It’s true. I’m a personal trainer and coach. I get paid to do what I do. But it’s SO much bigger and better.
Last week I said farewell and bon voyage to a dear client who’s moving to Hong Kong. She’s trained with me for years, consistently and with her whole heart. There were tears and hugs and plans to visit her in HK. In fact, we’re ALL going! The whole group that trains with her. You see, the sad part is not that I’m losing a client. I’m saying ‘until next time’ to a friend! That’s how it is with my clients. They’re all my friends. We just happen to train at the same time as catching up.
I actually find the first session with a new client REALLY hard. I’m not outspoken or pepped up like Richard Simmons.
I don’t yell and I find it difficult to make conversation.
On the other hand, I think new clients are also nervous, not pepped like Richard Simmons AND may have heard that I don’t mess around. We get the work done. Wham, bam!
It takes a good three weeks or so to really get to know someone’s capabilties, limitations, motivations and ‘tells’ in the personal training sector.
Along with this, you must teach unknown movements and exercises, make it fun AND get to know the personality traits. As they too, get to know me.
As a consolation for all this awkwardness, I reap great reward- and I hope my clients do too. What rewards you say? Well let me tell you.
Doctors, lawyers, teachers and other such professionals are bound by privacy and confidentiality laws. So too should personal trainers be! (and probably hairdressers). MOST of my clients rely on me for my listening ear. It’s something I’m good at.
So while we’re lifting weights, boxing or burpeeing (huh?), the therapy extends to verbal venting. Certainly not covering first world problems like world hunger and climate change (although sometimes it comes up), we still sort out issues the client brought through the door to begin with. I’ve heard it all. Believe me. I have.
We talk about children. What they do to us and what they DID to us. We cover royal weddings, tv series, the footy, the weather and everything in between. A set of push ups and a bear crawl.
I hear about mothers in law, partners, parents, renovations, holidays and dreams. Then we do a set of burpees.
I hear about the slip ups, the trip ups and the major *%$@ ups. Then we do some TRX jumps and grab a drink.
This reminds the client of the cocktail party they went to on the weekend- and we’re off again. Set of push ups.
Bit of a breather, some groaning and then we discuss some cool places to visit interstate, the sister in law who’s estranged herself from the normal world and the fact that no one should wear white leggings and who the hell IS the Prime Minister these days? Hey, maybe I should sit in parliament? That’d be fun.
The conversation gets a little scarce by the end of the session. After all, I have a job to do and you’ve perked up a little now that THAT’S off your chest . Let’s DO this! Home stretch !
Yes-it’s my job to train you and to push you and to get you results. I do this. But in a world of technology, non verbal communication and Insta, we still need to interact in a way that makes us feel validated and heard.
After I’ve trained with someone for a few weeks, my guard comes down, just a little each time. I know if you can handle my dry humour, my subtle prodding of your abilities and if you need the lend of an ear. The relationship we build between us AND between yourselves as clients is SO valuable to me.
I really mean it. I treasure your loyalty and I will always be loyal to you while you have my back. The friendships at The Studio Trainer are forged over exercise, conversation, tears, laughter, hugs, support and gold sequined bikinis (yes- I said that).
We’re all in this together- through good times, trying times and downright shitty times. I thank you- my clients, now my friends and I hope that together we can continue to mend our minds, vent out problems and laugh together for many years to come.
I could call on any one of my clients in a time of need. It’s not just the exercise, it’s the feeling of friendship, connection and support that I cherish. It’s the social aspect that many stick around for. I love that. With literally thousands of trainers, apps and appearances out there, it’s the weekly vibe of ‘needing’ to train that keeps me accommodating my clients. Whether it be a full on onslaught of muscle madness, or a session of just ‘letting it all out’, it counts.
To Sarah- all the best in HK. We will miss you dearly and we thank you for your friendship and loyalty. May your dreams come true and your abs remain firm.
Take care friends.