Personal Trainer-Why I Love My Job!

There is an old adage, something to the effect of “Find a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”. Corny, no doubt, but full of truth. In my profession as a personal trainer, I get to not only make a living, doing what I love, but I also get the ancillary perks of being a part of helping people, and being inspired and improved, myself, in the process. I’d like to share with you an example of exactly what I mean..

-Client V, let’s call him. Six years ago, V had retired from his career, and taken his dream job, a youth pastor position with his church. One afternoon, his world changed forever. He was out for a jog, and a woman who had drank her lunch hit him. breaking his back among numerous other injuries. In a situation where many would have just given up, he fought tooth and nail, even when being told that walking again may be unrealistic. Through a tour at the Shepherd Spinal Center, PT, rehab, and a slew of other programs, he slowly regained the ability to walk, first on a walker, then arm crutches, then two canes. One of his injuries from the accident is a shoulder injury that requires extensive surgery, so he will need to be able to walk without a cane, or at least with only one, to be able to have his surgery, as his affected arm will be in a sling during the recovery process.. That’s where I came in. V had been training with a trainer for a couple of years, but was still unable to consistently walk without the two canes. The trainer decided to relocate, creating an opportunity for him to start fresh with a new trainer and try to get to one cane, or maybe even walking without a cane at all . His daughter was a client of mine, and she graciously referred him to me.

Before I continue, let me clarify one point. What I am about to share is intended in no way to point the spotlight at me, or my contribution. The point that I hope you take from this is that some people have an amazing commitment capability, in spite of the daunting nature of the task in front of them, what my grandmother would have called grit. V began his training with me on May 30th. The first time we tested, he was able to stand, using his hands, from an 18″ seat, nine times wearing a 16 pound weight vest. In the five weeks since, he has improved to being able to stand 100 times, wearing a 40 pound vest with an 18 pound body bar, holding 25 pounds of weight in his hands. This week, he walked 1000 feet wearing the 40 pound vest, without canes or support. His leg strength has more than doubled, and he recently began 45 minutes each day on a recumbent bike, and he is doing exercises that he once thought were outside of his capabilities. He is nothing short of amazing,and the word quit is nowhere to be found in his vocabulary. He has been more of an influence on me that I could have ever imagined. Days when I don’t feel like doing something that isn’t pleasant, I remind myself that he has pushed himself through much worse than I could ever imagine, every day for six plus years, even when the potential outcome of his efforts was, at best, uncertain. His trials make any situation I face in my life pale by comparison. A relationship that began with me providing a service to someone has evolved into a situation where I am getting much more than I give, and finding a new source of motivation and inspiration that benefits me daily.

I love my job.

Jim Harris