Feature Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash.
HAVE YOU EVER FOUND YOURSELF DISGUSTED OR DISHEARTENED BY THE INDUSTRY YOU FIND YOURSELF IN?
When people say you’re a ‘trainer’ do you feel the need to correct them in anyway? Or hate the fact that by default you are associated with the general idea of fitness, weight loss, and/or exercise? How do/did you overcome this ‘lumping’ to continue in creating your own niche/thing? How do you describe the service(s) you provide so that it is heard, differentiated, and still desired?
I think I was frustrated when I tried to put myself in a box.
The less I’ve done so the more joy I’ve found.
Being excited about your work transcends an awful lot, if you can get past or maybe get to a place that you care less about anything but the fact you are excited about it.
When people say trainer I generally try to clarify rather than correct them since they’re not wrong just uninformed.
At times I have felt disappointed in the industry I’m in but that was more towards the earlier years. Now I know it just has to have room to continue to grow. It has been rather annoying to be associated with the fitness industry because people assume so much about you when they find out your occupation and (the annoying part) the assumptions are usually based upon ones own insecurities and shortcomings.
I overcame it simply with patience. I describe what I do as a “Cirque du Soleil type of workout where we hang from everything and try to make it pretty”. The Cirque reference usually helps but the patience comes in when people still dont take it seriously or prefer to stay closed minded and judgmental. — Krystyle Bryn
Everyone here is exercising and helping other people exercise and that’s great. What’s embarrassing is those who try to stand on a pedestal as if they are above being labeled with exercise, fitness or being a trainer.
Samantha and Michael – I really resonated with what you both said. We need to put our work out there so people know there are alternatives to the “mainstream”.
I have found myself not “labeling” myself and even wrote about how people “hide their bread and wine” whenever I mention I’m a trainer at parties. And I carried around a lot of shame because I thought I represented the entire fitness world – which in my opinion has created more problems than solved them.
But you’re right – we don’t need to exile ourselves. Just simply being out there without trying to “manage expectations” is where I am finding myself now. Just simply “being” and then documenting. — Brandon Chien
For me it was sitting. This was a personal problem but a problem that many if not most of my clients shared. As I started to puzzle through my own body in the context that we all experience of too much sitting and as I begin to study the literature, for me Prague School mostly, and I understood that there are common patterns we all share. This allowed me To find ways to intervene that had rich theoretical and clinical support and that were helpful and meaningful not just to me but to my clients.
If we think about this more deeply we have to consider whether our focus is somehow disruptive at the level of monetary value.
I believe my work is beyond monetary value and that my relationship with my clients and students and intimates is far beyond their value as citizens or consumers.
Aren’t we really talking about revolution? Isn’t that part of what draws us forward?
The fact that we do dislike and violate current conceptual categories means we are creating a new world. Stop a moment and recall those deep thoughtful processes and intentions.
It is important we be conscious about culture.
See the big picture. Keep building the community and language we need to go there. — Jim Freda
While I don’t feel the need to correct them and I always say I am a personal trainer when people ask, I have never felt like I was part of the fitness industry. I guess this is the benefit of working for so many years in a studio by myself–I just did my thing, and didn’t worry about what anyone else was doing. I (mostly) ignored what was happening in the fitness industry, and I continue to not feel like I fit there, which is either indicative of my personality, or indicative of my insistence that creating a mind/body connection matters and you should choose the techniques that best suit the individual in front of you rather than try and make one system or thought process work for all of the people. (I no longer work alone, but I still just do my thing.)
I studied biomechanics, psychology, motor control, trauma, and anatomy. I read research, played with several different systems, worked with the people no one else was willing to work with because they were too hard and I did my best to be, in the words of Steve Martin, “so good they can’t ignore you.” I just had one of my clients who has had several trainers over the years tell me how much he respected the fact that I created my own discipline, (I helped him with chronic shoulder pain after surgery, using a variety of techniques, none of which included manual therapy), so I do think there’s something to be said for ignoring the norm, studying a sh**t-ton so you can answer all questions related to what you’re doing, and carving your own path. I think my card says, “studio owner, personal trainer, educator. Awareness, mobility, strength.” That’s how I describe what I do. Interesting conversation, and it’s interesting to hear other’s perspectives. — Jenn Pilotti
Another angle here is what I wanted professionally. I often said in school that I would want to be a teacher if there were any subjects I liked enough. So it’s not entirely surprising that I come to training as a student and teacher, but that doesn’t make me better than anything. I think most of us will agree that if I were to take that further, and exclusive work as a teacher of personal trainers, then I would be a teacher–less of a “trainer of persons.” — Jeremy Fein