Another Friday night of open training and another conversation that had me thinking about the subject matter long after the conversation had ended.
This time the conversation was about trainers and do you stay with them or do you go and how do you decide.
My friend and I had both had to go in search of new trainers but for different reasons. Mine had got injured and hers was not delivering what she needed.
We talked about what makes a good trainer first. Are they proactive about your training or reactive. Do you feel like you’re moving forward or treading water or are you going backwards?
Should you feel loyalty to your trainer or is it your right to go if your training has become stale. I had the Clash song “Should I stay or should I go” while we talked about this.
Maya Angelou, a very clever woman in America, who unfortunately is no longer with us said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. So how a trainer makes you feel about yourself is also very important. If you are not performing well do they make you feel stupid or slow or do they encourage you to try harder?
Should you glom onto the first trainer you find and try to mould them into what you want from a trainer or do you give them a couple of sessions and get the hell out of there if it isn’t working.
I’ve had maybe five trainers since quitting the smokes and taking up fitness and I can now make these conclusions.
My first impressions have generally been right. Trainers who I have not liked when I first met them did not improve as the weeks progressed. I would say now that when you meet a new trainer give them a couple of sessions and if they still aren’t delivering their product the way you like get the hell out of there. I could cry with the wasted time and money I’ve spent on trainers thinking any week now this training is going to pick up. I’ve bought gym memberships and paid for a term of tuition when really a couple of weeks in and maybe even the first lesson in I should have realised this is not the place for me.
My second observation is that my friend and I could have quit altogether. I was going through trainers who weren’t delivering the goods and she was staying with her trainer who didn’t seem to be putting in any effort. We both could have said ok this is too hard, enough is enough, let’s take up macramé. I know people who have had rotten experiences and have stopped. They have not returned to fitness because trainers turned them off. I get that part of the responsibility is theirs but you put your trust in a trainer and I think there’s an obligation to act in your student’s best interest. So she and I sat there talking and it was like we were refugees from difficult situations. We both could have quit but we didn’t and now we were in much better places.
The third observation was that the trainer could be a good trainer but are they good for you? Just because other people have had great success with them doesn’t mean they are great for you. My friend liked her previous trainer and that is why she stayed so long but now with a new trainer she has progressed well beyond what she was before. So maybe changing trainers isn’t an indictment on the trainer it’s just that there isn’t a good learning chemistry between you both.
My fourth observation was the idea of loyalty. You would hope that if a trainer wasn’t able to provide you with what you needed they would be happy for you to try elsewhere. Bruce Lee said you should try different trainers and different styles. If a trainer doesn’t work for you, you just bow out politely and seek another one. Hey if it works for Bruce who am I to argue.
The last year has been a roller coaster and now I feel like I may well have found my spot. I’ve gone back to crossfit and the people there are lovely and I’ve found a circus school that just has this wonderful vibe. If you’re in a fitness situation or maybe any situation that you’re not happy with you need to ask yourself why you would stay there. I’ve been through the wringer but now I’m as happy as a clam and moving forward at a great rate of knots. I’m still grateful for where I started just like my friend is grateful but I’m also proud of my friend and I for taking control of our lives. We are living lives directed by choice not chance and that’s a cool way to be.