Turns out, the Trainer sitting with the Manager at the time had declared, “She won’t last.”
What did I know. I just walked away from a Masters degree in Journalism feeling it was not what I really wanted to do. Less than a day ago, I sat on a plane home unsure of what my next step in life was.
Training had been a part of my life for about 3 years before that. It initially started as a means to channel my energy; to take it from the bad into the strong and good. My past relationship was a telltale of my anxiety and depression. I was a lost cause until my Brother grabbed me by the arm, “Lets go to the gym.” And so I took off with him. I walked in and just felt good, while simultaneously extremely lost, about where I was.
After a few months of training with my brother and a Trainer, I needed answers. Why was training done the way it is? Why does one person do one exercise and the other doesn’t? How do you establish the weight someone lifts? How do you know the reps? How should I know what movements are best for my goals?
I did what I do. I went back and completed a course in Personal Training. I did not want or aspire to be a Trainer. I just wanted to know how to train myself correctly. I wanted answers.
Over time, I continued my regiment of going to the gym six days a week. Regardless of how I felt or what the weather was like- I went. You can bet your bottom dollar I kicked my ass. After training, I would often walk over to the bookstore and look at training books and magazines. Having a bikini body never spoke to me. I would grab ‘muscle’ magazines, I wanted to get stronger with no specific goal or end. I would tear out articles and workouts, practice them at home to understand the movements, go online on ‘t-nation’ (are they still around?) and then go to the gym.
The Manager of the gym approached me and asked if I was a Trainer. “No.” I answered.
“Would you consider working here?”
“Never thought about it.”
“Here is my card, come talk to me sometime, I would love to talk to you more about a career here. I think you would do well.”
I had never trained anyone. Just me. And I was damn proud of my success.
Ultimately I did take him up on his offer, spoke to him and exchanged contact details. Time went by, and over the next year or so, I had moved to Wales to pursue my Masters Degree.
And here I was, sitting here after he called me at the opportune moment. This literally fell into my path. Rather, it became my path. So I followed it.
My interview was an absolute mess. I could not stop laughing, I did not complete the assignment I was sent the day prior, but I was proud that I showed up.
“How do you feel about asking people to pay you for training? Given you have never ACTUALLY worked as a Trainer?”
This was completely true. Time and again, I was approached by family and friends to help them out with their training, and I did. While in Wales, I was approached by one young woman and asked to train her. So I did.
“You are the only girl who lifts the heavy weights where the men are. I have seen you train. Would you consider training me?” She approached me in the change room. Totally normal, by the way.
“I am not a Trainer here.”
“I don’t care. I am so inspired by you.”
I was shook. I had not heard that before. I approached the Manager and asked for his permission. Given my certification from Canada, he had no problems with it. So, I began to train her.
Back to my interview. (Are you keeping up?)
Even though this and a handful of others- who I can still name- were my only experience in the field, I was confident about it. It was the one thing in my life which made sense, and it truly made me happy.
“I have trained people for no money, and I have trained people for a lot of money. At the end of the day; I know I am good at what I do and I am passionate to learn more and become better at it. Even if I don’t get this job, I know I will continue to help people through what I know and in the process of it, learn to become a great Trainer.”
After a brief conversation, the Manager turned to me, “Alright, you are clearly a mess! Go home, take a shower, and rest. Come back in three days. I have a good feeling about this.”
I did just that. After three days, I went back excited about this new step in my life.
I spent the year I was at this gym asking a lot of questions. I took no shame or embarrassment approaching the veteran Trainers.
“How do you assess for shoulder injury?”
“What do you do if someone can’t raise their arm?”
“Are there movements you advise for a client who has a desk job?”
“Do you mind if I shadow you today?”
I wasted no time in learning how to become better as a Trainer. Communicating with clients was never the problem. My entire life involved me travelling the world and speaking with people. My journalist- based- curiosity kept me asking the right questions with new clients.
I started to do well.
With time, I took this career with me to Australia and back to Canada. I worked with another corporate gym, I went on my own, I Managed a gym, I even helped with the opening of a gym. Although that is a shitty tale of its own.
Being a Personal Trainer is not what its made out to be. With social media on the rise, so many individuals are thriving in the field through mere likes and ego-lifts (both literally and figuratively.). There is a lot of understanding of basic anatomy, biomechanics, physics, and even psychology which furthers your success in the field.
You get great clients, and then you have extremely shitty clients. You meet with and speak with so many people- you have the ability to change lives for the better. It is a rewarding career. In order to be a GREAT COACH and/or TRAINER; never think or accept you know everything. You never will. That is okay. When you do not know the answer to something, admit it- and then go find the answer.
I have not looked back since I walked in with tousled hair and bags under my eyes. My life has only grown in this career, and I hope it never stops.
Thank you for stopping by.
Think Strong, Always.