Fitness Career Spotlight on Elizabeth Kovar, M.A., ACE Master Trainer
By EXERCISEJOBS on FEBRUARY 11, 2014
Meet Elizabeth Kovar: trainer, manager of corporate fitness programs, organizer of fitness retreats, speaker, and writer. I met Elizabeth through LinkedIn. Read on to see how Elizabeth uses social media, writing, and public speaking to boost her career and her platform. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of fitness and exercise?
As a college bound athlete, I found fitness classes as an additional way to move and cross train. It was a natural fit to become a fitness professional to integrate the passions of movement all while helping people live better, healthier lives. In addition, every person in this world can benefit from exercise and health behaviors. Therefore, this “job” will never go out of business and can have a global impact on various cultures located around the world.
Your Job Title?
Mind-Body Movement Specialist, Speaker, Writer & ACE Master Trainer
Company you are with now?
– Self-Employed Freelance Speaking, Writing and Fitness Services at www.elizabethkovar.com
– Fitness Manager – Seattle Fitness Management
You on Social Media
Describe a typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you?
I am fortunate to have the luxury of creating my own work schedule. But a typical start to my morning is to work on my various projects including: writing articles, self-publishing a book, creating wellness retreats and reading new research articles. I then go to my “day job” for an additional 5 to 7 hours to manage fitness programs for corporate buildings in downtown Seattle. During that time, I teach two classes and train clients. At night I escape work duties and relax at home. Right now my days may seem long until I am at the point where I can sustain freelancing, while still being present on the fitness floor with classes and clients. Work is seasonally dependent, especially if I need to travel to present ACE, AFAA or BOSU workshops.
How did you get your current job in fitness and exercise?
I left my previous job as a fitness director at a community center to go back to contract training and teaching classes for Seattle Fitness Management. SFM is a company that provides fitness services in corporate buildings in Seattle. Immediately upon my hire, the current fitness director left during the Christmas season of 2012, and the owner valued my resume, experience and skillset. He offered me the job while he was on Christmas vacation in Hawaii. I guess life kept me in fitness management, and I am very thankful as he’s the best boss I’ve ever worked for. So it was a bit of random luck, but this was the second time this same situation happened, so I had to take advantage of the opportunity.
For my freelance opportunities such as becoming an ACE Master Trainer and writer, I started to volunteer for ACE symposiums to establish the relationships. I decided to put forth my budget toward mentoring with a couple ACE senior consultants. That opportunity opened doors to grow with ACE and the fitness community. When it comes to establishing fitness retreats, I have connected with many retreat owners via LinkedIn.
I am very driven career-wise, and luckily had great leaders, experiences and abroad trips during my undergraduate degree. This led me to explore myself, what I want to do with my life, and to establish a great skillset / resume throughout college. I am forever thankful for everyone who told me to shoot for the stars as although it’s been a slow and steady climb – every dream eventually works out.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I feel I am a natural communicator and writer. I learned early on in college, in all aspects of life, that communication and either make or break relationships. Therefore, I value clear and concise communication, which is a highly effective trait as a fitness director. Writing is my natural gift. I recognized this talent in high school when my essays would be scored at a 100%, which was much better than my exam scores. These two qualities go hand in hand, as it allowed me to be an effective trainer and lead people toward better health. Finally, I am very empathetic. Sometimes I can assess even the strangest of situations from an outside perspective. This skill has been improved upon to not only understand where struggling clients come from, but to self-critique my talents (without judgment) to constantly evolve to become a better trainer and person. I’ve learned along the way that when dealing (and managing) various personalities, it is vital to be empathetic, which leads to successful relationships.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
People should continue to network in an authentic way. It is optimal to “soul-search” to see what you want to do with your career and what type of life you want to lead. Many entrepreneurial pursuits may take time away from family; therefore, being an entrepreneur is not for everyone. Find and embrace your strengths. When you go for your passions while embracing your strengths, success finds its way naturally.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what would it be?
Airplane tickets or frequent flyer miles! My heart lives on airplanes, and when I am not traveling I think about traveling all the time. I have been lucky to have lived and studied yoga throughout India, Australia and various parts of Asia and everyday I have at least one thought from these experiences. So I guess I could say my heart and thoughts are always “on the road” and being paid in airplane tickets is way more abundant than money – in my opinion.