love yours.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what would it be?
Flow and gratitude!