For the most part, playing in the fitness world has been an amazing experience. I’ve met the best people. I’ve tried the craziest fun things. I’ve become a better person. While I cherish the positive moments I’ve had since agreeing to lead a more healthy lifestyle, it doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten the uglier sides of fitness.
I try not to dwell on the funky side of fitness too often, but sometimes you have to face the ugly. Recently I faced someone else’s ugly: gym bullies. I never forget that at one time I was jaded towards all things gym. I was really concerned with the negative stereotypes associated with people who hang out at gyms; people there to make people feel bad about where they are and where they want to be.
This all started from an email a friend sent me …
So I signed up for a gym membership, and they did this whole free fitness assessment then tried to get me to sign up for a personal trainer. The first girl was nice, but then she went to get her manager to talk prices and this guy was a douche. Telling me I wasn’t ready to invest in myself because I didn’t wanna buy his $200-a-month package to see a personal trainer once a week for 30-minute sessions. The 30 minutes consist of them giving me homework for the rest of the week, so I can do it on my own time. He told me I wasn’t ready to make the change and achieve my goals. That he believed in me and that I just didn’t believe in myself … So I’m angry cuz this fool thinks he knows me and that I won’t achieve success without him cuz I don’t wanna pay cuz I’m not ready. The whole time I was thinking of you guys and how Mark knows my ability and commitment. How you guys respect people and are there to assist when people ask for assistance and encouragement. I just wanted to thank you for that. I’ll see you at bootcamp.
I won’t lie; I flipped out a bit on her behalf. I was so disappointed in this “fitness professional” attempting to bully her into expensive training sessions. It’s not supposed to be that way, friends! Important decisions such as your health and well-being should never be reached out of coercion. You should never be guilted, bullied or manipulated into something so personal. I wrote my friend back and told her I felt better knowing she was wise enough to see through his tactics. (Homeboy wanted that commission!) I also seconded her awesomeness. She’s a beast at bootcamp. She never gives up, and she works super hard at being healthy. I still can’t believe a total stranger told her she wasn’t ready.
I share her situation with you so that you know that this does happen — and that you don’t have to let the bully win. Trust your gut and remember you are perfectly capable and smart enough to walk your own path without pushy people influencing you inappropriately.
I will never say personal training isn’t an effective path for the Fit Bottomed Girl who needs some structure and guidance. Heck, my husband is my personal trainer! It’s not for everyone though and a good trainer knows that — a good trainer also doesn’t act like a used car salesman whose only goal is to make a sale. Just remember: you want fit friends in your corner, not up your butt!
Anyone else dealt with a pushy personal trainer? —Tish