“CREATE A LIFE YOU CAN’T WAIT TO WAKE UP TO.”
I believe that every personal trainer and coach, in fact everyone who is marginally serious about their career in no matter which profession, should base their work on a foundation of personal core values. These can be written down for everyone to see, or you can keep them to yourself, but the most important point is that you act on them.
Some call these personal values, and believe that by sticking to their values they remain true to themselves while progressing along their career path. I absolutely second that, and in my role as a personal trainer and coach, my core values shape my coaching philosophy.
Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, or moral uprightness. It is a personal choice to hold one’s self to consistent standards. In other words, it is doing the right thing, even though nobody is watching. It is setting high standards for yourself, although there is no competition and no minimum criteria to meet. It is constantly over-delivering, although nobody asks you to. It means that you strive to be the best person you can possibly be today, every day. It means working with an exceptionally high level of self-motivation, and staying true to yourself and your own values. Integrity means telling a student or a client ‘I don’t know’ when you don’t know, instead of guessing the answer because you are afraid to look stupid. It means referring a potential client to a colleague or medical professional when you feel that you and your skillset might not be the best match for them. Integrity means putting your clients’ interests ahead of your own. Always. I’m a great fan of integrity, and it will always be my number one core value.
When I teach, my aim is not to look smart. My aim is to make my students look smart after they leave the classroom. This is equally true for my work as a trainer and coach. Yes, I want my clients to work hard and be consistent with their training and meal plans, but I also want my clients to accumulate knowledge. I want them to think for themselves, become independent and self-confident, and to be able to eventually educate others. I believe in sharing knowledge, and teaching fascinates me to a point that I have conducted and published academic papers on education research, and presented my results at conferences. Knowledge is worth nothing if you are unwilling, or don’t know how to share it. Period.
I promise that the day I stop being passionate about anatomy and fitness, I will leave the industry and find myself another occupation. There is nothing more poisonous for yourself (and for others!) than staying in a job that makes you miserable. Enough said!
RELIABILITY, HONESTY AND RESPECT
To me, these three go hand in hand. If I say I’ll be there, I’ll be there. If I say I’ll do something, I’ll do it. If I don’t know something, I’ll admit it. If I made a mistake, I will take ownership. Simple concepts, but unfortunately these don’t go without saying in today’s society. Why make someone worry or wait unnecessarily. Respect others by being reliable and honest. You will always get my honest opinion when you ask for it. Not just because I am extraordinarily bad at lying, but because I appreciate reliability and honesty in others, and my clients, too.
Chances are, you will hear me in the gym before you see me. It’s the laugh, it’s the voice, and it’s loud and cheerful! Keeping a positive attitude is half of the battle already won, no matter what obstacles you’re currently overcoming in life. I usually get chatting with everyone easily, don’t take myself too seriously, and although training sessions with me no doubt get my clients sweating and working hard, we always have a good laugh in between.