Personal Trainer Blues



I ran into an old friend last week, a friend it seems I hadn’t seen in about a year and he looked different. Ron has been working out this past fall, winter and spring and had lost over 30 pounds. He looked great and I wanted to know his secret. Eat less and move your body more. Actually it’s more complicated but regardless, if you want to change how you look, it takes hard work, discipline and a commitment to do so.

As we shifted from diet to exercise, he mentioned that he decided to visit a personal trainer. He’s been seeing this female professional, whom was recommended by a friend for about 6 weeks. Ron was not blessed with athletic prowess so felt he could benefit from a personal trainer.

His plan is to spend the next 4 months or so getting ready for this mini-triathlon. Ron was teethed on a bicycle, and used that mode of transportation to do his paper route and get to and from high school so his focus would not be on the bike. He felt he needed to improve his running and get his stroke down in the water which has been his focused recently.

As the conversation shifted from his exercise regiment to his personal trainer, his energy level seemed to evaporate and some frustrated seemed to creep in. First, his personal trainer is a really good athlete and isn’t shy about that fact being known. Mind you, he’s not envious of her athleticism but feels she lacks empathy and support. For example, he exercised about 10 hours last week preparing for this triathlon which could have been a personal best and was proud of his commitment and hard work so felt he could share that with his PT. Not much was said even though Ron was really fishing for some love and positive reinforcement. What was implied by his PT was he needed to put in a lot of work to get ready for the triathlon. He felt a little confused. Of course the hard work was part of the package but encouragement every once in a while could go a long way. Perhaps her standards were much higher although he’s a client of hers…

Personally, I’ve never seriously thought about hiring a PT but if I did, I’d look for honest feedback and good instruction to improve my health and my exercise regiments. At the same time, I’d like the PT to support and encourage me. Just because my friend’s PT has done the Ironman doesn’t mean that couldn’t be supportive and encouraging to my friend and he traverses this unfamiliar territory.



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