For many, last Wednesday was a sad day. Many said good bye to a friend, co-worker, and wonderful person. This person, let’s call her Janice, decided to leave her job and will no longer be entitled to my services or use of the private fitness center I work in. Over the last year Janice has come full circle and has made me the proudest personal trainer in the land.
Janice came to me with hopes of being an even more beautiful bride come summer’s end. Pretty typical business for me. Weight was never an issue for Janice but she didn’t think it would hurt to tighten up for the wedding dress and not have the wedding dress “tighten up” on her.
I soon learned Janice was a blank canvas. Exercise experience? I think we will be starting with the basics. And we did. Walking lunges often looked like a clumsy bear walking a tight rope at the circus. Years of hard work seated at a desk had created a sedentary lifestyle for Janice. General athleticism, coordination and balance would take some time to get back. What Janice lacked in physical ability she made up for in attitude; energetic, positive, driven. Characteristics I’d much rather have in a client than the ones I listed before. Combined with my direction we reached all our goals and more.
If you are a client of mine you surely know that a personal trainer is much more than a ftness instructor. For many I play the role of doctor, therapist, brother, teacher, role model, etc. So it came as no suprise that Janice and I would talk every training session about life. We discussed relationships, work, health, food, you name it. A topic Janice enjoyed discussing was hollistic health. We looked beyond exercising. She learned quickly that life was a balance. Stress has to be viewed as part of one’s health. Janice understood that.
Then came the day Janice told me she was leaving her job. We work in the same company which allows her to train with me at the fitness center. She would no longer be able to visit me here. I, however, was not sad at all. Janice was often stressed by her job, which led to our boxing sessions and where I would allow her to swear (ok, more than allowed, I encouraged it and perhaps joined in). I was proud. She got it. Her health was more important than her job. I was also proud of her courage to carry through with it. Not many people have the courage to take a chance to be happier in life. This was far more rewarding to me then helping others achieve their dream fitness goals. This was much larger than that.
I can’t forget times like this and people like this. It reminds me to not “sell out” and never get too big or busy to not give all of my clients the attention they deserve, which in the end is what makes them successful. It must suck for Jillian Michaels or these other celebrity trainers who never get the chance to have a relationship with a client in the same way I get to. Sure they get paid big money to sell crap to people. Jillian Michaels sells a detox or “cleansing” drink. If you have been educated in the health sciences you know damn well that shit doesn’t work. Don’t get me wrong I want to make the big money and I plan on it but I worry it will pull me from what actually attracted me to this career (it damn sure wasn’t money).