A video of one of my most memorable fitness adventures to date! AFAA workshop presenter, competition prep, my nursing career, fitness equipment face-off, motivation, and more!

Part 1: Becoming a Fitness Industry Certification Specialist

So you want to work in the fitness industry? You attend your first group exercise instructor certification workshop. You meet the person or persons leading the workshop, only to leave at the end of the day thinking to yourself “their job seems so awesome!”


Very few people realize the amount of time, patience, and financial investment it takes to become that “person” leading such an educational seminar of sorts.

The numerous hoops you jump through after you’ve become certified in your desired fitness specialty, then apply, audition,  and interview for the position to lead workshops for that particular certification.

The most cumbersome part,  is the apprenticeship. Before you can lead a workshop on your own, you have to prove that you can, through co-presentation with an established and experienced presenter.

Availability of workshops can be scarce or not fit your schedule, and often get cancelled last minute due to low registrations, so be prepared to hurry up and wait. This also continues once you gain your official examiner and/or presenter position as well.

The typical route to becoming a certification specialist is to first apply to become an examiner for the certification workshop you want to someday present. In this instance, if you also apply for the presenter position as well, you can utilize your check-off time wisely and finish your unpaid examiner check-off as well as practice presenting at the same workshop,  so on your next workshops visit you can get checked off on presenting and paid for examining the workshop candidates as well.


So before you begin to think it’s all glitz glam high life being a fitness educator, remember it can take as long as a year just to complete the application process, get scheduled at at your minimum two workshops for your presenter apprenticeship, or your one practice workshop for your examiner check-off, which is unpaid and not reimbursed, unless you are progressing onward through the presenter apprenticeship process, then at your second apprenticeship workshop you can serve as an examiner as well and receive compensation for it.

Part II: Working as a Fitness Industry Certification Specialist

As fitness education specialist, we also at times have to travel a long distance from home,  for a weekend, usually a day trip only or so, depending on the workshop length, location, and format, and put up with any and everything that could take place once we arrive. Issues can arise anywhere from rude staff and inadequate facilities,  to ill-prepared, unsafe participants that refuse to adopt company policies and philosophy,  as well as just being in an unfamiliar city for a day.

Luckily,  most of these extremes I’ve been blessed to not encounter,  but they happen according to fellow colleagues in the industry.

However,  at the end of it all, this role is very rewarding in that you have the opportunity to enrich the lives of pure strangers for a day and help them launch their dreams of becoming the best fitness professional they can be, with national credentials to boot. Something to be very proud of.

Until next time…I AM Candice Maria

Happy new year,  welcome Spring and everything else in between! So yes, my dear followers if you’re still out there hopefully, I have been on a writing hiatus since the new year began.  However,  never fear I am back!

A lot has changed in my life, improved, evolved,  etc.  hence even the website layout has and is still changing, not quite finished updating it yet,  but I am still the same crazy fitness fanatic and athletic health nut you’ve grown accustomed to hearing from every now and then!

So with that,  brace your timelines and newsfeeds over the coming weeks, this Chica has a lot to share! Yep about 3 months worth!

Until then. … I AM Candice Maria


There’s just something about human movement,  movement to me is life, energy,  and growth.  A body in motion is a healthy body.  Stagnation symbolizes death, disease,  and the dying process. No other professional track have I found studies everything that gives life to my soul and ignites my passion than the following terms listed and defined below!

“Exercise is Medicine”




Exercise Physiology


Medical Research


Preventative Medicine


So I’ve embarked recently on a journey to earn my Masters Degree in  Health and Human Performance with a concentration in Exercise Physiology,  Thesis track.  After all the years I spent working as a Registered Nurse,  I realized shortly after becoming a fitness professional as a hobby, that what I was most passionate about nursing didn’t fulfill.


During undergrad all we learned was how to “treat”

“cover up” or “accept” diseases. Very little emphasis was put on prevention,  conducting research,  and the improvement of health naturally.  Basically finding solutions,  fixing problems, or administering skilled actions because “the doctor ordered it” like we were supposed to be brainless zombies that simply were supposed to do as they were told because someone said so, whether it was a doctor in the clinical setting,  or a textbook in the classroom setting.  However,  nothing truly was ever questioned from either source,  just that we were supposed to know that it was “evidence-based” information and decision making,  critical thinking as they called it. However,  what I wanted answers to never came out of those sources. I wanted to do more and be more! I wanted to push the envelope of tradition and so called “evidence-based” practice (EBP). I wanted a voice in the industry, a platform for change! I was tired of just accepting statistics! I wanted to change them!


I get awkward looks and comments a lot when I tell people I’ve left the nursing profession. Most only see the surface,  and say “what about the money you can make?!” Life is more than that to me! I want to be legendary,  if money comes with it great,  if not, I don’t care because I still left a mark on the modern medical industry, the health care community, and humanity as a whole and that my friend means more to me than being some mindless zombie with a meager paycheck.


So anyway,  off to a fresh new start and new beginning for the career I was intended to have.

“The only failure in starting over, is not starting at all!”