Why I became a personal trainer..
The other day I was chatting to a new client about how I came to be a personal trainer. It’s a fun story. So I thought I’d share. Plus, it talks about me, and I love talking about me!
I first started training to be a PT around 10 years ago. In those days, you actually had to attend a course in person. And it lasts about 3-4 months in total. (Today you can get the same qualification online or in a weekend, practically. Ho hum…)
At the time, my life couldn’t have been more different to what it is now…
I lived in my lovely 1 bed flat in Chiswick. I drove a BMW Z4. I had a fab (on paper) job at IBM as a management consultant… Needless to say, there were no kiddies at the time!
But I couldn’t have been more miserable. The culture at IBM meant I had no time for anything fun. The only place I drove my Z4 was to Tesco’s on the weekend. And during the week, I spent my time creating plans and spreadsheets that no one but I could understand (hence justifying my outrageous charge out rate). And crucially,
- I was not making a blind bit of difference to anyone or anything.
- When I looked around me the next 5, 10, 15 years of my career trajectory amounted to: doing more, for longer hours (and a fancier title…)
The crux came when my line manager informed me that I would be taking on another internal project as part of the company’s policy of “giveback”. (What nonsense, giving back time to a blue chip corporation!!! Charity yes, but to themselves…)
I politely told him I would decline. He said that there wasn’t a choice. I told him there was always a choice and informed him he would have my resignation first thing in the morning.
Boy, that felt good!
The truth is that I had been feeling lost for a long time and had been hatching plans to leave for a while.
… I’ll leave when the economy is more stable… (this was at around the time of the sub-prime mortgage crisis)
… I’ll leave when I’ve got £xxx saved up…
… I’ll become a PT once I get fit again… (the consultant lifestyle, long hours, hotels and dinners hadn’t been doing much good to my wanna be-trainer-bod…)
Eventually I just finally decided to do it because the ‘pain’ I was in had become unbearable. And the reward of leaving was too much to let pass. Reward not just being able to tell my boss to stick, but fundamentally the thought of being able to make a tangible difference to people’s lives…
10 years later I know absolutely for sure that it was the right choice. Was it easy? No! In the early days, the working hours were atrocious. And even today, I find I never quite switch off from working, reading, learning… Did I miss the certainty of a pay check? Big time. Did everyone think I was mad? Yup.
But 10 years later I’m still at it. And I feel pretty proud that I am still helping people and you guys inspire me every day to keep going.
So, why am I telling you this? Apart from the fact that it’s my very interesting story of course!
- There is never a right time. There is only time is right now. If I hadn’t taken action that day, I probably would never have. The chances of my saving money or getting a trainer-bod were low whilst I was living that life. And the sub-prime crisis lasted a good few more years!
- The reason I was able to take action was that I was in touch with my ‘pain’. What I mean is I was unhappy but I had been able to pin point exactly what was wrong and how I wanted to change it. My ‘pain’ had on that day, been agitated by my boss by trying to make me do more shit that I didn’t care about. So at that point, I acknowledged it, felt it, and took action.
So think about it…
How many of you are currently in ‘pain’?
- Stuck in a job you hate?
- Feeling unhappy about your health and fitness?
- Feel frustrated that you can’t chase around after their kids?
How many of you are thinking you might take action?
But, you know… now is not the right time?
I want you think about that ‘pain’ that you are feeling and agitate it. For example:
- Imagine you do nothing and the weight continues to build…
- Imagine you continue to do nothing, and 5 years from now you have some medical issues associated to your weight gain…
- Imagine you continue to do nothing and 10 years from now you can’t bear to look at yourself in the mirror.
- Imagine you continue to do nothing at 20 years from now you look at your son’s or daughter’s wedding photos but you hate how you look in all of them…
Feeling the pain yet?
So go do something about it!
I’d love to hear from you and see if I can help. ‘cos I genuinely wanna be making a difference to people’s lives!