So I worked out yesterday as I always do in the afternoons. I usually workout for an hour and a half to two hours—hour on the bike, lift weights general muscles, and then abs.
Yesterday was different. I was a personal trainer in training. I was different. I was a girl who would have courage to be her size and be a trainer too. When I told Jaime, the personal trainer I know there, he smiled but I could see surprise in his eyes. Perhaps it was my own sensitivity but I swear I saw the thought “you?” pass by his eyes. I think the personal training industry is as snobby as the fashion industry. Either you’re in or you’re out.
I have a feeling I’m out.
To gather more information for my belly article, I asked Jaime what his workout was. This is what I’m talking about. PTs are not normal! He’s training for a windsurfing competition so I guess I understand, but he runs for an hour, bikes for an hour and then teaches a spinning class in the evening. He does this five days a week. 15 workout hours per week.
Then I asked Raul PT#2 what his workout was. Raul has no body fat. He’s the most dedicated dude there and a professor in physical education. He’s the one stare at all the time. The guy is built. I wish I liked the soft, pudgy guy (well, actually, I like them too) but I’m certainly not immune to a physically pristine man.
I decided I would tell him about being a personal trainer and was blindsided by his answer. “You’re missing a lot of exercises—you need exercises for the waist down.” I still don't know whether he understood that I wanted to become a personal trainer, not get personal training. But maybe the reaction would have been the same either way.
I didn’t know what to say. I thought about it for a moment and decided in some way he was right…and I was terribly offended. I just said, “Si” and slinked away.
I sulked as I worked my pectoral muscles. I was pissed off and coming up with incredible comebacks I would never mutter:
“Oh yeah, skinny man…”
“These hips are made for kicking your ass…”
“Kiss my unexercised ass…”
“Oh yeah, skinny man…”
Note to self: never, ever be a debater
I suddenly understood how difficult being the calm in the fitness storm is going to be. This is a big choice to accept my body as is. To not strive for perfection goes against my very A-type personality.
It also made me realize how important it is to be sensitive about a client’s weight. They may be coming to me to lose weight and get fit, but they still won’t want to hear that they’re missing a lot of exercises from the waist down. It’s just another way of saying you’re still fat there.
I whispered to myself as I did my ab exercises. “I must have courage.”
What I meant was I need to be brave in the face of the gym rats. To not sell people some size that they can only maintain by working out three hours a day. To encourage them to go out and enjoy the world.
I can. I will.