Who am I? I thought I knew. Now I question it. My whole identity, who I am and who I’ve become have been tied up in that one title I’ve gone by for the past 15 years: Trainerchick. June 1997 is when I became a fitness trainer. I thought I had finally found my calling making a transition from a licensed cosmotologist doing hair and only making a difference superficially to actually doing something I felt really meant something. Not just to me but to other people and for those who didn’t know how important their health & fitness was, I was determined to be one of the dedicated fitness professionals that enlightened them!
Trainers are for the most part just like everyone else. Although we have that leg up on the general population when it comes to health & fitness knowledge, we can still suffer the same setbacks, lack of motivation, eating disorders etc. as anyone else. I’m a testament to ALL just mentioned! There’s been times when I’ve been burnt out from not just having so many clients but also from being tired of constantly feeling like I had to live up to the stereotype of what a trainer should “look like”. Not saying that those thoughts don’t cross my mind anymore because believe me, they do – especially when Im not feeling up to par, have put on 30 trillion pounds of fat and know that for whatever reason, justified, legit, or not – and feel unworthy of even telling people what I do for a living. I remember a couple years ago a friend of mine came from out of town to visit. A perfectly planned day way quickly overthrown when we drove up to Napa (the wine country) to spend a 1/2 day at the spa and while she went on to her 1.5 hour hot mud soak, I went into the room with the lady who was going to give me my 1.5 hour FULL BODY massage! Oh f**k! well, I can honestly say that yeah, I knew this was coming and somehow I made peace with the fact that this lady was going to be seeing me at one of my worst times but all that comfort seem to go right out the window when she asked that age old question, “so – what do you do for a living?”. Lady, why in the he’ll did you have to go there!! Not only did my self consciousness come back in full force, but I damn near O.D.’ed on feeling bad because here I am, being honest, telling her what my area of expertise was (and for how long since she just couldn’t seem to leave well enough alone) WHILE looking like a beached whale on her massage table! Maybe I’m overly critical. Maybe she didn’t see what I saw. Maybe she really could have cared less and had absolutely no opinion either way. I’ll never know so my only thought, obviously, is to make my thoughts, hers. My feelings, hers. My disgust, hers.
On a more positive note, I can honestly say that their did come a time, AFTER my eating disorder got out of control, AFTER I had been through some things and AFTER I surrounded myself with healthier people that I finally accepted the fact that I would never be thin, probably would never have the figure I was so determined to get at any cost (and actually did but was too caught up in not being satisfied that I never noticed although others did) and would most likely never fit those clothes I THOUGHT would look good on me. I accepted the reality that I’m not supermodel material but that I have an athletic physique. Lean muscle. Thinner toned upper body with very strong legs. I had to rethink and reprogram my thought processes in order to survive – not just from a health perspective but from a clientele perspective too. I got tired of just talking the talk and convincing myself I’m an exception to the rule. Truth is: I’m not. I knew my passion for health & fitness was slowly dying because of all the self inflicted stress I was bringing upon myself, both mentally, psychologically and physically. Believe me, eating 5 crackers and drinking 3 glasses of juice and/or cool aid a day while working out 3 times a day for at LEAST an hour every single day for 5 months straight AND taking at least 6-7 different KINDS of diet supplements is kinda sorta not the way to do things! Lol
Anyway, all this is said because over the years, with all my ups and downs, good times and bad, confusion and direction, discontentment and semi-satisfaction combined, I’m now left wondering at this late in the game if in fact it may be time to pursue other avenues. I feel like thats something that I need to do because let’s face it, regardless of my passion for H&F, is it doing ME more harm than good if I’m not ready to address it? I have two other interests: technology and psychology. I would love to pursue both of those but I always come back to the fact that I’m 41 and feeling like it’s too late to really be trying to start on a new career path. Do I have the energy, the patience and the genuine motivation to see it out? Is this really what I want and can I really do this and succeed? All these questions, second guessing and contemplations are what has kept me at a cross road for the last 5 years.