I spent this past weekend attending an AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America) class in Wiesbaden, Germany to obtain my CEU’s (continuing education units) for my certification. My instructor – the fabulous Lisa Patmor – was also my original instructor 4 years ago when I first began this road trip. She is an amazing woman with incredible knowledge in sports, fitness and healthy living, and someone I continue to look up to as a mentor and leader in this industry.
When I have the opportunity to attend classes, do volunteer work, help out athletes at competitions, and even in my day to day work, I’m always blessed to encounter fantastic people and learn a little about their stories. This past weekend, I was privileged to meet a fellow trainer from Wiesbaden (Heather Crawford) who was awesome!!! She’s been in the fitness industry a long time and is still fired up about helping each and every client reach their goals. Ron Simmons was also attending class to get his certification to become a personal trainer (and he’ll be AWESOME when he does!). I met Ron at the Stuttgart bodybuilding show last year in August. Ron had made incredible changes to his physique and competed for the first time…..and he looked great! Each and every member of our class shared their passion to help others and it was soooo evident by their stories, attitudes and compassion. At the beginning of class, we are asked to share why we want to (or why we became) a personal trainer. This got me pondering for a long while as I realized the reason I became a trainer, what I thought my role as a trainer would be, and what I actually have a passion to accomplish currently are all VERY different from each other!!
I shared in my bio about my weight-loss. As my transformation became apparent to others, I had countless friends and even complete strangers approaching me in the gym to help them. “Can I work out with you”, “Can you show me your workout routine”, “Can you write me a diet plan” were all questions I was asked on a regular basis. I was barely figuring all this stuff out on my own body. There was NO WAY I was going to put someone at risk by giving them incorrect or poor information. So I decided to sign up for the AFAA class in February of 2009.
What began as a simple quest for information became a full time job (after much prodding) in October of that year. I had never had a trainer before, so I had no idea what my role was to be other than guiding clients in proper exercise technique. I truly believed people would hire me for a few months until they got a grip on their workout routines then they would be on their way to fitness bliss. Ummmm….not even close! What in the heck was I thinking???
Years later I now realize that there is such an incredible spectrum of roles a personal trainer plays. I’m accountability, teacher, mentor, friend, tough love, drill sergeant, encourager, motivator….and I’m sure there are a couple other names my clients could add……lol! The thing is, I absolutely LOVE and treasure each one of these roles and the people that they connect me to. God has blessed me with an abundance of truly beautiful friends – both inside and out – in this job. I can say without a doubt, or a moments hesitation, that I sincerely look forward to each and every day – and each and every person – I have the privilege to work with.
Fitness is not about being better than someone else… IT IS ABOUT BEING BETTER THAN YOU USED TO BE.
— Gordon Slanquit, Personal Trainer Association