Ariane Hundt kicks butts for a living. The fitness trainer and nutritionist gets health conscious New Yorkers into shape using the iconic mile-long Brooklyn Bridge as a gymnasium. High above the East River her Brooklyn Bridge Bootcamp gives participants a rigorous workout of running, push ups, squats, and leg raises.
Turn the clock back a few years and Ariane is a successful, but stressed out executive. She longed to break out and do something in line with her core beliefs and values. This is the story of how she did it.
Ariane Hundt knew she wouldn’t be in the job for much longer. In three short years she had worked her way up to Director of Global Research for a pharmaceutical market research company. The money, prestige, and benefits were great, but the hours were not and the post left her unfulfilled.
“I was working 16 hour days and felt empty. What I was doing wasn’t in line with my values and beliefs. I was out of shape, unhealthy, and didn’t have a social life.”
Ariane had always been interested in fitness and healthy approaches to living. While working at a previous job she had earned her certification as a trainer. So she put her talents and training to good use and trained clients in her spare time, even when she had long and hectic work days.
“All along I had a game plan in mind. I knew I was going to work as hard as I could in my job whilst at the same time building up my client list.”
That was only part of the preparation for making her career transition. Mentally she had to prepare too. There were doubts and fears to address and questions to answer. What would she do about healthcare? When could she take vacations? What if the new career didn’t work out?
Devil’s Advocate with Your Dreams
Answering those questions was a long and drawn out process. It involved Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), an approach that helps remove negative attachments.
“I played devil’s advocate and wrote everything down on paper and addressed them: What about health insurance? I’m going to research and find an affordable option. What if things don’t work out? I’ll go back to the desk job.
“Who do I think I am trying to be successful on my own? Well, if everyone thought like that that they wouldn’t be able to share what they know with the world because nobody would go for their dreams.”
Countdown to a New Career
After six months, Ariane had built up the confidence to go for it. She told her boss she would be leaving and the countdown to her new career had begun.
There were major changes in her personal life too. Ariane ended a seven-year relationship she felt was going nowhere. She had reached a stage where she wanted to break down everything she had built up and didn’t like, and start again from scratch.
“I wasn’t giving up that much; a relationship that wasn’t satisfying and holding me back and a job that wasn’t satisfying and holding me back. So it was a perfect opportunity to create the life I really wanted, which I did in the end.”
Pursuing your dreams takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and perseverance. If you are lacking in any of these then it is doubtful it’s going to happen for you. If what you really want to do is easy to obtain then you would already have done it.
Punctuality and responsibility were drilled into Ariane while growing up in her native Germany. She feels these traits helped her to make a successful career transition, especially during some of the difficult early times when she was building up her client base.
“When you are building up a business you have to consistently put in the work no matter what is happening in your life. So it takes a little personal sacrifice and giving up immediate gratification for long term gratification and knowing that once you have put in the work it will pay off.”
Privately, Ariane is a shy person, but in her fitness classes she is the “strong power woman who’s going to kick your butt to get in shape”.
“I think this has helped me privately have more confidence and more self-esteem because I certainly wasn’t raised that way. Additionally, getting professional recognition helped me privately to get more self-confidence to pursue my dreams and my goals.”
New Dreams to Pursue
Ariane’s new career has exceeded beyond her wildest expectations, but the dream is ever evolving as there are so many avenues and new doors are opening up. Her ultimate goal is to spread her fitness message even further and she would love to put her knowledge into a book. Opening up her own studio is also a possibility, and there are a number of offers on the table.
“The opportunities are endless if you have enough guts and determination to pursue your dreams. Here in America, nobody says “you can’t do that” which is so different from my native Germany.
“In Europe people don’t say “oh you can do anything you want” it’s more like “who do you think you are?” And I just love it that nobody tells me that here.”