When I knew I wanted to start my business, all I could really think about was helping people do two things: lose fat and get stronger.
It seemed pretty simple.
I’ll just open up my doors, assume that people like me/trust me enough to start training with me, and I’ll get them results.
Except reality was nothing like that.
I didn’t live out the “Field of Dreams” sentiment that: If you build it [they] will come.
Yes, I did get clients and yes, they liked me and trusted me enough to get their business, and yes, many of them saw results.
But what I found out early on was that most people needed something more.
Fact is, you can open up any fitness magazine and find a workout.
You can pick up any diet book at your local bookstore or online and lose fat.
It’s just not the same as having a place where you’re expected to show up and be accounted for.
It’s not the same as having guidance with form or to have someone modify your workout around every ache and injury.
It’s not as “simple” as calories in, calories out, macros this, intermittent fasting that…
It’s altogether more complicated.
When you start to dig further, it’s all the things we encounter in life that distract us or disturb us, enrich us or traumatize us.
So, some of the most impactful conversations are the ones where clients will pull back the layers to show you that illness happens, death happens, grief happens, infidelity happens, addiction happens, incarceration happens, lapses and relapses happen, job losses happen and divorces happen.
I’ve watched all those scenarios unfold.
On the flip side, you experience new relationships, beautiful marriages, the birth of a child, personal bests in strength training, new lows of fat loss, and the redefinition/rebirth of confidence in people.
They don’t teach you this in certifications.
You won’t be prepared for it with your degree in exercise science.
You find that periodized workouts look great on paper and mean very little when you have an overworked, overstressed mom who just wants to feel better and can barely make it in for two workouts a week.
You find that meal plans work fine when someone likes rigidity and can work from home but they don’t work so hot when someone travels all the time and can’t fathom eating the same meal two days in a row.
Coaching (in this industry) is part knowledge of exercise, part knowledge of nutrition, part psychology and part business logic.
It’s looking at a person and saying: I know you can do this and I have the tools to help you.
It’s offering your hand every time they stumble to say: I’ve got you. I’m not abandoning you. But you can‘t abandon you either.
It’s bringing people into your office, box of Kleenex in hand because you know they’re going to need it, and sometimes you are the safest ear they have.
It’s part of the reason that several years ago I started to share my own stories: my pain, my struggles, my misgivings and the path I took to get to the other side.
Because when you can show people that you’re human, they’ll show you the sides of life that make their lives so challenging. You won’t see it in a food journal or a workout log.
Macros won’t fix it and neither will an upper-lower-upper split.
Keep your “door open”, keep your heart open, keep the conversation judgment free.
Coaching, done right, won’t just change your client’s lives, it will change yours too.
And to the person who brought me this: Thank you. People like you are the reason that all the effort is worth it.