Well, that has crept up on me! 2 years ago, at the beginning of 2015, I qualified as a Personal Trainer through YMCAfit after questioning my career in advertising. Whilst I enjoyed most of the jobs I had over the 5 years I’d worked in advertising I had a definite sense of unease that I was encouraging people to spend money that they didn’t have on things that they didn’t need. I know that this is a cynical view of advertising because there are plenty of companies to work for that focus more on charity and humanitarian campaigns rather than flogging yet another mobile phone, but it just wasn’t the right world for me to focus all of my efforts on. It was also sapping who I was as a person, I needed more control over my days and my career progression. In the past 2 years I’ve set up a PT business, under the umbrella of which I also take on paid social media management work for clients that mean something to me, currently a global anti-rabies charity and a London-based gym chain.
Seeing as my life has changed so much after the last couple of years I thought I’d round up some of the stats and what I’ve learnt.
Number of PT clients trained: 34
Longest standing client: 2 years
Parks trained in: London Fields, Victoria Park, Millfields Park, Finsbury Park, Clissold Park, Stoke Newington Common, Laycock Open Space, Highbury Fields
Classes taught: 183
Types of classes taught: boxing, hiit, circuits, tabata, mum’s and babies, over-50’s cardio
Earliest session: 5:30am
Favourite exercise for clients: lunges (and all the varieties and progressions)
Most said phrase: ‘Just 2 more, I promise’
Most heard phrase: ‘I hate you’
Number of sessions done in the rain: 7 (surprisingly few!)
Number of sessions done in the snow: 2
Now, what have I learnt?
I’ve learnt that I am more efficient in the afternoons and evenings than I am in the mornings. I’ve learnt that I really am an early bird and that going to bed at 9pm is necessary when you’re getting up at 6am or earlier every morning. I’ve learnt that the more you believe in your clients the more they will believe in themselves and what they can achieve. I’ve learnt that not everyone is ready to make the changes in their life to get the results that they want. I’ve learnt that you can have a work/life balance that allows you to have some time to yourself during the day and still make the same money that you would doing a 9-5 job. I’ve learnt that some clients require the stick and others require the carrot to get them going. I’ve learnt that clients’ goals change as they change (and normally when they discover weight lifting). I’ve learnt that teaching a good exercise class has everything to do with your own energy and a little bit to do with the music that you choose. I’ve learnt that it never gets old seeing clients hit their goals and stand that little bit taller because of their achievement. I’ve learnt that it’s ok to discuss people paying you when you’re providing a service. I’ve learnt the importance of tracking my accounts as I go, not just at the end of the year. I’ve learnt that people will always look you up and down and judge your physique when you tell them you’re a PT, whether they mean to or not. I’ve learnt that being honest and real with my clients will put them at ease and give them confidence to be honest and open with me. I’ve learnt the value of my time and not to undersell myself.
Looking back 2 years ago I couldn’t have imagined that I’d be where I am today and I am so excited to see where the next 2, 5 or 10 years takes me. Bring it on I say, bring it on.