Later life learning with a full time job

As you may or may not be aware I have gone back to education in my thirties. I did a degree and a masters but my years and years of fitness passion, has now finally led me to start a Personal Training qualification with ICS Learn.

When I began my journey, (which I spoke about here) I was a freelancer who had all the time in the world to dedicate to a course. That changed pretty much as soon as I signed up. My health took a bit of a nose dive which many of you read about in my new years post, and because of a few different reasons I realised I couldn’t deal without a stable income, so I went back to full time work.

Now I have an intense course to do,  juggle my blog and my of course my 9-5 job. I started to feel really anxious I won’t lie, mainly because I knew I needed to chip away at the course, but was struggling with having the time. I barely got my teeth sunk into it before I went back to full time work and was very well aware I had to get it done. 

Luckily I’ve now started chipping away at the tests and reading material which I’m happy about. I’ve managed to pass each section first time – clearly I knew more than I’d given myself credit for and because it was getting a shiny tick after doing them, I felt more confident and inspired to continue. I basically told myself to man- up and make time. My normal 5am wake up calls weren’t for me to catch up on blogging or to go running, it was now going to be study time. I realised I wanted this more and more, so I had to push myself, something you sort of take for granted with a class you physically go to. It was only going to be my own fault if I didn’t pass or achieve anything. 

At the moment I am purely focusing on the theory and then moving onto the practical afterwards. I’d injured myself back in August which put a huge pause on everything, so with a little more rest I should be back on track. As I mentioned in my initial post I actually did my fitness instructor (exercise to music) course way back in 2003, but unfortunately missed the theory portion and passed my practical. Obviously this is totally invalid because it was so long ago, and part of me can’t believe I’ve left this so long to finally do something I adore. My whole family is fit and we all do something ridiculously active – including my Mum who is 64! But anyways I am doing it now and that is what matters. 

How can you keep on track then? So as I say you sort of have to push yourself. If you haven’t got the drive you won’t finish, you have to want to do it. It is all about self discipline. 

Make a timetable each week //

My week changes from one to the next, sometimes I have nothing much on other weeks I am praying for the weekend. So I tend to sit down on a Sunday evening and plan. I’ll add in the appropriate slots where I could fit in a good 40 minutes study time and try to do that at least 3 times a week now.

Lunchtime studying //

This has worked so well for me. I get an hour for lunch and often take myself for a walk, but sometimes I just want to sit and eat my food in peace. I now take my ipad and headphones and do more studying from the work canteen. I pass a module in my lunch break last week – so obviously that is something I’m planning to do more of.

Downtime reading // 

When I’m finding I have maybe 10-15 minutes when I’m sat on the sofa watching mindless TV or reading a magazine (I could read in bed) I log on to do some course reading. I may not go all the way through to do the tests but I try to absorb as much as I can. 

Make friends //

The great thing about ICS is they aren’t too far away. My tutor changed mid way, but to be honest I never really interacted with them in the first place. I now have a tutor called Craig who has been awesome at answering any queries – no doubt I’ll bombard him with questions when it comes to my practical. There is also a class forum people all chatted about what they did for a living, some were full time in work, some weren’t, there were a range of ages and often people would ask any queries about the course. This is an area I’m hoping to build on over the next few weeks. 

Confidence //

Initially I found it a struggle to balance everything but now it is finally evening out. I’m so excited to say I’ll become a full personal trainer. It is so daft but I’m actually not as confident as people may think and I find myself quietly confident in talking to people about training and looking after their bodies. The more I’m learning, the more I am finding I was actually meant to do this course years ago, but the fact I don’t physically have to go to a class each week is becoming such a saving grace. 

So what is next? I know a few people have asked me to report on my course as I go a long. I’m currently just chugging away through my theory and will talk more about those sections in my next blog post… once I pass! Then we’ll go into the prepping for my practical on Pebblepad. So stay tuned for that, and of course if you have any queries about doing a course like this with ICS then do get in touch. 

Love this post? Why not share it!


  1. Em
    February 19, 2017 / 6:52 pm

    Well done you for doing something you clearly love! I wish I had your determination, you must be super organised!

    Em T

  2. Kacie Morgan
    February 19, 2017 / 7:14 pm

    You should be feeling very proud of yourself; it sounds like you have come a long way!

  3. Stressed Mum
    February 19, 2017 / 8:57 pm

    You have every right to feel proud, and good luck for the future when you can live your dream job x

  4. theurbanrealist
    February 20, 2017 / 12:27 am

    Congrats on taking the steps to become a personal trainer! That's a huge deal!

  5. Laura Ferry
    February 20, 2017 / 4:33 am

    Well done on everything you've achieved so far- its really hard combining work and studying xxx

  6. RE_in_SG
    February 20, 2017 / 9:30 am

    That's so inspirational – I'm studying a PhD and finding it a bit hard to run my blog at the same time- I can't believe you're working full time, blogging and studying! Hope it goes well x

  7. Stephanie Merry
    February 20, 2017 / 9:44 am

    Well done on achieving everything you have so far! I know how hard it is to combine studying with working but you're doing brilliantly! x

  8. Alkyl
    February 20, 2017 / 10:21 am

    I can relate so much to this. I've just gone back to work from maternity and juggling everything is manic! Thank you for these tips

  9. beautyqueenuk
    February 20, 2017 / 1:08 pm

    Well done you. I don't think you can ever be too late in life for learning new skills x

  10. Agata Pokutycka
    February 20, 2017 / 3:47 pm

    Well done! It's so important to do what you love, I wish more people try to follow their dreams.

  11. BooksAndWool
    February 20, 2017 / 7:10 pm

    Well done Annie!. Im also studying with ICS Learn and so far, its been really good….challenging, but good. All the best with your studies 🙂

  12. Jodie Whitham
    February 20, 2017 / 8:17 pm

    It takes a lot of courage to go back to education after working! I know i couldn't do it. It sounds like you have the right attitude. I strongly believe that if you have the motivation and dedication you can achieve anything! x

  13. Melanies Fab Finds
    February 20, 2017 / 8:46 pm

    Wow well done on going back to study i isn't easy to do. I need to plan my weeks I am sure it would help me accomplish much more.

  14. Dena Jayne
    February 20, 2017 / 9:02 pm

    Well done you for going back to studying! I just finished my third year and I'm glad to be working. I'll probably head back into education again at some point though! xo

  15. Lilinha Angel
    February 20, 2017 / 9:41 pm

    Wishing you the best of luck on your journey! Keep up the great work! 🙂

  16. Stella Olojola
    February 21, 2017 / 5:49 pm

    Well done for following your passion. Good luck with it all.

  17. Leah XL Channel
    February 21, 2017 / 8:39 pm

    Wow – you're doing amazingly. I struggle with the idea of having to study at the same time as my job (and blog, and youtube, and events, and marriage etc…) x

  18. Baby Isabella
    February 22, 2017 / 9:05 am

    Well done on your qualification! It's great doing something you have a passion for x

  19. Donna Ashworth
    February 22, 2017 / 1:33 pm

    Really inspiring – thanks for sharing and well done to you! It's not easy fitting it all in x

  20. Hayley
    February 22, 2017 / 5:59 pm

    This sounds great! I'm going back to uni in September to do a masters and I can't wait! Good luck with the rest of your studying.

  21. Philocalist
    February 25, 2017 / 8:39 pm

    Oh my days that's amazing that you've started a new course. I'm thinking of doing something similar but with a vocational course. So inspiring to read how to manage your time because I think I would REALLY struggle.

  22. Martina
    September 29, 2017 / 6:12 am

    is perceiving that they should change their customary activity posting in uk

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *