By VANESSA HAMPTON
Do you work out with a trainer? Maybe have a favorite coach at your gym? Many of us have those people in our lives that we recruit to help us navigate our fitness. We look up to them. We want to do well for them. We want them to be proud of us, but sometimes we wonder what they really think of us.
My older brother was my original trainer. I give him a lot of the credit for getting me to the other side of the negative, unhealthy place that I was at in my life at the time. He not only taught me about fitness, he taught me what being a good trainer is all about. Sure, anybody can obtain their certification and throw some exercises at you, but the exercises are really the least important part of being a good trainer. A good trainer is not only your guide to the weights and cardio, a good trainer is your team mate. They are your accountability, your motivation, your cheerleader, and your confidant. As trainers, we not only see what you are capable of in this moment, we see your potential. It is our job to help you find your fire and recognize that potential yourself.
Just like a parent, the most difficult part of our job is seeing you feel defeated or suffer. No, not with the workouts we give you (we are ok with you suffering during those!), but the emotional suffering when you aren’t where you want to be, either physically or mentally, along your journey. We invest ourselves in you and there is nothing more gratifying in our job than to see you begin to understand and recognize what we see in you. When you feel defeated or hit bumps in the road, we take it personally. We not only analyze what you could do differently, we reflect on what WE can do differently to help you succeed. We feel your success just as fully as you feel it yourself and that success is always our goal.
We, as trainers, are not perfect ourselves and we don’t expect you to be. We don’t have all the answers and we DO face struggles in our own fitness and our nutrition …though you may not think that. It may seem that we have all of this figured out and we never miss a workout or feel frustrated with our food choices. We do. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US. That, however, is what helps us help you. We learn from our own struggles, as well as from the struggles of all the people that we help. This knowledge is what equips us to do what we do and, honestly, the more struggles we overcome ourselves, the better we are for you.
No, we don’t get tired of you. No, we don’t get tired of hearing about how you are doing or things that you are facing. We are problem solvers by nature and our job is to understand you. We also don’t judge you. When you miss a workout or admit to having the entire plate of cheese fries, we don’t think less of you. We have been there. We have done it too. We only want to help you move forward.
As your trainer/coach, we believe we are in this together. We feel honored that you allow us to see you at your most vulnerable and we don’t take that for granted. We are here for you. To guide you, to lift you up, to help you. Without judgement. Without expecting perfection. With the utmost respect for the unique individual you are. We are here to walk hand in hand with you and make sure you always know that you are never alone in this journey.
So, what does your trainer/coach think of you? We think you’re pretty amazing.
Vanessa Hampton, owner of Body Balance with V and Body Balance Massage & Wellness, is a personal trainer, yoga instructor, Fitness Coach, and CrossFit coach (CrossFit Cool Springs, Brentwood). Follow her on Facebook or Instagram @bodybalancewithv @bbmassageandwellness or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.