I am making meal plans for a group of clients that I had been given. There is only one person who has paid for sessions, but has not called me back.
It is the most awkward training time in my life. I have never taken over sessions for another trainer before.
Not only did he have a position for me, but it was a head trainer position at a new club in Midtown, Kansas City. I am taking over for one of his best bodybuilding trainers. That trainer is rejoining him at his primary location, which has a larger bodybuilding clientele. The idea is that since I am not a bodybuilder, but have the knowledge to train all types of clients, that I am a better fit for this more corporate, Kansas City location.
I am feeling excited and becoming comfortable in my position, until I hear a knock at my office door.
“Hi.” I say. “Can I help you?”
“I’m Marcus.” He says. “ I am ready to start my sessions.”
I nearly stopped breathing, as I search for my response. Marcus had purchased a start up package of 3 sessions, with the bodybuilding trainer I had replaced. It had been weeks, and he had not called me back to redeem them. Here he stood in front of me ready to go.
“Can we start tomorrow?” He asks.
From somewhere, I summon professional words. “ I think it would be best to start on Monday. That will give me time to prepare something for you. Can you come in and tell me more about your goals, and what you were hoping for out of your sessions?”
I couldn’t even see where he would have any bodyfat to lose...and he already looked huge to me.
His words where doing nothing for my terror. He looked like he should be my trainer. How in the world would I be able to show him anything he didn’t already know?
As he kept talking, (and I started writing) I realized that he was already doing much of the bodybuilding style workouts that I had been trained (by my boss) to build.
My heart started sinking even further.
At this point I am just glad he isn't asking me for a refund on his sessions, since the trainer he originally wanted was gone.
I explain that I have been studying to be a strength and conditioning coach.
I tell him that if he was cool with it, we would try some things I had learned, mixed with a bodybuilding style program. He sounded excited by that, and left with a smile.
Monday morning comes, and we get started on day 1 of his program. I can feel the eyes of the other members of the gym on me, as we go through the session. I do my best to tune it out. It is the first time I have ever noticed people staring at me, while I trained someone. He leaves at the end of the week, tired and happy with his new program.
“What did he say?” I ask, (very nervous to hear the answer).
“He said he’s never felt so sore. He said the program you made is awesome.” My client smiles as he tells me.
It also planted the seed in me, that I could be a strength and conditioning coach...even though I didn’t take the test until 7 years later… in 2015.
The good review from Marcus, helped kick start my success in selling personal training packages of my own. Until this moment, I had never had a review of my training impact my sales, and help me build rapport with others.
The nearly two years I spent at that club in Midtown, showed me how much a trainer could impact the lives of a community of people. It also showed me how the trainer/client relationship could lead to and transition into permanent friendships. This would forever plant the seed in my heart, that personal training was much more than a profession...but a gift.
After I left midtown, I went on to train at a studio in Raytown and in Overland Park, where I met my current coach.
At each new location, the clients I had turned to friends.
I didn’t realize what personal training was. I didn’t realize that relationships with clients, would have such a dramatic impact on my life. I didn’t realize how much love there could be in a training space. I didn't realize that it wasn't just the programming clients looked for...but the company in making a life change.
The love (and referrals) that clients have shared, has happened at every single location I have been to.
Every few months I get calls, or offers for new training/gym management opportunities. Word of mouth of my work is passed from person to person, and their “love” opens up doors for me to continue to serve...without me even having to ask.
Clients regularly give me unsolicited help with advertising, website and app review, and referrals.
I think about where I might be, had I went to art school like I had originally planned.
But then I open up my FaceBook, or I walk into the current gym I manage...and I see the people I’ve worked with. I see the community of people I serve, and realize just how much they have served me in return.
He has also given me other gifts over the years...as many of my clients have done.
It is in these moments that I can see the impact of my presence.
It is not the gifts themselves...but the realization that I am part of their life beyond just the hour they see me for their program. It is the relationship we share, as we journey life together that gives me the most fulfillment, and solidifies my calling.
It is these relationships that keep me going, on days that being a trainer seems too hard.
It is these relationships the cement my passion and my purpose.
It is these relationships that give me the courage to press forward.
Mai Trainer is a result of YOU. I’m so glad you are here.
It is a gift to me, to be able to impact you now in 2017, in the online personal training space. It is a gift to me, to be able to share these stories with you, in effort to accompany you on your journey.
I hope you will come back for part 3, of “I never wanted to be a trainer.”