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  • Robbie Hannon

ERIN'S STORY

What were your past experiences with exercise and trainers? For most of my past, I maintained a fairly active lifestyle and was involved in many organized sports. I had a natural athletic ability and loved experiencing the “present moment” and creativity that my athletic pursuits provided. There was a time however, as a young adult, when I became disengaged from my sports and looked to the gym to fill the void. I felt like I “should” go because I wasn't exercising consistently in any other way. As a creature of habit, I would numbingly show up at the same time most days and do the same exercises over and over. I would spend hours maintaining the same pace on the same cardio machines, and performing the same load on the same exercise machines - with few noticeable results. Exercising felt rigid, repetitive, and boring. I was just going through the motions and putting in the time with no real direction or purpose. I was not in the moment or feeling any joy in the exercises. Even though my attendance record was great, I was totally disconnected from myself and the gym experience. Why did you hire a personal trainer? At the time I hired a personal trainer, I had just experienced some major life changes. I had gone through a divorce and my hair had suddenly fallen out. Needless to say, I was lost and in the midst of an identity crisis. I didn't think I'd ever have the confidence to step foot in the gym again, but once I did, I realized that I craved a different and more meaningful experience. I would see people working with trainers but never believed that I could be one of them. I'm not sure if it was because I didn't think I had enough time or money, or if it was because I wasn't capable or worthy of that level of support. In any case, I knew I needed to shift my perspective and my routine, and do something different. It was like I woke up to the fragility of life and finally decided to count myself in - to show up and be seen in a new and more responsible way. It was time to be a beginner again and find the courage to ask for help. Why did you decide to train with me? I decided to train with you because you exude a genuine love and passion for the work. You demonstrate an expansive knowledge base and skill set, and you offer versatility in your training modalities. You always find a way to make each session fresh and creative, and you have an incredibly intelligent ability to explain things in a way that makes learning and doing fun. With your clever use of analogies, wit, and humour, you create space for me to feel comfortable enough to be myself and challenged enough to grow beyond. Not all trainers can do that! I especially appreciate your dedication to learning, doing your own personal work, and bringing your insights, knowledge, and expertise to the mat to be shared. Your commitment to health and wellness and your full attention to our sessions shows me that you not only care about me personally as your client, but that you are deeply invested in your professional practice. You listen patiently to my needs and you approach each session with the efficiency and determination to make the most of our time together. The value you bring to our personal training relationship is worth everything to me because it goes way beyond expectation - you are a mentor, a coach, a teacher, and a friend. You make training fun and meaningful, and thus, you help to instil in me a love for exercise which makes going to the gym a celebration rather than a chore. I train with you because in the midst of wanting to quit during a gruelling exercise, you remind me that I’ve done “harder things”, which is always true and incredibly empowering. With you, I am motivated to do my best because I know that you are in my corner, genuinely rooting for me to achieve my goals. What were your goals when you started training? Believe it or not, my goals in training had nothing to do with losing weight, getting ripped, or achieving an ideal dress size. My goal was to feel more alive. I had been feeling stuck and I wanted to get some new energy running through my body. I wanted to find a way to connect back to my body through new forms of movement and live in that present moment again. My focus was on exploring new movement patterns, connecting to that feeling of aliveness, and energizing myself out of stuckness. What are your goals now? My goals of feeling alive and more connected to my body remain the same. However, as a byproduct of pursuing those goals, I have developed a love for feeling strong. It is now my goal to keep challenging my body so that it can reach its peak capacity and strength, and to create the healthy vessel my body was meant to be. Also, I aim for my personal training to support me in the other athletic pursuits that I have returned to with renewed motivation and passion. Have your family and friends been supportive and how? If not, how? My family and friends have been very supportive. They inquire with interest about the things I'm learning and about the gains I'm making. Some have even pursued personal training after seeing the positive effects it has had on me. What were the negatives of this journey, if any? The biggest challenge for me on this journey has been working through a major injury. I didn't want to slow down and accept the much needed rest and recovery that my body required. Everything in me just wanted to keep the momentum going, so when I had to surrender to the injury and take time to heal, I found it very difficult to let go of control. It felt like all of my hard work, training, and results up to that point would be wasted. Fortunately, you assured me that not all would be lost and you were instrumental in the healing process - physically, mentally, and emotionally. What would you say to somebody considering hiring a trainer? Do it! Count yourself in and make yourself worthy of healthy change in your life. Get in touch with how you want to feel and let that guide you. The right time is now and you are as ready as you need to be to start living your life fully. It could be the beginning of an incredible new relationship with yourself, your trainer, and the gym. You just may discover aspects of yourself - how you relate to your body and the world - in a way that you never knew existed. Life isn’t meant to be faced alone - so confront your fears, limiting beliefs, and insecurities with the support of someone who wants to see you succeed. With the help of a trainer, you can shift your perception of exercise from fear and pain to possibility and joy.

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