Yes, my untold confessions....so many funny, embarrassing and sometimes upsetting things have happened to me as a fitpro...I wonder how many others have experienced these?
Life as a fitness professional can be...how should I put it...interesting! WHY? Well I am going to share with you in a minute some untold confessions of being a fitness professional that may make you laugh, cringe or cry...but I want to tell you a bit about me first!
At the time of writing this blog I am just over 6 months from hitting the BIG 40! I have two daughters under the age of 10, a busy fitness business to run and a new puppy to look after! I am very busy but in a good way!
When it comes to exercising and running a fitness business, I have heard this so many times from friends, family and clients, "oh it must be great for you as I wish I had the time to exercise all day and get paid for it! I agree...it is fantastic to get paid to exercise and to help so many people achieve their goals. I must say though sometimes it is but a lot of the time it isn't. I am going to warn you that all of the things I am going to share with you have happened to me over the last 7 years...you may go YUK! But it happens!
Here are just 5 untold confessions that I am now going to share. I am sure other instructors have had similar experiences too........don't laugh too much though!
1. THE FAT DAYS
Yes, I am a fitness professional and YES I have fat days as well but as a fitness professional we most of the time try not to show it...we put on a face that all is great....that we always feel amazing! Even if we have gained 7lbs because we have been looking after others first and not looking after ourselves and our bellies overhang the lycra...flippin pain that is! I can certainly hold my hand up to this but for me I put 14lbs on, yes I was certainly wobbling......and as a fitness professional think of the pressure you feel as a result. As a fitness professional who goes between a size 10-14 depending on my workload, how many clients I have, family commitments etc and how much chocolate I consume as you can see I am just as normal as everyone else but the pressure to keep it off is so much more. Also, and this is no secret that my nemesis is chocolate, I could eat it all day! Seriously! Give me a box of Lindt chocolates (especially the new mint ones.....yummmm) and I can polish them all off in one sitting! But I have to restrain myself.....so any chocoholics out there you are not alone! I am an fitness professional that will hold my hand up and say I LOVE CHOCOLATE!
2. FLIPPIN INJURIES
When you are a fitness professional the worry is always there, what if I twist my ankle, what if I injure my arm, I can't go skiing as if I sustain an injury I can't work. For me, my children would love me to go ice skating with them. I absolutely love ice skating but have not been since I became a Fitness Professional as the risk is too great! Sometimes I feel like I am missing out but the pressure is on us to ensure we don't sustain any injuries and GOD FORBID if we sustain a broken leg or suffer severe back pain then it could be game over for teaching. I am a nightmare....."sorry darling we can't go there with the girls, what if I go over on my ankle"...I must be a nightmare to live with...Ian if you are reading this don't answer it!
Yes we get and it is known in the industry as BURNOUT it knocks you for six! I have had burnout two or three times in 7 years! You struggle to get out of bed in the morning. You are so physically tired. There are some WONDER INSTRUCTORS that teach 20-30 fitness classes per week, every week! I am in awe of these instructors. Well you may say that is only 20-30 hours a week so less than a normal full time job but can you imagine the impact it is having on your body, pounding it day after day, week after week, even those with the best nutrition and supplementation will eventually get to a point of BURNOUT! I have literally spent several days in bed with exhaustion over the years......struggled to play with my children, cook the dinner, my poor husband......definitely no hanky panky during this time although what a great excuse though for anyone not feeling up to it :-) . Darling I have BURNOUT so not tonight! He will kill me for writing this! Long hours tend to be the only way for most instructors to earn a decent living...unfortunately although I think I am Wonder Woman my body doesn't so working those hours for me are a no no and as a result I have to be extremely careful not to overdo teaching too many classes.
4. THAT TIME OF THE MONTH!
Periods periods periods!! This is the embarassing bit! Sorry have to share this but time of the month!!! Can you imagine when female fitness professionals suffer from painful periods, can you imagine trying to teach with the cramps! Add to this hot weather and stuffy gyms or halls.....I know not a pleasant thought.....but the show must go on all with a smile on our face! Whilst we are on the subject of periods (I know I should move off this pointer but wanted to tell you a little story about what has happened to me on two occasions) squirming thinking about it.....but on two occasions I have forgotten to, how shall I put it, use the right application and have had to resort to some padding! As fitness professionals know, padding isn't always great as even if they have WINGS! They generally don't stay in place when you are hot and sweaty and bouncing around the room in a dance fitness class. The song Free It Up always has a different meaning to me now! As a result, I have taught classes with them halfway down my thigh and no opportunity to remove them! Stop laughing! It has happened and I tell you, when you are worrying as it is about to fall out the bottom of your gym trousers the stress levels are SUPER HIGH! Just to add to the comical situation there were men in the room on both occasions as well! Those were classes that I will never forget. (Can anyone come up with a solution?)
5. DIFFICULT CLIENTS OR CLIENTS THAT HAVE NO FILTER!
Yes, I know you are going to say it, there will always be fussy clients in most industries......these are the ones that are never happy with what you do...always want to find fault...don't like the tracks you play, think you should be teaching your classes a different way, think class charges should be different because others are different and pull faces when you play tracks they don't like. I love all of my clients, even the fussy ones...and why would I say that? I say that because they keep me on my toes. They push me to be the best Fitness Professional I can possibly be....BUT there are times when you can be caught off guard and you feel like you have been smacked in the face.
I still can't believe it to this day but had a lovely lady five or six years ago who was staying locally for a few weeks and decided to come along to classes. She loved dancing and for those few weeks she attended most of the classes that I ran. It was then on the last class that she attended as she was heading back up North did she come up to me and say.....thank you so much I have thoroughly enjoyed attending your classes but can I make one suggestion.....and for me constructive criticism is great and as a fitness professional we always strive to give our best. I replied "of course" to which she said "Do you think you should be wearing those leggings with your legs" SMACK! Yes right in my face! (Not literally!) How do you think I responded......"erm yes erm ok thanks I will take it on board". I kid you not......I can laugh about it now but at the time I just wanted to cry!
I know I have called this The Untold Confessions of a Fitness Professional and there are so many more THINGS that have happened over the years but I can honestly say that being a fitness professional has so many amazing plus points that override the struggles and embarrassing incidents!
On behalf of every fitness professional I have to say it is great feeling having an impact on people's lives across the UK, helping you to develop new habits and tips to improve your health and fitness and this gives us a huge BUZZZ! Being able to change lives through changes in fitness, nutrition and lifestyle habits is a huge blessing and this puts our own struggles out of mind!
If you find yourself lacking in motivation or wanting to get started on your own fitness journey but don't know how then get in touch with a fitness professional or coach who can help you and support you on your journey. That's what we are there for and the best thing is it doesn't matter where you are located in the UK, US or Canada we can help!
So next time you see your PT, instructor or coach, give them a high five and a pat on the back! They really are superwomen and men!