18 Jun 2012, Posted by admin in Uncategorized, No Comments. Tagged Balance Body, Cincinnati, fitness director, historian, journalism, Mercy at Fairfield HealthPlex, multimedia, New Media Bureau, personal trainer, Studs Terkel, University of Cincinnati, Working
Nico Gonzalez, 35, is a fitness director, personal trainer and group fitness instructor. He has been in the fitness industry for 15 years.
I’m a fitness director at Mercy of Fairfield HealthPlex. This is my eighth year here. As fitness director, I oversee personal training, group fitness, all aquatics and the integrating of new members into the club. I’m also a trainer for Balance Body, which is a manufacturer for Pilates equipment. They are an education company. That means I travel on weekends, and I do about 30 trainings a year. I’ve been doing that for the last five years.
Growing up I was very sick. I have to be very careful because my mom has diabetes, and my dad died of diabetes.
After high school, I moved from Chicago to the University of Dayton. I taught classes as my hobby. I became certified in group exercise in 1996 and personal training in 1999, but my degree is actually in accounting. After college, I worked for GE as an accountant.
I was getting more certifications [in fitness] along the way, and then this lonely old hospital called Mercy recruited me. That’s what brought me here. My hobby became my job, and I love it! I see myself doing this for years and years and years. I don’t want to retire.
I love when I am teaching a class and everyone has a smile on their face. Or when they say, “I have less stress, my family says I’m a much happier person, and I sleep better.” Or “Oh, I’m bending over and picking things up off the floor without pain!”
There are a lot of challenges with my job, but I would say the biggest challenge is balancing everything in terms of being the fitness director, teaching the classes, and just meeting all my goals each year.
A typical Wednesday, I arrive at 8 a.m. I have a small-group personal training at 8:30, and a small-group Pilates session at 9:30. Then from 10:30 to 5:30, I do my managerial duties as a fitness director. I also walk around the club and interact with the members and show them that I am not just behind closed doors in an office. On most evenings I am teaching my group fitness classes.
My favorite part is being in front of a client. That’s what my passion is. Generally speaking, I see more female clients, unless it’s athletic training or conditioning or in high school. Then obviously male athletes are more involved.
In terms of my workouts, I lift three times a week for about 40 minutes. The classes I teach get me my cardio, but I absolutely love turning my brain off, getting on the treadmill, turning on my iPad and listening to an audio book and just doing a light-intensity walk. It rejuvenates me.
I just finished the Men’s Physique Competition at the Kentucky Convention Center. I trained for 16 weeks. It was my first one. It’s basically a competition of, “Do you have a beach body?” My social life went way down. It was tough!
But I work out to enjoy life, and I am good all year. On holidays, I have a second serving!