Training ruts are a terrible thing. One moment you’re feeling motivated, together and strong and the next you’re wondering why you bother to eat well and exercise at all. When these negative feelings threaten to surface I find it’s a good idea to try to focus on all of the positive things that have come from your training – people you’ve met, goals you’ve achieved and adventures you’ve had. So today I thought I’d take the opportunity to reflect back on five of the most memorable and influential training moments I’ve had as a trainer, and as an individual.
Completing my first City2Surf
Back in my university days, I (like so many who had gone before me) was a little more…. cuddly…. than I am today. I spent my time as a first-year overindulging in all that uni life had to offer, and by end-of-year exams all I had to show for it was a larger dress size. Lucky for me, over the three month Christmas break I was able to begin a training program with an amazing personal trainer. Dani not only helped my drop my bonus weight, she also inspired me to be healthier, happier, fitter and stronger than I’d been in a long time. By the time I returned to uni the following year I had committed to running my first City2Surf and in August of 2003 I did exactly that, completing the race in around 92 minutes. And while I’ve knocked almost 25 minutes off that time over the past nine years, I’ll never forget how exhilarating and self-affirming that first race was.
Finding my confidence in the weights room
This is another moment I owe to Dani actually. As a teen and young adult I – like many women – was self conscious about training in a room full of men. Instead I would work out on equipment that I deemed ‘girl-friendly’ – cardio machines, hydraulic equipment (thigh adductor anyone?) and the like. Thankfully there came a moment when I realised I no longer cared what the men thought of me and my weights selection (maybe it was the moment I realised they were too busy checking themselves out to notice whether I was doing cable crossovers or hanging upside down from the cable machine naked). Now I just find my place in front of the mirror or on the machines and concentrate on doing my own workout as best I can. So should you.
Becoming a certified personal trainer
I did my Certificate III in Gym Instruction through the Fitness Institute Australia (now FIA Fitnation) back in 2005, but it wasn’t until 2010 that I decided it was time to finish what I’d started and enrolled in a Certificated IV in Personal Training, again through FIA. I was working in an advertising agency at the time, the global financial crisis had hit and our entire team had been asked to drop back to a nine-day fortnight. I figured it was a sign and headed back to the textbooks. Lucky I did too, because not long after I got my certification, the agency I was working for went bust and I suddenly needed to rely on my newly-acquired skill set. Realising I had upskilled myself just in the nick of time was pretty special.
Running with Mum in her first City2Surf
As you may have read already, my Mum is a bit of a speed demon (and not just in the demerit point way). It wasn’t always like this though – in fact I distinctly remember her telling us – and anyone else who would listen – that she wasn’t a runner and would never EVER do the City2Surf. And then 2007 rolled around. Someone finally managed to convince her to give it a go (it was probably Dani) and Ma and I ran the race together. I remember heartbreak hill very clearly from that year – the two of us shuffling along, refusing to give in to the pain. Mum has knocked over 20 minutes off her time since that year, and she now waltzes through at about a 6min/km pace.
The ‘a-ha!’ client moments
This isn’t a singular moment in time – it happens quite regularly, and it’s a huge part of the reason I love personal training so much. It’s seeing a female client realise they’re strong enough to do ‘man’ push-ups, watching the lightbulb go on in someone’s head as they really ‘get’ the kettlebell swing or seeing them cross the finish line in an event they swore they’d never enter (a la Bev).
Whether your memorable moments are deadlifting a new PB, running your first marathon or realising you can chase your toddler around the backyard without getting puffed doesn’t matter. What matters is that you take the time to appreciate these little moments for the milestones they are, and give yourself a little pat on the back for how far you’ve come. Have a wonderful weekend!