My Personal Training Certification Update: CPR Training and A Lesson in Reading the Fine(ish) Print

personaltrainingcpr-585So, as you all know, I’ve decided to get my personal training certification from the American Council on Exercise to add some book cred to my already phenomenal street cred (I kid! I kid! But not really because I am here, and we wrote a book!). I got my study materials books early this year and have been studying. There has of course been a lot of “Yep, yep, I knew that. Well, OBVIOUSLY, book!” But there has also been a fair share of “Hmm. Wow. Anatomy. Science. Details.”

The books are huge and can seem a little daunting, but it’s even more daunting and seems to take forever to study when you can really only dedicate an hour or so a day to studying. You see, I’ve got two young’uns at home with me all but two days of the week (and now a newborn!). Those other two days I’m working here and over on Mamas. And then there is this pregnancy thing I’ve had going on, which was in full swing around the time I started studying. And let me tell you, my gung-ho “let’s do this” study mentality quickly got shut down by overwhelming fatigue that would hit me by the time my oldest went to bed. (I pretty much wanted to go to bed when my 3-year-old did.) So instead of studying for an hour or two before bed, my eyes would fall shut within 10 minutes of a chapter. Not the best way to crank through material, a paragraph a night, right?

It got better after that first trimester passed, and I was really getting through everything, still planning to hopefully take the exam before the arrival of that baby. And then more life happened, and I didn’t pick up my study materials for more than a month. Needless to say that my plans to take the test in August got kicked to the curb. But it was cool because you don’t have to take the test within six months of receiving your study materials — you just have to register, and you can register pretty far in advance. But here’s where the drama begins.

So, I’ve been known to have my babies at 35 weeks or a day short of 35 weeks — a full five weeks before my due date. So at a day short of 34 weeks pregnant, I go to register for the exam a couple of weeks ahead of my deadline. When it asks me for my CPR certification expiration date, I stop short. I didn’t have one yet. Yep, I knew I had to be certified to sit for the exam, but I had missed the not-even-very-fine-print about having to be certified to even REGISTER for the exam. DOH.

Cue my panic. I now had less than two weeks to get certified — AND the CPR courses I could find to take? Yep, all right at the 35-week mark of pregnancy. DOUBLE DOH. Just what I wanted, to be doing chest compressions on a mannequin and have my water break or something. Or be the live example they show the class of a birth. I called ACE to throw a hail Mary, and they were able to extend me a 30-day grace period to get my registration if needed. Luckily, I was able to sign up for a course just days later in the town over — registration had been full but the gods were smiling on me when I went to try one last time — and I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief.

It’s all my own fault — they even send out a “get your CPR certificate now!” email — and ACE was super nice and helpful about it, but I was kicking myself because I’ve had so much time to get this done. So let this be a note to you potential test-takers out there: Get your CPR certification now, and preferably not when you’re hugely pregnant!

Now that I know life and babies and things get in the way, I’m planning to schedule my exam pretty well in advance — so hopefully by early 2015 I’ll be official. I’ll keep you posted! —Erin

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  1. Emily P says:

    I got to renew my CPR certification through work while I was 34 weeks pregnant, so I can totally relate! My favorite part was when the instructor asked us to point to our belly buttons while our eyes were closed (to demonstrate an easy way to find where to give the Heimlich) and she told me I could just guess where mine would be 🙂

  2. Sarah says:

    I get this. I’ve had my ACE study material since 2012. I’m still waiting for life to stop getting in my way of getting certified. The CPR is the one thing I have managed to finish.