I recently described myself as the Ellen Degeneres of personal training and coaching. Why? Well, maybe it’s my stunted social skills from being excruciatingly shy and anxious growing up and maybe it’s just who I am, but I am “not an intimidating drill instructor,” as someone put it last week. I’m goofy and nice, but a perfectionist in my skills and expectations at the same time. I smile, laugh, dance, and do frog jumps or donkey kicks alongside them as they sweat, push, and laugh too. I find a whole lot of joy in my work, like Ellen seems to in hers.
As a kid, my goal was to make people happy. As I grew and found a love for health & wellness, I decided to combine my love of making people happy with my love of health & wellness into a career. I may do several things: write, personal train, teach group exercise, and coach, but they all involve happiness and health.
Last year, I coached high school track and at the end of the season the AD made a comment that I wasn’t tough enough – in a strict, stern way. I took a second and thought, well no one missed a practice unless they were home sick or had a school event and the girls team, which only had five on the team, took 4th in state and everyone had their best season, so…. I think people think coaches and trainers should embody a certain persona in order for clients and athletes to achieve success. Well, I’m a firm believer that no one is going to go on that ride with me if I am not myself. I could pretended to be “hard” with no smile, but what kind of fun would that be?
Being myself, has had a positive effect on the kids I coach and the clients I train. If I can open up and be myself, they will too. They feel as though they are in a safe place and can open up as well and be honest with themselves, their bodies, their training, and me. If I come off too tough with an intense attitude, then a kid may not come to me if they are injured or not feeling well. Kids and clients will quit, not gain confidence, or end up injured. The possibilities are endless when everyone feels comfortable with each other.
In some respect, this idea of putting on a persona can translate to other fields as well. In my early 20’s I tried on that professional persona and it was awful for all parties involved. When I made the decision to let myself come out and play with my career, I was successful and devoured the work that I was getting.
So, I stand by my Ellen DeGeneres-style – it’s who I am. Any way, what’s better than being able to be myself in the field that I choose to live and grow, in order to inspire those in my reach?