Name: Marika Hart Age: 42 Location: Perth, Australia What does it mean to you to be part of the GGS…
What was your first thought when you learned about the Coaching & Training Women Academy and the GGS-1 Certification?
My first thought was YES!!! I have been following GGS for a long time and have the Modern Woman’s Guide to Strength Training. I knew the GGS certification would be amazing and real. I remember rearranging my workout and work schedule the day it went on sale so I can be sure to be one of the first to enroll. (I would be curious to know if it was the first — probably one of the first ten or so I would guess.)
What do you do?
I am a board-certified mental health registered nurse. I have master’s degrees in psychology and nursing education, and am working on my Doctorate of Nursing Practice. Currently, I teach for two different nursing schools, teaching Mental Health Nursing, Developmental Psychology, and Critical Thinking. I love teaching our future nurses!
Until recently, I was also working as a pediatric psychiatric nurse in acute psychiatric care and with children who have continence issues.
What else do you do?
Working on my doctorate takes up a lot of my “spare” time, but I love going to the beach with my husband, visiting with friends and family, and going to the gym. I look at exercise as a reward, not a punishment, and I really enjoy it. I would say my hobbies are exercise and education.
Best compliment you’ve received lately:
I received two compliments lately that really made me excited. One was that I was a genuinely kind person and the other was that I had inspired someone to make changes in their life.
Most recent compliment you gave someone else:
It is my practice to compliment someone every day — for a genuine reason. If I see a stranger on the street and like what they are wearing, I tell them. Today I told a colleague how much I appreciated her expertise and patience after she helped me solve an issue.
Favorite way to treat yourself:
A 90-minute deep tissue massage and a really good glass of wine afterwards.
I have two:
If it’s important to you, you will find a way, if not you will find an excuse.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
Three words that best describe you:
Determined. Passionate. Genuine.
Does the GGS-1 textbook count?
What inspires and motivates you?
Trying to be a better version of myself is probably my best motivator. For many years I was very overweight and unhealthy, and didn’t like myself. Pushing myself physically and mentally is a huge motivator for me. I actually earned my personal trainer certification over a decade ago to train myself, as I was uncomfortable working with anyone else at that point in my life for a plethora of reasons.
I try not to give my source of motivation to anyone else so that it doesn’t dissipate. It’s mine to own and I can only hold myself responsible for it.
With that said, I have a lot of wonderful extrinsic factors that contribute to my motivation! I have two very young grandchildren and I want to be able to run and play with them for many many years, so I am motivated to stay healthy and strong for them!
I am also always inspired by women helping other women, and people just being kind to others. I am a huge believer in paying it forward.
Kindness inspires me more than someone yelling at me to work harder.
Describe a typical day in your life, from waking up to bedtime:
I honestly do not have a typical day or schedule anymore. What I love about my jobs is that I have flexibility. I wake up anywhere between 5 and 6:30 a.m. I usually go straight to the gym (after coffee of course) to start my day, but some days I work first and then go to the gym at lunch.
I have learned that the best thing for me is to set myself up for success, meaning that I have a plan before I go to bed each night (with a written list for the next day), but then I also have a backup plan. This way, if I planned to get up super early and go workout but I wake up tired and need more sleep, I can do plan B (like sleep a little longer and workout in the afternoon) and still get my goals of the day accomplished.
Regardless, I always have a written list of what I need to do in the day, and I always make a new list before I go to bed. I have found this system of writing things down keeps my mind from trying to remember all those “to-do” items in the night and I sleep so much better! And who doesn’t love crossing things off a to-do list throughout the day?
What situation in your life lead you to enroll in the GGS-1 Certification?
I am working on my doctorate in nursing practice and considering do my dissertation on a topic related to women’s fitness. I thought this certification would be the perfect supplemental knowledge to my existing knowledge base as well as possibly inspire me to narrow down a specific thesis statement.
How would you describe your women-specific training knowledge before enrolling in the GGS-1 Certification?
I think the combination of nursing school, being a woman, earning my personal trainer certification through the American Council on Exercise, and having my own struggles with health and fitness over the years gave me a fairly strong knowledge of women-specific training. I have done a lot of independent research on women’s training, too, which I think expanded my knowledge in this area.
What’s been the best part about going through the GGS-1 Certification?
There were so many things I enjoyed about this program. I loved that there were actual books, which might sound crazy but for whatever reason the e-book thing just doesn’t have the same effect for me. So the course materials themselves were so great.
Having a background in psychology, I was so impressed with all the behavior and psychological information weaved throughout this certification. Understanding clients’ motivations, obstacles, and thought processes are essential to a successful and collaborative working relationship. And is absolutely necessary for clients to achieve their outcomes! This program reiterated this throughout the book.
The chapter regarding the difference between the social construct of gender and the biological determination of sex had me saying “Yes!” aloud more than once. I have worked with teens who have struggled with identity challenges, and I think GGS did an amazing job on presenting this information.
The section on measurements really stood out to me. I can recall having my measurements taken with criticism and inappropriateness more than once. I also thought it was a great reminder to those who take measurements that even though it is something a professional might perform as a routine task, it is so important to not go on “autopilot” when doing so. Taking time to explain the process, keeping appropriate distance, being sensitive, and remembering you are measuring a person are all so important. This information made me think of how many times I have taken vital signs, and weight and height on patients, and probably didn’t take the time and care I should have.
This program increased my self-awareness and motivated me to be better in my future practice but also to be kinder to myself.
Now that you’re an official GGS-1 Certified Coach, what impact are you hoping to have?
I am hoping to use this information to help with my dissertation. I am sure I will be citing the textbook as one of my evidence-based practice sources! I also hope to one day work in the fitness field in some capacity. I have considered online coaching with a focus on self-esteem issues in young girls or women in general.
How has your thinking about training women changed since completing the GGS-1 Certification?
It reminded me that so many women struggle with a variety of weight, self-image, and health issues. Taking the time to recognize each person is an individual with individual needs and desired outcomes is so essential. There is no one size fits all strategy, but there is a need for consistency in empathy, support, and encouragement.
What would you say to someone who’s on the fence about enrolling?
Just. Do. It. Seriously, I can understand the hesitation because it is an investment both financially and time wise. However, I am a firm believer in never underestimating the value of quality education. The GGS-1 certification can only help trainers, regardless of where they are in their careers or experience. There are educational and motivational elements throughout the entire course that will benefit anyone (and everyone) who wants to train women.
The GGS-1 Coaching Certification is the world’s first comprehensive, interdisciplinary, evidence-based, body-positive, women-specific certification for health and fitness professionals. This certification is NOT your “run-of-the-mill” online course. It’s the pinnacle of women’s coaching information and is guaranteed to help you stand out in your crowded field.