I’ve gone through a lot of exercise phases.
I did gymnastics for fun when I was much younger, played team sports in high school, had some exercise issues after college, fell in LOVE with running, decided running and I would just be friends, and I finally feel like I’m in a good place of balance with my workouts.
Even though I had tried a lot of workouts and mainly did what I enjoyed, I would still spend time wondering if I was doing it RIGHT. Not the actual movements, but the entire philosophy. My fitness plan. Should I be doing one thing over the other? Should I be pushing myself to the max? Is my workout strategy less-than because my friend does it differently?
In addition to time and experience, one thing that solidified my own fitness philosophy was working with others.
I listened to my gut
Given my own struggles with getting healthy, my gut told me that a compassionate and understanding approach to fitness was the one that would work for me and my clients. I believe that while I’m able to train people who aren’t exactly aligned with my outlook on fitness, it becomes less enjoyable to do so. My gut is a huge factor in a lot of the decisions I make and something I have learned to listen to in many areas of my life.
It’s pretty easy for me to tell in the first session whether a client and I will be a good fit. When I first started training, I wanted to take any and all clients that came my way, including several who I felt questionable about. I’m no longer training those clients today and if I had listened to my gut to begin with, I would have known that we may not be the best match. I did need to make money during that time, so it wasn’t quite as flexible, but with more clients these days I can afford to listen more to my intuition.
I realized who I wanted to work with
All of my clients are women. I didn’t plan it that way, but it’s the way it has worked out. I believe women have the hardest time with body acceptance, self-love, and just being OK with themselves. I can empathize with all of that, so I immediately feel a connection with women who have undergone similar struggles.
Many of the women who came to me weren’t looking for 6 pack abs or fixated on one particular body part, but instead wanted to simply get healthier or lose a little weight. They weren’t hyper vigilant to their perceived flaws and were open to working as hard as they could in the time that we had. I only had one client whose expectations were unrealistic in the time frame she provided, and that relationship didn’t last particularly long.
Each woman that I train helps remind me that it’s not only about the external results. Confidence can come from being able to do more burpees than you did the last time, lift a heavier weight, or even just showing up for a workout!
I could turn clients down
I assumed when you became a trainer you had to work with everyone who came your way. I didn’t realize that if a client wasn’t a good fit you could refer them to someone who may be able to help them better. I have had a few clients whose philosophies didn’t line up with mine — either they wanted to train in a way I didn’t specialize in or I felt that their approach to fitness was one that I was trying to distance myself from. I’m not saying that any other way besides mine is bad, but that for me personally, it was a road I had been down and I didn’t like my own results.
Just like you can’t be friends with every single person you meet, there can be compatibility issues in fitness as well.
For me, fitness is fun. If you don’t find it fun, at least try and look for the little wins. Set small goals. Pay attention to what you can do this week that you couldn’t do last week. Think of it as something you get to do instead of something you have to do.
Training helped me realize that it’s not all about appearance and I love being able to help others achieve those goals. What are some of yours??
- What’s your fitness philosophy?