Over the decades, society has frowned at the occupation of a personal trainer. Whether it was because of a bad experience, a story in the media, or even by visual perception, the term “personal trainer” isn’t taken seriously. In eleven years in the fitness industry, I have been around hundreds of personal trainers. I often asked them why they chose to be in this business and I received multiple reasons. For some, the position is a stepping stone to another career; then there were others who nonchalantly said they are a trainer because he or she likes to workout. It is those “others” who lack the true passion of wanting to help someone better his or her life. It’s those “others” who get into the fitness industry for the wrong reasons, and give the profession “personal trainer” a bad reputation.
Like any career there are exceptions to the rule. Whether it’s a doctor, lawyer, or even a hair stylist, each occupation is really up to the individual and what and how much they put into it. Personal training is no different; you can go to dozens of gyms and training studios, and if you watch closely, you can find maybe a handful of trainers who love what they do. As long as I can remember, health, wellness, and fitness has been my passion; it’s the only career path I wanted to follow. I’ve always been told that if you can do something you love and get paid for it, you’ll never work a day in your life; you’ll never have a “job.” In all of the years I’ve trained, I haven’t “worked” a single day.
I’ve trained in gyms and studios in six different cities in four states, and each place continues to allow me to do what I love. Personal training is a lot more than helping someone lose weight, gain muscle, or improve his or her fitness level. It’s teaching someone that has been heavy their whole life how to gain confidence and self esteem that was crushed during childhood. It’s gaining lean muscle on a skinny kid that was picked on or picked last on a basketball team. It’s very common to have someone rehabilitating from a recent surgery and teaching them how to gain strength; in turn, helping one to overcome the fear of re-injury and accomplish something he or she had never dreamed. Sometimes it’s someone that has lost everything, and the only thing they can salvage is their health. They are the clients who thru training, learn to believe that they have something or someone to live for. I see these people transform from a timid client not knowing what’s in store for them to become a strong, confident, amazing person. I’ve been told multiple times by my clients that they get asked by other gym members, “What are you training for?” Each client has responded the same way; their answer is “life”. The gym member walks away puzzled not knowing exactly what that meant, but for a lot of my clients, being physically and mentally stronger has translated to other areas of their life. Whether it’s co-workers, friends, and/or family, people associated to my clients see a different human being. Over the years, each and every client I have trained has become a friend, if not, like family.
I consider myself lucky to work with the ones I have, both co-workers and clients alike. From the ones that get into the business for the wrong reasons, I feel sorry that they missed this opportunity to change a person’s life. I have and have had the pleasure of working alongside of other trainers that share the same passion as I do, to influence a major change in a person’s life. There’s no better feeling of gratification and satisfaction than receiving a message from a client that says, “Thanks for helping me overcome my fears and reach my goals, you have transformed my life.”
Matt Wirth, Emerge Fitness