Life as a Push to Walk Trainer
By: Deanna Pepe
Being a trainer at Push to Walk means being creative, constantly learning, serving spectacular clients, and working alongside amazing coworkers.
Hi, I’m Deanna! I am the newest member of the PTW training team! After graduating with my master’s degree in Exercise Science, my job hunt led me to PTW and luckily, this community welcomed me with open arms. As a new trainer, Push to Walk provides hands-on training and resources such as a spinal cord injury and trainer manual. We are then tested on that material before we can work alone with clients. After I completed my training and testing in April, I started my journey as a PTW trainer.
Creative and Customized Workouts
Being a trainer challenges my creativity and cultivates my problem-solving skills. No spinal cord injury is the same and each client needs a well thought out and customized workout. Trainers are required to be at PTW a half hour before our first client. We use that time to review the accommodating yet challenging workout program we have created. Getting ideas for exercises isn’t always easy, but sometimes my most unique exercise ideas pop into my head when I’m driving, listening to music, or even trying to fall asleep. I also do research online and of course, ask my coworkers for advice.
Being a trainer means thinking outside the box and constantly looking for ways to support and strengthen our clients.
As a trainer we see four to seven clients throughout the day working with each of them for one to two hours. I value this time with clients because not only are we exercising, but we also have the best conversations. PTW clients are strong and resilient, and I appreciate the time and energy they give to me while in the gym working out. Each client teaches me something different about the spinal cord community and about living life to the fullest.
The PTW Training Team
Along with my hardworking clients, I have the best coworkers. The trainers and aides at Push to Walk have mountains of knowledge and are an openhearted group of people. During my first week, I was extremely nervous working with a new population, but my coworkers reassured me and helped me see my worth and potential in this space. Learning from each of them has been invaluable and they’ve helped shape me into the trainer I am today. Being able to come to my fellow trainers with questions really allows me to grow and better serve this community.
Lastly, being a trainer at PTW feels like being a part of not only of a community, but of a big family. One thing that touched my heart was seeing the bonds of clients and coworkers alike. Everyone knows each other and will extend a helping hand if needed. Clients motivate clients. Trainer and clients learn from each other. Camaraderie is ever present.
There is no place I would rather work.