I'm stood on the treadmill. I'm about to start a run the trainer has asked me to do and what do I feel? Fear.
I've been working and participating in classes at Sweat It for about 3/4 months now and although I'm a trainer, when I first started coming I can admit I wasn't a very confident runner. I would begin a run and I would feel nervous, nervous of whether I could complete the run. I'd not be sure of what speeds to run at or how to manage my energy, I'd be inside my head way too much.
Now I've been teaching at the studio for a while I can see this same feeling in some of the clients, and it made me think. When we face fitness challenges the two most important things in my opinion are feeling the fear and being ok with it. And secondly putting our trust in the trainer's process. Now I'm not saying all trainers deserve our trust, they don't. The trust is something a trainer must earn, no trainer has an outright privilege to be respected the moment you first meet them. Some might have a big Instagram following or rave reviews on class pass, and that's great but the proof is in the pudding and then you can decide what you think. Something I love when I meet trainers is if they seem to understand this sacred nature of client/trainer trust and it will be noticeable fairly early on if you take a class with them.
As trainers we don't get it right every time, we could be having an off day or we attempt something in our programming and it just doesn't work. A good trainer will accept this and learn from it.
One thing that gives me untold satisfaction is when for example we are half way through a run I've programmed and the clients start to truly respond to me. I tell them to do something on their speed/incline/whatever it might be, and they look in the mirror at me as I walk by and they give it a go.
Clients need to be set up for glory, there will be different confidence levels all around the room but the MOST important thing is that you explain to them that it's ok to be scared. Once you begin to tell people that they are MEANT to feel fearful, that if they're not they might just be sitting pretty in their comfort zone, there can often be a shift in mindset. There is one piece of advice I will say in every class I teach and that is results are OUTSIDE your comfort zone, making a change is doing something you may have never done before. Yes it's scary BUT, and excuse my language... FUCK that.
Who wants to be ruled by what they find scary? Who wants to lead a life where whenever there's something you're not familiar with you just give up and go the other way? No f**king way.
This blog post is for anyone in the fitness industry either as a trainer or a client. If you're a trainer and you are passionate about what you do then remember if a person comes into your class, they are vulnerable. You do get advanced and/or experienced people sometimes but more often than not its somebody that needs your expertise, your guidelines and your focus. So coach them with care, let them know it's ok to feel fearful, but that you'll do your utmost to gain their trust and then follow through with it.
And if you're a client and you're reading this post, then let me tell you this, not all trainers out there have the right to give you a workout and you just blindly follow along no matter what. Some trainers should be questioned or you might want to look a little closer at what they've told you to do. BUT... Be open to feeling the fear, be open to giving something your best shot and seeing how it plays out. If it doesn't work then never mind, you move on. You try another trainer or you try a different workout.
But always be aware that if you truly want to achieve your health and fitness goals it will happen when you are not afraid to feel afraid.
- JONNY MILLS