A friend asked me the other day “are you bitter about personal training?”
I said “not about personal training no. It isn’t that.”
“So you are bitter about something, is that why you’ve taken some time off from the fitness industry? What is it that has left you feeling so jaded?”
“Well, it’s the all the bullshit. It’s sickening. Good people trust a bunch of liars and nothing happens. The liars get the money, the clients get screwed and the few good people in the industry get a crappy reputation or just leave.”
I feel a little bad about the statement because it wasn’t correct. I shouldn’t have called the people liars. I don’t know if they are lying, maybe they are just ignorant or greedy or cherry picking the information that supports their point of view. Regardless of their motivation, I push hard in hopes that maybe they’ll read something I write or hear me give a talk and learn something. After that point, if they continue with their bullshit, they ARE liars. I just want to remove any doubt and hopefully open their minds to how to make the industry all that it can be.
Over the last 20 years I have chosen to be mentored by people who ended-up using bullshit to shill a number of solutions to problems that don’t exist. They were mentors so I believed what they were saying, even when common sense told me that there was something amiss. I accepted their explanation because it was easier to just go along with what they were saying, parrot the stories they told as evidence, not rock the boat and definitely not spend the time to unpack and shine the light on the entire picture.
But none of those people are mentors to me now. I learned what I learned, they taught me what they need to teach. It was win:win and then it was over. I believe that most of them were doing their best, likely convinced that they were helping others completely unaware that a conflict of interest prevented them from seeing the facts. If they had children to feed and careers to build, they were highly motivated to believe that what they were doing was correct. Even now, if they are still doing the same things they were doing back then I have little doubt that they have continued to read and educate themselves with more of the same information that confirms their point of view and allows them to sleep at night.
I needed to sleep at night so we’ve parted ways and I have decided to coming clean about the lies and bullshit that are told or spewed is my attempt to redeem an industry that churns through first rate trainers while rewarding business people, all to the detriment of the clients who are brave enough to ask for help only to get screwed over.
In the words of RFK “too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives from the shattered dreams of other human beings.” I know and have seen first hand the horrible feelings that are created when someone isn’t successful at achieving a fitness goal. They lose a lot more than the money their trainer gains, they lose an entire future and a portion of their spark. It is one of the saddest things there is. All that hope and good will evaporates because they didn’t realize or were not told that the trainer supplies the smallest piece of the equation while the client is responsible for everything that is actually done. Too many people go into the trainer client relationship with win:whatever attitude as opposed to a win:win or no deal.
And that is the thing I’m trying to stop. Trying to warn people about. Trying to get fitness professionals to get on board with. Be completely honest, stop with the bullshit and understand the role you play. There are way easier ways to make a lot of money and if someone is all about the money, get out of the industry and make way for those with the right values.