When I became a personal trainer back in 2010…I thought…I should try to make money teaching people how to work out and take care of themselves; something I was doing for free, anyway. Back then, my views about the fitness industry were so different than what they are now. Previously, I viewed the training industry as a very vain one, but I was so wrong. I was someone that worried about looks and was impatient. And I didn’t always have the most approachable personality. Oh how personal training has changed me in so many ways over these past 6 years!
When My Perspective Changed
It wasn’t until I met a certain individual that my outlook on training changed…and that person changed me, for that matter. I never viewed myself as patient or caring, I was hard-nosed and very impatient. I soon realized that this whole training thing was way more than I had ever hoped it could be.
One day at my gym back in Kansas, I had a consultation with new clients. After our meeting, I knew that working with them would not be an easy task and I contemplated even taking them on as clients. It was a mother and daughter. The daughter has Down Syndrome, something I had never been exposed to. In the past, I worked with stroke patients, and the elderly…but never someone with Downs. But, I decided to begin working with them…how hard could it be?
However, I can remember after a few training sessions thinking that this was more than I signed up for and it was a lot of work for me. I even thought about telling the mother that I couldn’t train them anymore. It just felt like too much. I couldn’t keep having them do such varied workouts…having to be so patient. Again, not something that came naturally to me.
When I Changed
But as time went on, that girl changed me completely. Those people that say you can’t ever get personally involved with your clients are so wrong. Now, I think, how can you not? It’s impossible not to. I learned overtime that being patient was something I could became very good at. And allowing myself to get close to my clients allowed me then to understand what things in their lives directly affected their behavior and furthermore, their needs. That girl softened this so-called non-caring heart and allowed me to realize this was indeed the career for me.
Overtime, these clients became like family. I could see the change in the girl as well. She often flexed in the mirror and wanted everyone to see the muscles she was gaining. To me, that was worth a million dollars, just to see her so happy and gain a real sense of pride in herself and her work. She lit up when she would come to the gym and even though her workouts were hard, she never quit. She was a huge inspiration to me and it made my heart happy to see her outside of the gym, give her a hug, just be around her. That one client changed my whole outlook on training – and life for that matter.
We take for granted so many things in our lives and don’t always see the big picture. I know that personal training is exactly what I am supposed to be doing with my life. There is no greater reward than to push someone to their limit and to see the change that takes place in them. The clients soon learn they can do anything they put their mind to. Caring about someone’s well-being and watching them transform both internally and externally is such a gift. I’m simply blessed to be a part of that experience.