It took me a long time to learn how to say “no”. It is still a challenge. I have been withholding giving an answer to requests until I have time to think the request over and really look at my calendar.
I also work with a lot of clients that have very debilitating issues. My days can be a real roller coaster ride of highs and lows. A client can come in and have an excellent experience or break through moment. There is a big spike in good emotions and brain chemistry. The next client may come in and report having had fall or other set back. Their emotions can overflow onto me sometimes. And it isn’t easy to keep a positive mindset in those moments. I try to keep the good things in my mind and not let the hard moments linger too much. Some days I am mentally just cooked. I find that getting in a good workout for myself helps a lot. And I often am able to think through possible solutions and program changes for those clients while I am exercising. But sometimes I just let my mind go blank and hammer out a workout. It can really be cleansing
My biggest challenge at this point is that I want to do too much, and I need to pull back into just a few areas of expertise. I love attending conventions and lecture, and the more I learn, the more I realize there is so much more I don’t know, which takes me to another workshop, and another… Not that it’s bad to be an educated trainer (I’m getting 260 hours of training in 2015). It’s just that I have to keep reminding myself of my core values, my core mission, and how what I’m learning relates to that mission.
It’s not my job or my problem if others join the fitness industry for reasons I think are faulty or selfish. All I can do is run my own race, be the best trainer I can be based on MY standards of what that is, and be very honest about what I have to offer so my clients are clear on what they’re getting with me. I don’t necessarily believe that the cream will rise to the top because I’ve seen some people rise with questionable ability and ethics, but what I do believe is that to focus time on what others are doing that is “wrong” or “bad” takes away time from my self improvement.
Just from a business standpoint, my greatest challenge is to keep a schedule that allows me to have somewhat of a normal family life. Let’s face it – people want to train at 5-7 AM & some at 4-7 PM, even later. Sure – you’ll have people in between, but they’re the toughest clients to find. Days can very easily get extended to 12 – 15 hours if you’re not careful & agree to train people at both extreme ends of the day. But sometimes you “have to do” what you “have to do”, especially if you’re the one paying the bills.
Another challenge is debunking every ridiculous fitness article or exercise fad/diet that comes down the road – which seems to be quite often. I spent a lot of time doing that in the past, but now, thankfully, most of my clients don’t even go there with me anymore because they already know my answer – I guess arrogance comes with age!
As far as licensing & regulation goes, I was for that years ago but I’m glad it never happened. I don’t need a government agency telling me how to train people & charging me fees. Most people who can afford to hire a trainer aren’t stupid – if you’re a good, qualified trainer, you’ll find work. If you’re an imposter, you’ll be weeded out. Sorry for ranting on!
I also happen to agree with the others, here. I believe in keeping the integrity of the fitness industry and staying true to my own training mission and philosophy. Sometimes it can be difficult to see some others cheapen the industry by not offering quality instruction or discounting programs so low–just to get bodies in the door. It’s a tough business, and I cringe to think money is being made while potentially injuring someone due to lack of quality instruction.
So, for me, the greatest challenge is tuning some of this out to focus on my passion.
I know that I am providing safe, quality, caring instruction and leading others to healthy lifestyles. I have a deeper purpose in the fitness industry, and that keeps me going.
Best to you!