Patty Hanley hopes to pursue a career in pediatric physical therapy, so Thursday's field trip to Peak Fitness proved beneficial for the Steamboat Springs junior.
Three of Allison Lehman's high school physical education classes spoke with gym owner Tara Nultemeier and several of Peak Fitness' personal trainers about sports-related jobs and what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
Nultemeier noted that jobs such as personal training, class instructing or even owning and operating a gym are rarely represented or talked about in career fairs.
Sports-related professions pay well and can serve as a rewarding career path, especially for those people who want to retain an active lifestyle.
"There's been some interest from the classes," Nultemeier said.
Hanley was one of those students interested in learning more about her options.
Physical therapy requires extensive education, so Hanley knows she's going to need a job to help with education costs while in school.
What some people may not realize, and what Nultemeier wanted to get across to the high school students, is that personal training can actually turn into the perfect college job.
Many college towns have several fitness facilities looking to employ personal trainers, and those trainers can make $50 an hour.
Certification courses are all that are required to become a trainer.
"You don't need four years of college to do it," Nultemeier said. "But it can pay for four years of college."
Nultemeier doesn't actually have a college degree but is running a successful business at Peak Fitness. She started the business with funds given to her by an old employer confident that Nultemeier would reach her goals.
But it hasn't been easy, she said. Nultemeier worked long hours at the beginning, living out of the back locker room, to make her business work.
She is hoping her success story might inspire others to follow suit.
"I love my job," she said. "Unfortunately, this wasn't a dream of mine. I enjoy it and am making the best of it."
Hanley wouldn't mind having a similar story to tell.
"I've been planning on trying to get certified," she said. "They were able to point the way a little bit."