Dear Mr Ultimate Fitness,
What you had said, stung pretty bad… The words went over and over through my mind, and I started to have doubts.
“You don’t look like a personal trainer? You need to gain muscles in those arms.” As you flexed your huge biceps. Yes; it looks like you have worked hard, but I was shocked as to why you had chosen to say these things to me. You continued to tell me about the training plan that you use, as a body builder, and all I could say was “Well done.”
I went for a run that afternoon, to go through the feelings I had felt since we had that conversation. I already knew there were things I could improve on (which anyone should be aware of within themselves), and I was already in the midst of a new training plan. I told myself that I should ‘try harder’ or to add another day to the 5/6 day a week training plan that I was already doing. (Yes Mr Ultimate Fitness, I am quite an active one you know!)
My legs continued along the new route I had set within North London, the one that I had done quite a few times now, as I had goals to reach. I decided to look back at the achievements I had done so far, because positive thinking usually helps in these times of self doubt.
Five years ago, I was three stone heavier. I was not happy with my weight and had picked up quite a lot of bad habits. My mental health was at an all time low as I was dealing with bereavement, and a volitile relationship which had recently ended. One day I saw the light through all the misery, and made the changes. I worked hard, so very hard, to train (and to lose the weight) for my very first half marathon in 2013.
Once that was in the bag, my running adventure had started. The following year I ran five halves, in hope to run a full marathon by 2016. Which of course happened (in fact, three times since!) Now it was time to focus on speed, strength and conditioning. I was hungry to excel in my new found love of running.
I was around eight miles in when I had realised, (not just a walk in the park, hey Mr Ultimate Fitness?) that these legs had so much power; they had taken me places and could do an incredible amount of miles in such a short space of time. You see Mr Ultimate Fitness, I am fit in so many other ways. I may not be able to lift 50KG, but I could run 50KM. I am STRONG. Mentally and physically because of the hard work I put into my training body. There are so many things I have tried and tested (and loved!) From air aerobics, to obstacle courses, to football and even cycling… I wasn’t shy when it came to sports.
I am glad you brought this to my attention, as I had to see in myself of the achievements I had accomplished within these past few years. I am unsure why you felt to need to question my ability, but I just want to let you know this…
Some one would have taken your words very seriously. They may not have the confidence to push back on those words and see how great they really are. As a personal trainer, I am here to MOTIVATE; to inspire that confidence within others. To make sure that no matter what they do for their health and wellbeing, that if they wake up and go to the gym/go for that run, etc etc; they are making a difference. THAT is my job, because I am a personal trainer.
Training (and human bodies) come in different packages, depending on what we want for our bodies to achieve and for the make-up in our genes. You and me; are very different. You can see the efforts in your body, which is quite incredible; but I do not want your end product. Just as much as you would not want to run a sub four hour marathon… Which is something that I am aiming for this October.
Thank you again for reminding me of why I chose to do my job. I love giving my energy to people in hope that they can create their very own dreams. So just remember that next time Mr Ultimate Fitness, be careful with what you say.