Every year around this time, I find myself re-evaluating my vocational goals.
As you may know (see the Staff pages), I was a web programmer for 15 years before I made my midlife transformation from obese and sedentary to fit and active. Since that time, I’ve also trained and certified as a personal trainer with both the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). I’ve obtained additional training, specializing in therapeutic exercise and certifying as an instructor for a number of Les Mills group programs.
For several years, Shannon Price and I have been training clients primarily in one-on-one and in small groups. We’ve also provided Les Mills classes, a bootcamp, kids’ fitness, nutrition/menu planning, remote/online training, team training, and even had a second location for a while. As we’re growing, we’re exploring new protocols and keeping those things that work for both us and our clients.
What I’ve found works best for me is establishing one-on-one relationships with clients who want to get strong. Really. It’s that simple, and yet not so simple.
If you’re not in the business of fitness, you may not expect the variety of reasons clients seek out a trainer. Getting strong is not even the top three*. At least not to start with. Some clients walk in and say, “I want to lose 30 pounds.” But as we work, they forget about the actual number on a scale and come to love the way they feel and the things they can do.
When my clients get strong, they feel capable. Then they ARE capable of doing things they couldn’t before. Their lives improve. Their relationships improve. Their enjoyment of life improves. I don’t think we can underestimate the need to feel strong. Too often we do, especially as women. We focus on what we should lose not gain. We don’t have too much weight in this country, but too little muscle.
Seeing you get strong and feel capable; THAT is my reward. I love doing what I do but not because I own a business. Owning a business has never been a goal. Honestly, programming was much more lucrative. Just the week, my CFO (my husband…since I can’t pay him, I gave him a fancy title) informed me that we’ve overspent our equipment budget for the year by buying the new Concept 2 Rower. (Totally worth it! Now my clients will be pushing more cardio each week as well as the usual iron.)
What I get most from owning my own studio is:
- doing training my way based on the most recent science from resources I respect and share, not a big box club’s way focused on revenue
- taking on the clients I connect with
- providing flexibility and support for my clients’ busy lifestyles without the need to meet an employer’s quotas
So, it’s good. Real good. So good, I’m expanding and deepening my knowledge in several particular areas. I’m currently training as a Behavioral Change Specialist — working on coaching skills that will help my clients identify and achieve their personal goals and overcome obstacles. I’m also attending workshops focused on senior fitness and kettlebel techniques.
Our evenings at the studio are full. We’re now looking for clients who prefer to train afternoons or weekend mornings or would like to attend our evening small groups.
Looking forward to a spectacular year.
*weight loss, fear of weight gain, injury