Today's post comes from a colleague and friend Amanda Jean Fledderjohann.
“I just need a month or two to get in shape, then I’ll hire a trainer.”
Since becoming a personal trainer 2 years ago, I have heard this from potential clients, family members, and friends, and I don’t think it makes a lot of sense. You go to a trainer to get into shape. If you are equipped to lose the weight or rehabilitate after injury or disease without the assistance of a qualified personal trainer, you probably don’t need one. Why would you consider paying someone to tell you what you already know?
Before I go to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned I’m tempted to brush vigorously. The thought that these professional hygienists will be seeing bits of breakfast food stuck in my molars and smell my coffee breath is embarrassing. But from what I’ve been told, dentists will get my teeth cleaned no matter when I last brushed and they don’t seem to mind just how gross mouths can be. If flossing and brushing alone sufficed then we wouldn’t need to get our teethed cleaned by the dentist anyway. We know professions will get better results.
Similarly, people don’t go to the doctor when their illness has passed. They make an appointment when they are weak. The concept of getting better before seeking help isn’t logical.
Is it pride that keeps us from getting help? Are we unwilling to admit we don’t know what we’re doing? Or do we honestly believe we know how to exercise effectively and safely? We just haven’t done it yet. Maybe we’re afraid of something. Afraid of not being able to do a proper squat or not being strong enough to dead lift 100 lbs or of looking silly doing a lateral lunge.
When I was in high school I took piano lessons from a gracious and talented teacher. I wanted to please this woman so badly that when a song wasn’t up to performance standards I would hesitate to play it for her in our lessons. She would urge me to play with the simple phrase “Show me how bad it is.” With this statement she freed me to make mistakes, so I could learn from them and move forward.
That’s what training should be. You come to a trainer with your weakness, and together you work towards improvement.