How I got my job: Wellness and fitness consultant Noemi Pitargue
How I got my job is a series that spotlights a specific job or position that isn’t often featured in media. Through this series, we hope to shed light on the duties and work-life of some of the most interesting jobs in the Philippines. We’ll also share a few tips from insiders on how to land one of these positions.
This week, Pacifiqa talks to Noemi Pitargue, a wellness and fitness consultant and bodywork practitioner.
Tell us a few things about yourself.
My name is Noemi Rowena Pitargue and I am currently a freelance wellness and fitness consultant and bodywork practitioner. I have been in the industry since 1999. Also, I have been a pole fitness teacher since 2011.
What does a holistic bodywork practitioner do?
First and foremost, I shall define each word. Holistic is a term used to encompass different kinds of aspects in one’s life. In natural therapies, it means combining different kind of modalities and disciplines to bring one into optimum wellness and fitness.
Bodywork is a term which, at present, is not too commonly used, pertaining to the workings of the body. I believe it surpasses exercise and may even incorporate body arts, body movement including dance, massage, martial arts, exercise, sports, workout, among others. A practitioner is someone who practices and shares what he/she has learnt or mastered through education and through experience.
As a holistic bodywork practitioner, I use different kind of modalities, combining them into a regimen to bring one into balance. These entail not only workout, exercise, and dance, but an overall approach to help an individual become whole or well again in mind, body, and spirit.
What makes what you do different from other fitness experts and trainers?
Having a massage background, my approach on fitness is inevitably clinical or corrective. I look at a client’s posture and I start processing and analyzing the state of his/her musculoskeletal system.
What makes me different is my decade of experience and knowledge on the workings of the human body: I can easily enumerate and identify which muscles need work.
And recently, I got into a freak accident. That made me really feel what my clients are feeling. I am able to empathize with them regarding the actual pain they are going through and how to address their concerns.
What is your educational and training background?
My educational and training and background to what I do is quite unconventional. I was a marketing major from De La Salle University. I also started my MBA in Ateneo which was still in Salcedo Village at the time, but I wasn’t able to finish it because I took a job far from Makati. I then pursued my Masters in Clinical Nutrition from Women’s University, but after the endless science prerequisites, I took another job in Olongapo City, particularly at the Subic Bay Yacht Club as a spa manager. It launched my career in bodywork.
What are the personal qualities one would need in order to get into this type of work?
COMPASSION is a must! The bottom line is to help the clients achieve their fitness goals and enjoy the process, as well.
One must also be creative. I’m proud of inventing drills that are inspired by different kinds of drills, both common and unconventional, and those derived from other forms of bodywork such as dance. I incorporate Latin, belly, contemporary, ballet, pole, hip hop dance into my drills.
How did you get started?
When I got into the supplement business and started reading on natural therapies, getting into fitness was inevitable. I just got back on track, practiced, learned, and eventually shared my knowledge to my friends.
How do you get clients?
I don’t really advertise. My clients would sometimes tell their friends about what I do. I just like to workout and whoever wants to avail of my services, I train at my home studio. I also take clients outside my home studio based on their requirements.
What gets you excited about your job?
I get excited about working out with clients and doing something new, inventing new exercises and drills, buying new stuff for my home studio, and using unconventional equipment to workout.
I also get excited about future and long-term projects. Right now, I’m thinking of setting up more aerial suspensions at the studio.
On a personal note, I get excited for myself as to what I can do next in my aerial exercises.
What is a typical workday like for you?
I wake up and gather my girls (my trainers). I am a cat lady, so I oblige them to attend to my cats like say hello and play with my cats – I have eight. Then we have coffee and rush down to my home studio to get it tidied up for the first client of the day. We take turns teaching the clients, and when I don’t have contracts outside my home studio. I teach most of the time and I will have my girls either observe or join me as I train the clients. On rare days when nobody comes in for a workout, like when it’s raining hard, I train the girls. I teach them pole poses or pole tricks and add to their roster of cross training exercise templates.
How do you motivate your clients?
We workout with them, especially during cardio, and my girls join in the activity. I show them that even if it is hard and even if I am challenged, I carry on with the workout. We are very hands-on so that we can really help the clients to reach their goals and know their limits to prevent injuries.
I believe the goal of fitness isn’t just to be aesthetically sexy and appealing, but to have an inner fulfillment and beauty that comes from within, a feeling of being healthy and empowered. This emanates in the way they stand, move, and carry themselves.
I also inspire them that, at my age, 46, I still strive to be physically active. I don’t believe there’s an age limit on agility and physical capabilities. I show them that it can be done with persistence and patience.
What is your advice for those who would like to follow a similar path?
This must be your passion. You must not get into this because it is a seemingly lucrative profession. It may become lucrative in the long run, but more than anything else, it is a lot of sharing and giving because after all, you are still a health caregiver. As one, you must also walk the talk. You must be equipped with the energy, the strength, and the knowledge pertaining to all aspects of fitness. You must be able to practice what you preach and must be the model of your product.
Endless hours must be dedicated to training and learning. When you have achieved this, train some more. You have to be on top of your game so you can share more and teach more.
As for being a wellness and fitness consultant, one must be eloquent in all aspects of wellness and fitness, both in theory and in practice. It is a profession, it is an endeavor, it is a purpose. If this is your passion and your path, by all means, follow it.