I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about how the weight room, career, and just life in general. It’s amazing how close they correlate. As a beginning trainer over 10 years ago I learned why this is a field of people that “use to be trainers”. When I was telling people that I was going to be a trainer I heard a half of dozen of people tell me “Oh that is cool,I use to be a trainer, now I am a secretary, a real estate agent, a waiter, yada, yada, yada.” After about 3 months of being a trainer with a whopping 2 clients I realized I was considering being a “used to be a trainer” or a “part time trainer”. Sorry no offense to part time trainers, but IMO it is really hard to do and do it right. I know a couple that are awesome, but they are the exception. I myself have gone through it over the years. I battled with it numerous times. Why? well it is a job of continual progress and learning if you want to be good at it. There is never a point where you have learned enough or need stop putting your energy out there to earn new clients. Competition is constantly around and the ability to differentiate yourself is ongoing. Other things just seem easier some times. Not only are you dealing with people all day(many difficult), but you are marketing yourself, working long days, split shifts, and numerous unpaid hours. And for those that get into training to train the stars or only train elite athletes my advice…. Good luck with that and you are better off choosing any other career. It isn’t always easy and it takes work to be successful and make a good living at it.
So what does career and getting strong have to do with each other. Well, here is my observation. Getting strong is challenging. If it wasn’t, everyone out there would be. It is easy to lift weights for awhile and get a little strong, but when it comes to taking it to another level they go the other direction. Why? because it gets too hard. The sad thing is there are some people with natural strength, and with a little bit of training they can be very strong. They have the potential to be world class, but in order to be that they have to work, and work with purpose. Anyone that really gets strength training understands the challenges. I am not talking about going to the gym with the only purpose of looking good naked or to fit into a cute bikini. I am talking about the person that continually progresses to get stronger and push limits. For some its getting their first pull up, for others it is 300lb clean and jerk. This process is ongoing for those that are on the path. Once a goal is achieved a new one just as challenging takes its place unless that is the goal comes to easy. It is a mental challenge to continue on the path of strength. There are some days that you feel like you are on top of the world and other days where you feel like the world is on top of you. If you are on the path you realize that it is just part of the journey. An extra rest day or days may be needed or some corrective work to be done, but the movement is alway forward and towards achieving the goal of becoming stronger. Through all of this I have learned that whether I like it or not I learn more lessons from strength training than I would like sometimes. Many times I just want to change my goal because it just gets too challenging at times and its easy to come up with reasons and excuses on why I can’t achieve it now. Hell, It is a whole hell of a lot easier to just change paths and train to get ripped, or more conditioned, or enter a race to mix it up. Those goals are easy, and constantly changing goals to justify lack of commitment is even easier.
Yogi Berra said “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.”
That quote says it all. For career, strength, and life. As a gym owner, now getting ready to expand my facility by nearly 5x the gym floor and working towards some of the biggest strength goals of my life that quote really means something. Constantly having goals to work for, is what keeps me going, and when it gets tough to achieve them it is time to put forth the effort, take an extra course to learn something new, get a little bit of help, and put in the time needed to succeed. All of that depends on knowing where you going and having a defined goal. If it is a 500lb Deadlift or a opening a bigger gym the goal is the goal is the goal.