I've heard it a hundred times.
"Personal training is cheaper than therapy."
This sentiment shared half-jokingly always seems to follow a session when a client has come in not feeling her best self. USUALLY, I can see it coming a mile away. It's in the way she responds to my typical "How's your body feeling?" greeting.
"Fine," she says, but her eyes and the way she's carrying herself say something else entirely.
As recently as last week, a client walked in and I could sense something was different. Her presence was...off. Within minutes of talking, tears began to fill her eyes with uncertainty, insecurity and stress. For the next 45 minutes, we discussed the issue at large. I gave my opinion, when asked, but more than anything, she simply needed an ear to listen and a hand to steady her wobble.
Was this a wasted session? Anything BUT!
We got a lot accomplished, actually. I could physically see how she now held her head a little higher. It was literally as though the weight of her worry was banished from her shoulders. She smiled. We laughed. Together, we persevered.
In fact, later that afternoon, she texted me proclaiming that she was going to take the rest of the day to just be. No phone, no social media. She was going to sit in a space of self-care, journal and continue to process her thoughts.
She accepted that she needed to feel to heal and allowed herself to do so. That, and a good night's sleep, would hopefully do the trick.
That right there, ladies, is a win in my book.
for the highs and the lows and moments between, mountains and valleys, and rivers and streams, for where you are now and where you will go, for "I've always known" and "I told you so," for "nothing is happening," and "all has gone wrong," it is here in this journey you will learn to be strong, you will get where you're going, landing where you belong.
Morgan Harper Nichols
Believe it or not, this is not an uncommon scenario in my gym. It occurs to some degree almost weekly. You see, personal trainers wear many hats. Outside of the typical expectations of coach, educator, resource, motivator and accountability keeper, helping my clients work out their negative head space is also a huge part of this gig. After all, change starts from within-- with your mental game-- and getting your head on straight is crucial to making long-term lifestyle shifts.
Another client of mine shared that there's something about walking in to a session with different clothes on than you wear during the day and without any makeup on that exposes her raw self.
She can be real, true and vulnerable knowing that there's no judgement coming her way.
The key is to be gentle with yourself. Give yourself some grace. Accepting what is can truly be one of the best things you can do for yourself. Life is messy sometimes, plain and simple. And I hate to break it to you, but the journey to your best self is anything but easy.
You aren't always going to be "feeling it". In fact, there will be days you have to drag your ass in to see me (or to the gym). Not because you're dreading the workout or seeing me, per se, but because you've had a day. Whatever the circumstances, you're barely scrapping by.
And that's okay. Using exercise and/or a personal training session as therapy has it's benefits!
One of my clients left a review explaining on Yelp, "...on days I was mad, slam balls were prescribed. On days I felt lost, a cool run was ordered. On days I felt weak, pull-ups it was. She listens and loves through her programming..."
Comfort, the enemy of progress.
I take pride in my ability to create a "safe space" for my clients to FEEL: to feel strong, empowered, uncertain, and insecure, to feel anything and everything, to get uncomfortable and to GROW THROUGH IT.
Together, we will build you STRONGRRR.
We will embrace the discomfort of challenges and forge grit while providing yourself grace. My goal is to encourage and inspire you while sharing a laugh or two along the way, and maybe...a tear or two also.
I promise you this. If when all else seems to be failing you, I won't. If you can get yourself to your session or to the gym, you will leave feeling better.
Bottom line: It's okay to feel the waves sometimes...and this is not something to be embarrassed or ashamed about. Always remember you are not alone.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed therapist, nor do I claim to be. While exercise and a strong support system is enough for some people, it does not replace true therapy and the need to seek out a trained professional for counseling, if you need help.