I am beginning my journey toward becoming a personal trainer. Like weight loss, it is a slow journey that will be worth the time and effort I put in to it in order to help other people like me start their own journeys. I’ve told my story numerous times and I am at the point where I see a new purpose in life.
In 2009, I was 315lbs and I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes. My wife and I joined LA Fitness and began working with a trainer once again. My heart was not in it. While I wanted to control my weight and my food intake, I didn’t want to be at a gym with all the pretty people. I didn’t want to be judged. I didn’t want people whispering behind my back. While they might not be saying it to my face, I thought I knew what they were saying about me as my trainer made me do lunges from one side of the gym to the other. All eyes were on me.
Right? Is that why you are not going to the gym? Or at least one of the reasons?
My trainer (then) was a hot, young guy who told us what to do, then walked away and talked to the pretty girl two machines away. What I know now vs what I knew then… It wasn’t me. It was that he was a crummy trainer. Period. We did quit training because we felt inadequate at the gym. A few years later, we joined LA Fitness again. My wife took on a new personal trainer while I just walked around to all the machines without focus or reason. She didn’t like her female trainer, so she switched again and found Henry. We liked Henry. For my wife, Henry was a good fit. He was this scrawny Asian boy that was super strong. Looks were very deceiving. Remember that!!!
While she found Henry, I found boxing. At LA Fitness, I found their heavy bags and began to punch. It was something new, made me sweat (which is hard to do), and fun. Henry moved my wife to a small mom & pop gym for training when her term was up. Me? I decided to join Elite MMA with their kickboxing program (which was next door to my wife’s new gym). I liked Elite. I didn’t like the 4 am wake up call. I think I skipped more times than going. The afternoon classes were hard to get to after work plus the classes were so packed. In the morning, it was always the same 6-15 people. There was a comradery within the morning crowd and I have to say, they were encouraging to the fat girl who wanted to kickbox. I ended up quitting because again, my heart was not in it and 4am every day is next to impossible. Ultimately, my wife quit too.
We come to today… 2020. I was down to 215lbs by diet (not much exercise. We did the occasional walking). And I got inspired to go to the gym again. This time, it wasn’t because my wife was doing it. This is all me. I joined LA Fitness again. I choose LA Fitness over the others because of their locations. It is around the corner from home AND around the corner from work. I have two options that work perfectly.
When I joined the gym this time, I decided on a trainer again. I wanted to make sure I was doing everything correct. I had Fred at first, who inspired my desire to become a trainer. They way he spoke to me and understood me, my abilities, and needs. He was the type of trainer I wanted to be. The exercises he showed me became the core of all of my workouts and too this day, I do them religiously. I have changed my trainer 3 times since coming back. Fred was a scheduling problem and Scott was a trainer problem. I didn’t like him. Now I am on to Rodney, who I adore. Another person who is inspiring me. Now that I have giving you my work-out history, here is why I want to be a personal trainer.
When I started back at the gym, so many of my friends were inspired by me. These friends are the type that are intimidated by gym, pretty people, and the idea of exercise in general. I came back to work with a positive attitude and show them simple, body weight exercises they could do on their own to help get them feeling good about themselves. I showed them pictures of my trainers and because they were bulky and pretty, my friends again were intimidated. I asked, if I train you…would you do it? The answer was YES.
I’ve asked all three of my newest trainers, Fred, Scott, and Rodney if they have ever been 300lbs and knew what it felt like to walk around with that much fat, day after day. Their answers were NO.
This became the main reason I decided I wanted to be a personal trainer. A lot of people don’t know how to get fit. They don’t know where to start. They said they have tried diets and have gained weight back. These are all things that are common issues with obese people. I was there too. They are afraid to go to a gym. Machines are scary. Muscle people are scary. Trainers are scary, especially when they can deadlift 500lbs. These people choose to be fat because they always fill like they can’t. But they can. I didn’t think I could, but I can. And I can with a bum shoulder. I can with a bum knee. I want to show people that they can too.
Because I have been in their place, I know exactly how they feel. Pretty personal trainers make these wonderful high impact, sweaty videos and look awesome. Even I, who danced as a kid, feel so uncoordinated and inadequate trying them. I gave up. I know others will too. I want to bring fitness to those who are afraid. I want to do it with them. I want to be that trainer who is next to you on the floor doing reverse crunches. By being a companion and not just a trainer, I feel that the comradery can help other achieve their goals. Either in person or online, when I start training. I will be next to you, encouraging you to succeed.
This is why I want to be a personal trainer. Today, I start. I am on the road to certification as a trainer, as a nutrition coach, and as a new friend to everyone who needs one.