Member ProfILE: eisha liyanage, gym floor instructor, NSW

Where do you live and work?

I live in Wollstonecraft and work in Lane Cove, Sydney.

What fitness qualifications do you hold?

I have completed Cert III in Fitness and am currently doing Cert IV.

What is your role in the industry and how long have you been involved in fitness?

I’ve been passionate about fitness for almost 15 years, but I’ve only recently started my formal training after working as a medical research scientist. My current role is within a community gym, where I work as an instructor and trainer, and I’m a student with fitnessU.

What made you decide to switch to a career in fitness?

I wanted to be in a positive industry where people are dedicated and passionate about improving people’s lives and helping them reach their goals. Also, turning my own health and fitness around changed my life and I want others to experience the same benefits.

Describe your typical day

I get up early and have coffee (without fail) and go for a run, then head to the gym for some Freestyle Group Training classes and some laps in the pool if time permits. Then it’s breakfast and off to work, where it’s a mix of gym floor and PT. I work on my Cert IV after dinner and prep for the next day.

What skills are needed in your role?

The motivation to help people. It also helps if you’re friendly, flexible and sensitive to each person’s needs. We also need to be good role models…we can’t expect our clients to do what we won’t.

What are the best and worst aspects of your job?

It’s amazing to feel like you’ve made someone’s day better. They can come to you after the worst day and if, by the time they leave you, they’re feeling better and more relaxed, you’ve done a good job. The hours can be irregular, but I know that will change in time after I’ve had more experience in the industry.

What has been your greatest career challenge?

The decision to make a career change was extremely difficult. I studied for nine years to be a research scientist and I’d been in that field for a long time, so the decision to leave that behind and enter an entirely new industry was a tough one, but I feel like it was a good one.

And your greatest highlight?

Doing events for charity. Every time I run a race for a cause that’s close to my heart (usually animal welfare), I get a sense of accomplishment, knowing that I’ve done the best I can for not only myself, but for those that can’t help themselves.

What’s your current focus?

My main focus in the short term is getting more experience in the fitness industry, whether it’s at work, or by attending courses and conferences where I can learn from those around me who have so much knowledge to impart. Also, finish that Cert IV!

Who has inspired you on your fitness industry journey?

I’m lucky to be surrounded by inspiring and motivating people, from my brilliant ‘Pro-Trainer’ mentor Kathy Johnsun, to my training buddies and running mentors. I also believe that each person needs to be their own inspiration, because we’re all capable of achieving things that we never thought we could, we just need to look back sometimes to see how far we’ve come.

What motto or words of wisdom sum up your fitness/life philosophy?

My fitness motto: What’s the worst that can happen (if I don’t do this)?
My life motto: What’s the worst that can happen (if I actually do this)?