Challenge Meets Challenge

Before I set out to get my personal training certification, I would have underestimated the power of how much of another person’s life can affect your own. We are all ridden with our own insecurities, ailments, limitations (most of the time more so mentally than physically) that we suffer from; that we hold onto and quietly allow them to saturate our minds and bodies until they make us feel paralyzed. Once we become aware of ourselves, we tend to place even more limitations and restrictions on ourselves, and very rarely are willing to step out of our comfort zone. Yes, even if we’re already uncomfortable, because even when we’re uncomfortable, most of us can still find comfort in our own current state of discomfort. Understandably so, it’s familiar to us. And even though some of us suffer in silence, we are still afraid to open ourselves up to change.

For a long time, after the college degree, I found myself becoming remarkably absent and unmoved from life in general. I had grown tired of constantly trying to discover “who I was”, and while I was desperately trying to savor any possibility of discovering who I really was or was supposed to be, I found myself slowly collapsing rather than rising to any sort of podium that would scream success. I was in place where it felt dark all of the time and at that point, going to the gym became my saving grace; it became something to look forward to; to be able to at least allow me to feel something; anything.  It was something I used to challenge myself, mentally and physically. It became more of a test mentally rather than physically because lifting weights seemed to defeat any self doubt or fear that might have been lingering around, waiting for me to reach back and grab onto it for one last fall.

Everyday was a new challenge, a new workout; one more day of hope and one more moment of feeling alive and present, and the best part was that no one could take it away from me.

My passion for fitness was never tested and I soon knew how desperately I wanted to share it with others; I just didn’t expect to feel even more motivated, more challenged by the work that the people who I would spend an hour with would put in. Each one of them was so unique and had a different story to tell; a different kind of shadow haunting them; chasing them and some were so willing to lay it all out on the gym room floor, beads of sweat dripping out of their pores, making me feel like I was someone to believe in just as much as I believed in them.  And I knew, right there that I wanted to be more than just someone who told you how to lose weight; someone who would put you through some vigorous workout that I knew that you might not be able to even achieve, not because I didn’t think you were capable, only that I knew the limitation; the mental barrier that needed to be torn down in order to move forward.

It has become much more than just a scheduled time, a scheduled workout. No. It was about earning trust and lending support. It was to help them destroy defeat rather than feel defeated.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is, if you’re thinking about becoming a personal trainer because you want to change lives; you want to help people lose weight, feel better, understand that you’re life will be changed as well, you will grow, and you will have to accept that you don’t necessarily know everything. You will have to understand that clients are people not science experiments, not a number or an outcome. No. They are much more than that. They are relationships, life changers, life savers, fighters, and while they hired you, that doesn’t mean that they are going to trust you right away, so don’t expect to throw some numbers at them, or change their entire method of living or diet the very first time you meet with them.

So, again, if you’re thinking about becoming a personal trainer because you know how to get a six pack or a reduction in body weight, that’s only short term for them. Are you prepared to set them up for the long term? Are you prepared to give them the tools necessary to achieve success and overcome obstacles even when you’re not with them? Are you willing to create a plan that challenges them emotionally, mentally and physically? To help them feel confident, strong, and healthier for the rest of their life? Even after you stop working with them?


  1. says

    I absolutely LOVE this!

    For quite a few years I was hesitant to become a personal trainer. I really wanted to help others but I found it difficult to accept the fact that I didn’t look like those super ripped girls working out in short shorts and sports bras at the gym. I wasn’t deadlifting 2.5 times my body weight, and I didn’t have my nutrition down to a T.

    But here I am, a trainer, and I still don’t have those things! What I do have is the drive to do all those things you listed above, and the confidence to help them develop the skills and the knowledge necessary so that should they decide to stop working with me *gasp!* they’ll still be able to kick just as much ass.

    I bet you are a wonderful personal trainer!!

    • says

      Thank you 🙂 You’re a wonderful trainer as well! I can tell based on your determination to help others and get over any insecurities you might have had to become a personal trainer! It’s obvious that you are doing what you should be doing, and that you’re doing it for all the right reasons. 🙂 Fitness and health is so much more than how much you can bench press, squat or how big your muscles are, it’s about showing others that they can achieve their goals and teaching them to acknowledge and appreciate their achievements, regardless of how big or small, or what form they come in (may it be weight loss, improvement in strength, or endurance) You can have someone look up to you because you have amazing muscle growth or your strong as all hell, but the bottom line is real magic happens when you are able to put all that aside and show them what they’re capable of; show them how to believe in themselves, and find a connection in order to establish a relationship and help them break through their own barriers. Trust is so important, and being able to show others they have the guts to overcome what they once thought they couldn’t is so much more rewarding than anything I could do for myself in the gym. Keep doing what you’re doing! 🙂

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