“So you want to be a trainer,” he said. We walk to the Freemotion press. I’m doing a full upper body workout today. Only one more session until he moves. Only one more week until my show. “You have to know what you’re talking about,” he chides.
“And clearly, I don’t,” I retort, “which is why I’m going to take a NASM course.” He starts putting weights on the machine. “Or maybe not,” I confess, “I don’t know if I’d make a good trainer.”
“Why do you say that?” he asks looking up, mildly curious.
“I think it might drive me nuts to have to deal all day with people who cheat on their diets.” He stops putting the weights on the machine midair and gives me that look of his.
“I’ve apologized to you on numerous occasions for being myself!” I said, hands on my hips. He broke a smile despite himself.
“You just have to be a people person, that’s all.”
I shrug my shoulders. I’m pretty sure there’s more to it than that. See, I don’t want to just be a trainer; I want to be a good trainer. Over the past eight years I’ve worked on and off with six different trainers, Daniel being the sixth. With the other trainers I sort of got healthier for a little while and got a little muscle tone, but it went away when the sessions were used up, and I began to yo-yo diet again.
Daniel managed to break through my mental blocks and now I’m actually healthy and wanting to make this my lifestyle, even though he’s moving away. I feel like I can do this now without him. And that’s the kind of trainer I want to be. I want people who are unhealthy to change their lives and become well even after the sessions are done, and I don’t know if I can do that. But I don’t say any of this. I say nothing.
He has a broad smile on his face that is laughing at me. “When you met me you didn’t know shit about shit!” Ah, Daniel, subtle as an atomic weapon. He says he’s a Southern boy but I think in a past life he must have been from Jersey. “But look what happened,” he continued. “You started seeing results, you fell in love with the sport, we built a relationship and now you trust me. You followed me to the gym over here. I’m not a miracle worker. It’s just diet and exercise that gets you in shape. You’re going to get a client who doesn’t know anything about eating healthy and you’ll tell them a few things and they’ll think you’re the smartest person in the world. ”
“We’ve been training how long? A year?”
I do the calculations in my mind. “Ten months.” I started in February.
“I feel like I’ve known you forever. Like I know your husband, your kids. You know stuff about me. It’s just listening. You’re a people person; you’re going to love being a trainer.”
He was an unlikely mentor. At first I completely wrote him off. I didn’t trust him. I battled him at every chance. He called me out on every bullshit lie and excuse as soon as it rolled off my tongue. Sometimes I hated him. For a while he intimidated the hell out of me. But he delivered on every promise he made and I’m in the best shape of my life now. Now we laugh about the first few months.
“I’m so sorry I was such a pain-in-the-ass client.”
“It’s a process,” he laughed.
After our session I start to head out to my car, but he calls me back. As luck would have it, as if destined by the universe, the NASM certification text books he loaned to another person were at the counter. And now I’m studying them.
Someday I hope pain-in-the-ass clients will tell me that sometimes they hated me, and sometimes they were intimidated by me, but I helped them break down their own walls to become healthy. Someday I hope to become a mentor.
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