Girls can’t do that!
I have been a personal trainer for a crazy amount of years. I started in a time when most women didn’t go to the gyms. They followed their videos in the comfort of their living rooms and didn’t dream of invading the dark smelly caves where the big boys hung out. You can imagine people’s expressions when I decided to become a trainer! I was a skinny little girl, about 115lbs soaking wet but with a big attitude 🙂
I remember one guy that said “girls can’t take the kind of pain it takes to do this”. Boy I wish I would’ve ran into him 5 minutes after giving birth to my daughter. Hrmfph!
I was lucky enough to be mentored by a couple that owned a Golds Gym in Niagara Falls at the very start of my journey. Greg was an excellent trainer even by today’s standards. He was way ahead of his time. He taught me the importance of form and tempo over weight. How to effectively squeeze the muscle. To warm up, cool down & stretch. This all sounds very common now but you have to realize that this was when all everyone did was walk, pick up the heaviest dumbbells they could find and start heaving them about. Oh wait, lots of people sill do that… Well that’s a whole ‘nother blog 😉
I was lucky enough to be an independent trainer my whole career. Believe me it wasn’t always easy in the beginning. I literally starved a few times. Resorting to shoplifting steaks on Sundays to get enough protein in my skinny body. Cans of tuna were 35 cents, protein powder was chalky and disgusting. I’d put them both in the blender and chug it down while holding my nose and gagging. You guys have no idea how easy you have it with all the products available to you. Flavors like butter pecan, chocolate fudge… I wish! Lol.
In 2009 I came to Fort McMurray to work at Mac Island. It seemed to make sense. I’m in my 40’s. probably going to work another ten or so years. Seemed like a good fit. It was just opening and the excitement was palpable. I started as a trainer in the gym there but quickly moved up to Fitness Coordinator then on to Health & Wellness Coordinator. For a time it seemed like that it was where I belonged. I learned a lot of things there. I can run excel like a pro now. Meetings up the wazoo helped me make a lot of great connections in the community. I worked with some wonderful people and some not so wonderful people. To be expected in a corporation of that size. But therein lies the crunch… A corporation. Anyone that knows me well knows that I LOVE change, I LOVE being creative, I LOVE speaking my mind. I do not love following the herd. I started to feel restless, like something was missing.
I do not want to reside in the Ivory tower. I want to live in the trenches. For that is where the real battles are won or lost.
I do not want to spend the last years of my career sitting at a desk or censoring my every word and action to ensure it fits in with the “image” that has been created. I want to be me, I want to speak the truth even if it offends some people because THAT is what makes me an effective trainer. The ability to look my clients square in the eye and tell them “bullshit” and “stop saying what you can’t do”. People understand truth, they recognize it and they want to hear it whether they realize it at that moment or not.
And so I have one back full circle to where I belong. One on one with people that are craving change, reaching for goals that once seemed so far away but now are moving closer with each day. I live for those texts and phone calls telling me they just bought a bikini and it felt GOOD or they just ran their first 5km in sub 30 minutes! Or watching a little “girl” push more weight than some of the guys around her. It’s like a high for me. You can feel their joy and it as a tuner it fills you up with pride in their accomplishments.
I’m in the midst of getting my university nutrition degree. The great part of this is that I already know this stuff. Easiest course ever for me 🙂 This is something I can do til the end of days, because I have a feeling that I’m not going to like the whole retirement thing. All that sitting still stuff. Blech…