Climbing out of the car, less than enthused at the prospect of running I bumped into a couple of familiar faces. After the usual catch up and me moaning at being about to run, one commented that ‘it wasn’t so great living the fitness dream today.’ Plodding along one foot in front of the other I started to ponder. Is that what I am doing? Thirty-five minutes later and I reached the conclusion in a very roundabout way that yes, I really am ‘living the fitness dream’ and what is more I wouldn’t change a thing!
Go back seven years and I was stuck in a rut. I had gone back to Financial Services to a part time role which required that I ‘forget’ most of my previous experience and work on auto pilot. It is little wonder that I was frustrated, emotional and struggling. Putting an end to the misery was a key moment in my life and I have never looked back. It resulted in some radical changes and has been called a brave move by many and I would not change it for the world.
Take last week as an example. I did 7 PT sessions on Monday, squeezing the washing and cleaning up in between as well as an 80 minute treadmill run and a well-earned soak in the bath. Tuesday saw 4 PT sessions, a massage and a class plus organising the migration of my email list to a new platform. Of course there was also the getting children up, ready for school, feeding them, homework and bath and bedtime. Wednesday was quieter with 3 PT sessions and an afternoon in front of the computer writing blog and Facebook content. Thursday involved an early run, trip to the Doctor with my middle daughter, shopping and then home to cook lasagne for the girls and their friends here to play. Then another 2 PT sessions followed by gymnastics drop off and pick up. Only 3 PT sessions on Friday and a run in the afternoon. I had the entire weekend off which is unheard of and very welcome!
It all sounds very hectic but is so rewarding too. I get to spend time with great clients – we talk about everything including families, work, health, business and training. I end up doing lots of listening and giving advice where I can. I know when to push and when to pull back and how to motivate each individual to achieve their best. No one will ever leave a session despondent or feeling negative. It is hard work but it is worth it and the stretch at the end leaves us all feeling relaxed and ready to face the rest of the day.
I used to feel guilty spending time during the day exercising but eventually put that to bed by seeing it as part of my working day. Why do we make it so hard for ourselves? Who wants a trainer who is out of shape and unhealthy? My day is structured differently and I effectively have my ‘evening’ in the afternoon whilst you are working. What I can do is to be here for my girls and spend time with my husband in between his shifts.
It can feel relentless at times and I do get cabin fever on the days when there is not enough time at any point between sessions to leave the house. Rejigging my days has helped and knowing that Wednesdays and Thursdays are less hectic means I have a chance to catch my breath and to do any running around. My biggest frustration is the perception that if I’m not with a client then I am not working and I am always in trouble for having my phone in my hand even if I am answering messages, emails and posting on Facebook.
I guess that is a small price to pay for the flexibility of working for yourself and from home too. There is nothing that a few 5.30am starts doesn’t solve! I could take out the writing as I don’t need to publish blogs or my own book. However I very definitely need to be challenged and to grow and develop too and I love to write. I am not all just talk – I walk the walk too! If you don’t try you will never know what you could achieve. In my view that would be a real shame so I will keep on trying!
If you are unhappy or frustrated then you really can change things. You need to make the necessary decisions, make a plan and go for it. We only get one chance and need to make the most of the opportunities we have. What would you do if you could?
I hope that has got you thinking!!! I would love you to share your comments and stories. You never know you might inspire someone else too.