MCHS grad returns to Craig to assist athletes
June 4, 2011
After graduating from Moffat County High School in May 2004, Brandi Babin said she needed to venture somewhere new.
With a full-ride scholarship and the lure of the bayou, Babin headed to Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La., to study kindergarten through 12th-grade physical education.
Seven years and a change of major later, Babin has returned to Craig to pursue career goals in kinesiology.
"I started in physical education, but I decided a teacher's salary wasn't the best way for me to go," Babin said. "I started training with sports teams and athletes (at LSU) and really enjoyed it."
Now 25, Babin graduated from LSU in May 2008 with a bachelor's degree in kinesiology.
Recommended Stories For You
After a short stint in Colorado after graduation, she moved first to Kansas and then Tennessee, where she lived for five months.
"I love the heat of Louisiana and I love the mountains of Colorado," Babin said. "Tennessee was the perfect mix"
Still, Craig, the place she left at 18, had something Tennessee didn't — family.
"Craig had the security and support of my family," she said. "I have my mom and dad and four sisters here still and wanted to be around them."
In coming back to Craig, Babin said she had to make a decision of either working independently as a health/fitness trainer or with a company.
"I could work for a big gym, but there is too much politics caught up in those that it would take the fun out of my job," she said. "Being independent, I can choose who I work with and do things my own way."
Certified as a health/fitness instructor by the American College of Sports Medicine, Babin obtained her own liability insurance and started "freelancing."
As a former track state qualifier for MCHS, she said she knew where to start.
"I volunteered to help coach the sprinters during track season," she said. "This summer, I am going to be doing a seven-week program with the football team working on speed training."
Babin said working with high school athletes is why she loves her job.
"I really love sports training and would say it is my big passion," she said. "It is exciting to see the athletes improve and then perform. It is rewarding."
Babin also teaches yoga at Trapper Fitness Center during the week and helps focus on individual training with people who need special workouts because of osteoporosis or high blood pressure.
Still, Babin said, being an independent trainer doesn't pay all the bills.
She got a job as an administrative assistant with Adolfson & Peterson Construction working on the new Colorado Northwestern Community College building.
"When I first started, it was because I needed a paycheck," she said. "Now, they are giving me more assistant project manager responsibility and I enjoy that."
Despite the constraint of working full-time with Adolfson & Peterson and training on the side, Babin said she still makes time for a new activity — rock climbing.
"I started rock climbing lately and I would say that is my favorite hobby right now," she said. "You can learn what you can do because I look at a mountain and think I can't climb it, but I get to the top and it is the best feeling."
Eventually, Babin said she knows she will have to pack up and leave Craig again.
"The opportunities for my profession are limited in Craig, so it is more of a stepping stone," she said. "Eventually, I think I'd like to move to the Front Range. I like it there and there will be more opportunities."
Until then, Babin can enjoy the company of her family and the view of the Colorado mountains while she thinks about her long-term plans.
"I'd like to open three anytime fitness centers eventually," she said. "But that is the 10-year plan."
Joshua Gordon can be reached at 875-1795 or at email@example.com.