The other day, I had what was one of the more interesting consults with a potential personal training client of my career so far. Within about 5 minutes of meeting her, I was ready to challenge her to an arm wrestling contest. It takes a lot for me to get offended, but she managed to push all of my buttons in the 50 minutes I spent with her.
Offense #1 – When telling me about her work as a nurse at the VA Center, she kept bragging about how strong she was. Ok, no biggie. I love to brag as well. But then she had to go and say that they gave girls like me about 2 weeks, because no offense, skinny girls just can’t cut it. Say what???? Oh no girlfriend, you did not just go there!! When I told this story to a friend of mine who may spend even more time at the gym than me, he started laughing uncontrollably. “Um, she knows that you work in a gym and teach people how to lift weights, right?”
“Well I assume so, since she had asked to have a consult with a Personal Trainer.”
“Did you tell her that you pretty much do the exact same thing for work that she does when you’re not at the gym, only you lift O-linemen instead of old people .”
“May have mentioned that I’ve been doing that now for about 12 years…”
“Did you flex for her?”
“No, but maybe I should have.”
“Yeah, you totally should have gone Incredible Hulk on her and ripped off your shirt. Your abs are intimidating. Or done a few pull ups for her”
Looks can be deceiving. Yeah, I may be a little petite thing, but I can hold my own in the free weight area of the gym. That’s right boys, I’ve noticed you glancing my way when I start loading the plates on the leg press. But I do appreciate all the offers to help little old me re-rack the weights. It’s sweet. But geez y’all take forever only taking one plate at a time. You’ve got 2 hands for a reason.
Offense #2 – After regaining my composure and retrieving my jaw from the floor, I continued on with the consult, asking her about her reasons for joining the gym and what she hoped to accomplish from starting a new exercise routine. I listened while she talked about how despite a great diet, she was overweight and had been diagnosed with osteopenia in her hips and osteoporosis in her spine. After telling me about her current exercise regime, it appeared to me that she was lacking in weight-bearing exercises and strength training in her lower body. As I started talking to her about the benefits of these types of exercise on increasing bone density, I was abruptly cut off. “I already do a lot of lifting at work. I don’t want to do any of that here. And I get plenty of cardio in the pool. My nutritionist and doctor recommended similar exercises, but I don’t really think that’s what I’m looking to do.”
Ok, deep breath. 5-4-3-2-1. *Head desk* Call me crazy, but if what you’ve been doing the last 50 some odd years isn’t working, and a doctor, a nutritionist, and a personal trainer all agree that you should be doing certain types of exercise, maybe being open to a little suggestion is a good thing. Just a little bit. Say hello to the treadmill and leg press. They will be your new best friends.
Offense #3 – Ok, there were probably about 4 or 5 more that I decided to overlook. At the end of the consult, I went to retrieve the paperwork I had given her earlier in the consult going over the personal training services we offer. I didn’t have much confidence that she’d be signing up anytime soon, but she took it one step further. Most consults that aren’t really interested in personal training will just thank you for your time, say they’ll mull it over, and go on their merry way. She thought it was necessary to tell me that she thought she would be better off on her own and then walked over to the trash can to throw the brochures away. In front of my next appointment. But I’m a professional. I put on my game face, smiled at the woman who had been patiently waiting to meet with me, and put that disaster behind me. By the end of the day, I had one new client and another seriously considering buying some sessions from me. I may be little, but I can be one tough bitch when I need to.