My Two Passions

I was randomly thinking earlier this morning about how freaking happy I am with my life and the two "jobs" I have. I was also thinking about how much my business, Teachers Gone Strong, has evolved over the last two years. 

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A little backstory...

When I first got really into health an fitness, I knew I wanted to become a personal trainer. However, I was already far into my education degree to become a teacher. I didn't really know how I would do both. I actually purchased a ISSA personal training "kit" but sent the materials back because I just couldn't commit to doing it. I didn't know how I would really be a personal trainer when I could only do it on the weekends (teaching is WAY over full time, ya'll). A few years later, during my 1st year teaching I decided I would go for it. I went with NASM and eventually pursued two certifications from them. Still, at this point I didn't really know how I would balance teaching + personal training. I didn't even know that "online personal training" existed. SAY WHAAAAT?! much has changed since then!!  I soon learned about online personal training and I was much more excited. It's a lot more motivating to know you'll be available to commit more energy into your passion when you can do it ALL from home. I knew that giving up teaching wouldn't be an option (I loved that part of my life just as much)...and really didn't want to limit myself to only personal training in the summer time and weekends.

As I was getting my certification through NASM, I realized how many of my co workers and teachers in general, struggled with health and fitness. I quickly saw that many of the people I was working with on a daily basis (or teachers that I had went to school with) really didn't know much about health/nutrition. This isn't their fault, but I wanted to do something about it. I decided to create my own business where I helped TEACHERS become their best selves. Over time I have helped  other people I know (not just teachers) but that is mainly who I work with. I saw a huge need in the teaching community...I wanted to show these people who are SO SELFLESS on a daily basis- that they CAN do it. They deserve to put themselves first and create a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. I've realized first hand that you can be a MUCH better teacher when you fill your own cup up first! I figured since I knew just how exhausting and stressful teaching is first hand (you  really don't get it if you aren't an educator), I thought I could truly relate.

That brings me to the next much as I LOVE helping adults, I love my 23 second graders just as much. To be a teacher was my dream and I can't believe I get to live it out every day. Some days are really difficult and to be honest, I feel like each year gets harder and harder. The copious amounts of stress that is put on teachers is ridiculous... and majority of the time I feel like I can't keep up. I feel that there is ALWAYS something I need to be better at (which is okay) but I will never stop learning. Behaviors completely exhaust me and have made me *think* I'm not good enough on countless occasions. But I don't stop. I don't give up. The next day is always better and I have 23 little loves reminding me how important I am to them on an everyday basis. Seriously, I get to spend my day with kids- what could be better than that?


Each year, when I look back I feel that I have grown so much. The stress is overwhelming more often than not- but the rewards are even more overwhelming. I can't imagine NOT being a teacher. Working with kids everyday is what makes my heart BURST. Watching them read for the first time (especially when I taught 1st), understand a math difficult math concept, be kind to one another when they don't know I'm listening or simply say something that is so hilarious yet unexpected... I will never ever take that for granted.

Sorry for getting off topic a little bit but... the whole reason I wanted to write this post is that I was thinking about how it's totally okay to have more than one thing you are completely overwhelmingly passionate about. I've seen countless times where people will start online training (or another side business) and end up quitting their career when they are at a point that they are able to do so. For me, that will never happen. Although Teachers Gone Strong still has a lot of growth to do, no matter how "big" it becomes- I will never give up teaching. It's okay to have two things that you absolutely LOVE doing. What it comes down to is that I love helping people. Whether that be helping kids by being their teacher, or helping adults by teaching them how to change their life- I freaking love it.

I hope this inspires you to go after what you want. If you have a 9-5 but also have a hobby/side business that you LOVE- don't be afraid of it!

I'm leaving you with this adorable picture I created from the Rhonda Designs app-- although I wish there were a few more options for girl and boy clip art- I did the best I could and I think it came out adorable! The app is $3.99 and the family portrait pack is .99 if you want to make one for yourself! The app is loaded with fun stuff!

Erica Eaton