I’m not all too sure how people with full-time jobs also find the time to blog- unless of course, their full time job IS their blogging- in which case I am extremely jealous because I would love to just type, type, type away all day long. I say that only half-heartedly because I find myself getting antsy only after 5 minutes of sitting still these days- which is why my WordPress Dashboard is starting to fill up with drafted posts because I can’t sit long enough to finish an entire post- and for that, I apologize.
Being a full time personal trainer has been wonderful. Wonderfully exhausting, wonderfully challenging, and most of the time- just plain wonderful. I don’t always enjoy waking up before the sun- or getting home after the sun is already asleep, but when my clients tell me “I FEEL GREAT!” after working out- I get a warm, fuzzy feeling all over.
My clients vary from age, weight, goals, abilities, ailments, and so on. I have collegiate soccer players looking to get in better shape. I have children with high cholesterol. I have older women looking to maintain bone mass. I have cardiac rehab patients. I have people my age, just kind of looking for a friend to keep them company while they work out. And I love every single one of my clients.
What I don’t love is my company’s lack of empathy for any of these people. I feel like my company is the lunch room bully- holding people upside down by their ankles and shaking them until every last bit of change falls out of their pockets. See, my company caters towards one demographic and one demographic only- the upper-class, wealthy demographic. There’s nothing wrong with that demographic at all- it’s just that it’s not where I come from. I come from a long line of people who just didn’t have gobs of money. I genuinely feel guilty about the amount of money these people pay for our services. I spent four years learning about how exercise saves lives- about its endless possibilities to cure, heal, prevent, and maintain a life worth living. People need exercise. By the outrageous pricing that my gym enforces, people are discouraged to work with a trainer. Sometimes, all it takes is one discouragement to derail people for life. If training or exercise ever presents itself again- the people who couldn’t afford it at my gym are likely to always categorize it in their head as “something that is far too expensive to invest in” and “it’s just not for me” and that breaks my heart. It’s not that I’ve had people walk out because of how pricey training is at the gym, but I just know that people who could use it aren’t entering our doors because of its expensive reputation.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve realized that I’m a damn good trainer- and it has nothing to do with my exercise techniques, philosophies, or any of that junk. It’s because I genuinely care about my clients and their health. I have all of their cell phone numbers and text them often asking them how their week is going- if they’re getting workouts in on their own, how their eating has been- all that stuff. I’m a good trainer because I give a damn. I don’t train for the money- the price is a lot more than what I actually get to take home- and I think my clients can pick up on that. When it comes down to being a savvy business person and presenting numbers versus being a decent human being- I always choose being a decent human being. I have been brutally honest with each and every one of my clients and every single one of them has thanked me for it. Whether or not that comes back to bite me in the ass because I have no intention of every pitching a sales pitch to my clients- then so be it. It’s not who I am or who I’ll ever be.
Without jinxing myself and going into too much detail- I have some big plans that I’m waiting to unveil very soon. It kind of depends on some extraneous factors which I hate- I wish it was something that I could do independently without having to rely on somebody else- but it’s something that is more in line with my morals. I do as much as I can to keep my morals in check without having to disobey corporate and get myself fired. For example, we’re not supposed to give “deals” to people- which I think is bullshit. Say someone buys a year’s worth of training- we’re not “supposed” to give them any sort of deal for such a commitment. However, I disagree with that. One of my clients wanted to buy a three month package so I told her I’d give her four free sessions- essentially giving her a four month package since she only trains once a week. I also email her the workouts we do after we do them and encourage her to do the workouts on her own to maximize her results. As dumb as this may be from a savings account standpoint- I care more about when she tells me “I went to a family party and everyone said I’m losing weight!” more than a heftier paycheck.
I love building relationships with my clients. I want them to have the utmost faith in me- in and outside of the gym, and ripping them off for every penny they’re worth for something that I would gladly do for free (within reason) is not something I ever want to do. I feel like I’m closer than ever to my dream of establishing my own business where I can continue to help people live a healthier life… just gotta keep chugging along until then!