Why I Became a Personal Trainer (Trish)


Tricia Strong Thompson, CPT, Fitness Manager at Asheville Family FitnessI’ve always had a competitive drive.  Perhaps it began in childhood trying to keep up with my two brothers, who are on either side of me in years.  I tried to be as good as them in baseball, playing with matchbox cars, and certainly faster than them running down the street.

Naturally, I tried many sports once I got to high school.  Eventually I settled on volleyball and softball, which I continued during my first year at college.

My first job after college was doing full-time tree work. I pruned mature trees, which often required climbing them wearing a saddle and ropes – just picture it!  (Sidenote: I overcame my fear of heights by making it part of my job.)

That was the most physically demanding work I’ve ever done…even harder than Saturday morning Gx4 with Ross!


After several years of tree-pruning, it was time to begin motherhood.  Needless to say, I stopped climbing trees and focused on eating plenty of healthy food. Without much effort, I gained 40 pounds.


I fell in love with my first baby boy (some of you know Karl), and six months later I realized I could easily continue to just take care of his needs forever.


Fortunately, I lived five minutes away from a women’s fitness center.  They had drop-in childcare and aerobics classes that I attended Monday through Friday.  After a couple months (and returned muscle definition), I thought: “It would be a lot easier to work out if working out was also my job.”


Becoming a group fitness instructor helped me overcome a lifelong fear of talking in front of a group.  I followed a pretty common progression: starting out as an aerobics instructor, then expanding into personal training.  I still enjoy both roles and especially love AFF’s special focus on small group training, which bridges the two.


You can find me pretty much all day every day on the fitness floor. I teach a variety of classes, but my special favorites are my Chair Stretch classes. Keep your eyes peeled for my next bootcamp, which starts right after Thanksgiving!


Written by Damon

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