I recently had the pleasure of meeting Abby Kurtz with Pea in the Pod Fitness. Abby is a personal trainer who specializes in prenatal and postpartum fitness. I’ll let Abby tell you about herself and her business.
Q. What’s your favorite thing about your job?
A. I love working with women during the childbearing stage of life. There are unique physical and emotional demands on women during these times. It’s so important that she stay physically active for her physical and mental well-being. I truly love getting to be part of this sacred time in a woman’s life. Of course, there are days when it doesn’t feel so “sacredmy job as a prenatal and postnatal personal trainer. First of all, I like to joke that I’m part doula. I honestly spend a lot of time holding babies and keeping them happy while I’m in session with their mother. It would not be uncommon to see me bouncing a baby on one hip while showing mom how to do an exercise with my free hand. Secondly, as I mentioned, I treat my clients as a whole person. There is much more to each of us than just body. If I want to provide well-rounded support it’s important that I look at the emotional and spiritual components of life too. Together I work with my mamas to help them develop plans for stress relief and general well-being that reach beyond the mere physical or personal training part of the picture. I believe this makes for happier clients and a better partnership.
Q. How did you get into this line of work?
A. It’s one of those things where your career just finds you. I’ve always been an incredibly active person and an athlete. When choosing a major in college I knew that I would never be happy sitting at a desk all day. I am a people person and the idea of staring at a screen all day sounded incredibly suffocating to me. Majoring in Kinesiology (the study of the movement of the body) seemed like a natural choice. After graduation I bounced around in the fitness field, as so many of us do in our early years. I did a stint in various gym settings, hospitals, and rehab offices. Ultimately, I felt most at home wearing the personal trainer hat. I have the gift of encouragement so personal training just made sense. These early experiences were great because they really increased my depth of knowledge about injury rehabilitation and how the body responds to exercise. Through all of this, I was attempting to find my niche. Again, my niche found me. About 3 years into my career I wasn’t happy working for someone else anymore. I had very clear ideas about how I wanted to work with people and run a business. I’ve always been a risk-taker and a go-getter so I decided there was no time like the present to go out on my own and plunge into business ownership. I really didn’t have a clue how to run a business but I had a passion for my work and knew I could figure it out. And I did! It was during this time that I discovered my absolute love for prenatal and postnatal fitness. I had a client get unexpectedly pregnant during this time. I really only had a very crude knowledge of how to train a pregnant woman so I knew I was going to have to scramble and get educated quickly. So, I did. I took it upon myself to become an expert in prenatal and postnatal fitness. I read book after book, took continuing education courses and generally tried to soak up everything I could get my hands on. It ended up that working with this client opened me up to an entire population of women who are generally underserved and misunderstood in the personal training community. That was it, I had found my niche and I have never looked back. Women are amazing. It’s amazing to witness what their bodies can do and how, with appropriate care they can bounce back from pregnancy. My mamas continue to amaze me with their strength, not only physically but also emotionally.