Hello Matthew Faherty,
You are in the perfect place to be a compassionate trainer with experience. You will find a way that works for you and will be able to share your expertise to help others with the same condition.
I personally demonstrate and consult during the healing process. Walk around the classroom and away from the group exercise leader position to give personalized instruction.
Please remember, we are all human and trainers do not need to be the best, fastest, strongest, etc. Trainers need to be professional, though, which includes the education to take care of others while also taking care of ourselves. We set the example and are always under scrutinization. Your clients watch how you react to your own injuries; take your own advice: PRICE, doctor care, etc.
I hope you feel better, soon.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.
Firstly: I’m sorry to hear you are in pain. NOBODY understands chronic pain until they experience it first hand. It’s debilitating and depressing!
Honestly, I’m in your shoes right now. I have a sever form of psoriasis (had it only once before 10 years ago) on the bottom of my feet, stimulated by an infection and fungus. It’s been like blisters from running 10 miles all over feet and toes in the shape of a moccasin. Horrible pain just to put on sneakers. “skin” pain is different than joint pain. No words really. It’s like anything touching feet causes pain and blisters. Last time this was on my feet for 2 long years. Now, it’s been 7 months and quite a ride. 11 bacteria cultures and lost count of how many doctor visits.
Personally: I have to take care of myself first. If it means work less hours, I’ve had to in order to let my feet rest and get healthy again. It’s been a financial strain at times so I sure understand that. I’ve had to find different sneakers that didn’t irritate and have sat down during some sessions with clients. Some can tell by the look on my face how much I’m in pain when I walk in. So, I’m honest. I tell them I love my work, I still want to coach them, and take off my shoes. It’s a great distraction too. And as mentioned above: I don’t think our clients expect us to be superhuman.
But, In these months I have lost business since I’ve been unable to even get up at times and lost online clients too due to being unable to video or even sit at the computer. I’ve pissed off a supervisor by not responding to emails and lost a group ex. class I’ve been teaching 5 years. Nobody will REALLY understand unless they have your condition. I would also look for support (as you’ve done here). I’ve joined a couple groups just to vent about this condition and it’s helped me be grateful daily that I’m not alone and not the worst either.
All this said: have faith that you WILL come out the other side a smarter, wiser human able to help people in an even more compassionate way. I’ve also had a pro-golfer client that has had some complications of shoulder replacement similar to your situation~had 3 different shoulder surgeries and rehab from each over the past year. Clients like this DO understand.
Hugs and wishing you healing vibes.
Outstanding post! The content of this post has inspired me very much. I appreciate you for the sharing of this great post. http://247waterdamagedallas.com/ is the best place for home services.
I think one of the dirty secrets of fitness is that many of us who teach and train are in pain.
Are you teaching group-ex, training one on one, or both?
I have had various chronic pain for the last few years. Plantar fasciitis (mostly gone, but flares if I don’t MELT consistently), mid-back for over a year, and then pinched nerve L5/S1. I teach group-ex, small group PT, and one on one PT. Right now, I only have 8 classes a week as I’m waiting for a new studio to open to get my new classes, but my typical load is 13-17.
My group-ex clients don’t know when I’m in pain, and they don’t need to know. I’ve developed my coaching and cuing skills so that I can get them started with a movement or dance (I teach Zumba among other a lot of other things), and then I cue the room with facial expressions, words, thumbs up, verbal corrections, etc. This way, I’m not wearing my body down. I also use other class members who are doing a higher intensity version of my moves as examples. I don’t need to jump high when I have an athlete in the front row doing it.
My personal training clients sometimes know I’m in pain, when it’s relevant to training them. IE, if they are in pain and I can use my pain to relate to them (without one-upping them), or if there’s something I typically help them with that I can’t do on that day (“I have a pinched nerve L5/S1 and I can’t bend to squat today. Can you please re-rack the weights?”)