New York City is not an easy place to work, nor an easy place to live. Our city can be stressful and expensive. The best people from every field are here, which makes all jobs extremely competitive.
As anyone pursuing an artistic career knows, NYC requires an individual to straddle 2 to 3 areas of work. Artists have a survival job to pay our bills and make ends meet. Then we have our artistic work. Finally we network with the right people, and work towards furthering our artistic abilities. After all of this, that’s when we squeeze whatever else we can, into our lives. Everyone approaches this balancing act differently, and many end up burning out, or going broke.
This is why I am extremely thankful that I found Pongo Power. Working at Pongo Power was vital to my survival, my development, and to my career as a multimedia choreographer.
Like many dancers, finding work in the fitness industry was an easy transition. Being a personal trainer was a natural complement to the physical work I was already doing. I became a trainer and a group fitness instructor, and found that the anatomy, body awareness, and teaching skills I had already honed as a dancer, transferred to the industry quite well. Fitness was also fun and rewarding, because I knew that I was truly helping people.
Unfortunately, what I also found was that many jobs in the fitness industry promoted a workaholic, exhaustion-culture, that made my artistic pursuits nearly impossible. As a big-box gym trainer, the grueling hours of prospecting, coupled with the physical and mental exhaustion of teaching back-to-back exercises classes, made it extremely difficult to pursue my artistic projects. Many of my artist/trainer colleagues powered through 16-hour days on too much caffeine and too little sleep. I was afraid of getting injured in rehearsal. I was also afraid of being too tired to be alert while working; which meant, I would be unable to fully devote the care and attention to my clients that they deserve.
I spent a few months burning out on a full time, 5am-10pm, training schedule. Then, I realized it was time to look for a job that offered a schedule that worked with my aspirations, my health, and my sanity.
When I started working at Pongo Power, it seemed too good to be true! Pongo Power actually encourages, and permits, employees to practice the balanced lifestyle that we teach to our clients. I was able to set a schedule that worked in synergy with both my artistic needs, and my financial needs. Once we came to an agreement, to meet the needs of the growing business, I was then asked to contribute to designing my own set-schedule. This partnership enabled me to be consistent, well-rested, and fully-attentive at each session with clients, and in rehearsals with my company. Not only could I afford to eat, I could afford to eat healthy. I even had time to workout and train my body for my craft.
The culture at Pongo Power is supportive and empowering. Each employee has unique talents and outside pursuits: whether it is running a non-profit, acting, or being a competitive athlete.
The duplicity of our lives in not frowned upon, it is celebrated! We work together as a team to make sure the business is profitable, and that our creative dreams flourish. We know that when the business succeeds, we all succeed. We attend each others shows; cover each others clients; and share the workload as a team. We work incredibly hard, with great focus to, and we see the fruition of our efforts.
This year at Pongo Power I accomplished two pursuits in my two fields. I earned my Medical Exercise Specialty, which qualifies me to work with clients who are post-rehab, or who are managing medical conditions. I was also offered a prestigious graduate school candidacy as a Video Media Designer in Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama. I could never have done either of these without the lifestyle, the resources, and most importantly, the community i found at Pongo Power.