Tell us who you are and what you do.
My name is Gina Portolese and I do a lot of things! I am a personal trainer in Denver, Colorado and also teach classes out of The Rebel Workout. I am a graduate student at the University of Colorado Denver in the communications department where I look at how media shapes out development and effects on our social and political spheres. Along with being a student I am also a teaching assistant. Lastly, I am starting a podcast called Maybe It’s Rocket Science
How do you plan productive days in your Ink+Volt Planner?
To plan productive days I make sure to add time frames for all of my activities, including sessions with clients, and I block off specific time for each assignment that I need to complete. I color code my planner with each section of my life being a different color.
What has been the proudest moment of your career?
I have two separate proudest moments in my career. One was when I got my NASM certification and started getting clients! I love the people I work with because they hosted me a congratulatory party and from there on out I began to gain new clientele and and was able to help people and develop relationships with them. Second was when I was accepted into graduate school. It was really one of the more defining moments in my life to start a new career path.
What makes you feel confident or successful?
What makes me feel confident and successful is hearing back from those I work with.
In the fitness world, it’s more of my clients talking about how I was able to help their injury and made them stronger or that they were able to go heavier when doing a squat.
Feeling successful in grad school impacts me a few different ways. I feel it when I finish a paper, or help a student, or am able to use my knowledge to help people in the department. Feeling confident is something I have come more to terms with and have to push it more on myself and remind myself of my accomplishments to get to the point I am today. Once I think about the obstacles I have overcome I then think “well, why shouldn’t I try A,B, or C.”
What career advice would you give to your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to not be worried about exploring all of the possible options! If you haven’t been able to tell, I am all over the place and always have been that way.
I wanted to be everything in the book while I was growing up from a lawyer to president to a pilot or astronaut. I would just mention to younger Gina, whenever you get stuck, keep pushing through. Make jokes, make people smile, make people around you be happy to work with you, and don’t let negativity or questioning yourself get in the way.
What’s one of your favorite techniques for getting things done?
My favorite technique for getting things done is prioritizing my time.
I try to separate my day into small time segments to make sure I get a bit of everything touched on during my day. I try to allow for flexibility so that if I get on a roll with a paper I’m writing, I’m probably not going to want to interrupt that to make a playlist or work on something else just yet. Between each thing that I do, I do something active or learning-based. I either take my dog for a walk, clean a bit of my apartment, listen to a podcast, read my own ‘fun’ books that aren’t school based, or play Spider-man on Playstation… I try to give myself a bit of a mental break so I can start fresh for the next task I have listed.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Give it your all. When you’re doing your work, you’re doing your work and your mind shouldn’t be anywhere else but there.
This has helped a lot to narrow my focus and be present in the task that I am doing. I shouldn’t be thinking about Making a Murderer when writing a paper, or I shouldn’t think about personal life things when helping someone correct their form to protect their spine. When I am on during a task, I am 100% there.