Fitness Career Spotlight Update on Dorette L. Franks, TRIFINITI Endurance
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA, RD on FEBRUARY 1, 2018
We originally interviewed Dorette L. Franks, RDN, METS HMP-1, back on November 7, 2012. Check out the previous article. Since then, Dorette has expanded her practice and education by becoming a registered dietitian and combining her sports and fitness career with nutrition coaching. Read on to learn more how exercise and food go hand in hand making many prosperous job opportunities. – Sarah
www.nutritionph.com (I’m working on the site myself, needs some pampering though).
– Twitter: @nutritionph
What attracted you to the field of fitness and exercise?
It really started as curiosity. I stumbled (literally) back into the field of fitness and exercise during my late 20’s after a debilitating hip condition that left me reliant upon periodic use of a walking cane. I was facing surgery with little to no guarantee that I would be able to enjoy running or playing volleyball again. After opting for no surgery, I realized that my life was completely out of balance (no surprise my body manifested this in my hip). So, I looked inward and resolved the pain I experienced through meditation, visualization, bodywork, and the right nutrition. I slowing integrated running. Pretty soon I was running, or jogging, again. It’s amazing what the body can do!
I wish I could say the rest was history, but I did not know a thing about building endurance or strength. I’ve always been fascinated with the human body’s ability to run 26.2 miles non-stop. But that was out of the question until a friend of mine told me she was training for a marathon. I grew curious as I witnessed her transformation and accomplishment. My curiosity to go the distance and learn more about my body had me sign up for not a marathon, but a triathlon. And that’s what attracted me and why I’m still in the health and fitness field today – curiosity!
Your Job Title:
Wellness and Performance Dietitian, Endurance Coach, Health Education Instructor
Company you are with now:
- I am the founder of Nutrition pH (Nutrition | Performance | Health). My practice is located in the Bay Club of Marin serving non-members and members.
- TRIFINITI Endurance, founded by husband, Duane Franks, MSc. Together, we train new and experienced athletes for endurance events – anything from a 5K to the Ultraman 3-Day Stage Race.
- Kaiser Permanente, Health Education
A typical (or not so typical) day in the work-life for you:
Ha! I guess this depends on which hat I wear, but it all intertwines between wellness, nutrition, and performance.
Weekends are sacred playtime/training and family time. Sunday’s is made for grocery shopping and meal planning.
Monday is the scheduling-strategy day. The week is planned, tasks prioritized, goals set, and anticipated obstacles for the week are well, anticipated and strategized. It’s important to strategize the obstacles so that when you’re in the thick of it, you have a strategy with how to move through it.
The rest of the week starts off with an early morning swim or strength workout, then I hit the bike to instruct cycle class at the Bay Club of Marin or at Endurance Performance Training Center in Mill Valley. The rest of the morning is followed up by providing Resting Metabolic Rate testing to both clients and patients for Nutrition pH or for Kaiser Permanente.
I devote 2.5 day’s a week in my practice (and of course, sometimes end up working weekends) and two half day’s with Kaiser Permanente providing resting metabolic rate testing or facilitating healthy weight, pre-diabetes, or medical weight management courses.
Lastly, I’ve learned not to schedule myself in the evenings. There has got to be some downtime so that I sleep well in order to wake up and do it all over again.
How did you get your current job in fitness and exercise?
I kind of fell into it, the private nutrition practice, that is. When I passed the national exam to become a Registered Dietitian, it was the onset of the Holiday Season. No one was hiring. I was already working at the Bay Club and figured that starting nutrition services there was a no-brainer. What a privilege it is to be at the right place at the right time.
As for Trifiniti, it was rather serendipitous. My husband, Duane, founded Trifiniti in 2004. That’s when we started to date. I had already established myself as run coach; I coached the Nike Women’s Marathon, See Jane Run events – my endurance coaching practice was budding. Duane and I held the same interest, were doing the same thing, but on different platforms. To merge practices was the natural order of things to come…including marriage.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I believe that we are born with skills and genetics that pave the path to who we are today, but I more strongly believe in what our family and community fosters within us. I learned to harness my headstrong, active energy by having a focus. That focus was learning to play the piano and excel in sports. I credit my parents in fostering me the ability to learn to focus because today, these two focuses foster great creativity in my thinking and bring a sense of calm and well being.
Along the way, I’ve learned patience. In a fast-paced world of technology, want, desire, and reward can be instantaneously fulfilled. This can be seen as an email response, shopping online, or learning a new trade. But it takes patience to allow a process to unfold – a process that leads to lasting results. What’s most important to me is feeling healthy and happy. These two things don’t change overnight; they need constant attention, refinement, and patience.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
“Let what you do, be what you love.” ~Rumi. This is my motto, this is my philosophy in life. Allow that passion for which you have in life to build and grow, and follow up, catch it, own it.
And no matter what, it’s never too late to return to school and to get your college degree. It was not until my thirties when I had that “ah-ha” moment about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I enjoyed my work very much prior to returning to college. But I’ve never felt more confident in my direction than now. Turns out I want to go back and who knows, maybe you’ll one day see PhD after my name.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what
would it be?
Since one’s basic needs are food, clothing, shelter, and water, I would have to say, a store credit at Good Earth Natural Foods, Betty Designs and Blanc Noir apparel, and a Sprinter Van/Camper to take my work and pleasure on the road.