Looking Back at Where I’ve Been and How I’ve Changed V.2

Back with a few moments to look back at some older writings I had in a file and read where I have come from in this profession.  The evolution has been a bit astounding for me.  But lately as some of you may have noticed, my blog posts may have seemed jaded, angrier than others and somewhat disheartened.  I sometimes too lapse from the methods I aim to preach. After all, we are human and we all struggle from time to time.  And that is why it has been good to go back to the beginning, to see where I stared, and see that I have made progress by leaps and bounds.  And as my Mother in Law has started reading my posts she said to me the other day, “Maybe you need to read your own post again.” After a particularly hard day.  She was right.

Learning points from Volume 5 – this was a time of self doubt, some disastrous training sessions and fear of failing as a trainer.

What I learned…

  1. Don’t fake it until you make it, rather “Take it until you make it.”
  2. Don’t count yourself out until you are told otherwise.
  3. Out of every disastrous situation there will be some good to come.
  4. If you work hard, all good thing come to those who deserve it.


Learning from Volume 6 – At this point the true human nature was starting to show from clients, and I realized that there were various clients that I was encountering on a weekly basis. This one I had a good laugh over. I completely forgot this post, and some of the so called tricks I used and some I would never use again. Here is the summarized version…

I was encountering clients who complained, those that whine and moan that it’s hard and I don’t like this or that. What the hell, did you think this was going to be easy? Did you get this out of shape overnight? You didn’t wake up one morning and find a fatter version of you looking in the mirror, so why would you think that you let yourself go and you will undo all the neglect in a couple of weeks? This may sound mean but sometimes I push them to the brink of the capability so that when the next workout comes they are quiet, nervous of what I have to bring, or what I can do. Then when the workout is easy they are joyful and feel as though there has been progress. It keeps them motivated a little bit more. Mental tricks so I like to think.

Then I encountered the “I Know What to Do” client. They came to me with the best intentions and they listened to what I had to say… until they got comfortable. They would take the program I wrote, and bugger with it enough to throw the plan off. Some of my clients left their plans with me because they want me to be there to monitor, mainly weights. But many of the client remembered what they had done with me, stuff they liked, and add it in. It wasn’t quite as bad as the client who makes up exercises though. I sometimes had to shake my head and ask where they saw some of the crap they did. Some of the crap people made up was hilarious. What I did with these clients was to have them write down all the stuff they had added in, and tell them I was reorganizing it for them so it was more efficient. Then I would throw all the crap out and go back to my original plan, with one or two of their things and they were be as happy as a kid with candy, and rarely knew the difference.

There were also the “selective hearing clients”. These were the ones that would hear what they wanted to hear. They never seemed to hear the tips for form or for suggestion into the program, like YOU NEED TO STRETCH!!!!! I had clients that are walking two by fours. So I had to take ten minutes out of the workout to stretch them out. I realized that clients were like parrots and could be trained. Repeat word enough and the parrot learns it… for clients, drill it in enough times and they started to remember.


The last and most frustrating of all the clients I had at this time was the “show up when you want and do what you like.”

I had one of these. Called in to cancel all the time or just didn’t show at all. When at training this client would say “I don’t like that so I won’t do it.” Fine then do what the hell you like. When they came to complain that they have not lost weight or such, I explained to them exactly why they hadn’t made any progress. I was blunt and truthful, period. In this category was the client who came to see me hung over. In my case they did this once. Sick I could sympathize, but half in the bag was a different story. My remedy for a hangover was circuit training with light weight and high reps. Add in a set of box pushes, which consisted of pushing large carpeted plywood box across the gym floor. They never came in hung over again.

Learning from Volume 8 as 7 was just a brief letter home

This post occurred early in January of 2006, and I am going to leave this one as I wrote it.  This was an interesting one as it was the TSN turning point so to speak.  I am very fortunate that I came back to this as it gets the fire of desire re-burning within me.

I needed the holiday. I was starting to break down and the holiday was like a recharge to the system. I have a new out look to training and a new desire to train, and become better than I was in 2005. This was brought about by the management asking us to think about goals for the New Year. I have vowed to become a more competent trainer in the Athletic Training Zone. To read more and research more in order to become a more versatile trainer, and on a personal level, to begin a more balanced and effective program (also include an effective trunk program) Another personal goal is to go back to school in some capacity and do continuing education classes, once again so I become better.

Most of this getting better does include education, whether it is classes to upgrade or returning for a master’s degree. Why do you ask? Well over the holidays I asked myself, “is this as good as it gets?” and I think the answer was yes. I don’t desire to be good, I desire to be great. To be great I think that a master’s is a way to go. I am going to look into my options for a Master’s Degree and then talk it over with Pamela, and if it can be done, then it shall be done.

This desire that has overcome me has come from, I guess to some extent, repentance. To repent is to have a change of heart, a change of mind and a change of attitude. My heart is even more into becoming great than before. I am becoming increasingly more comfortable in my position, which means relaxed. I need to stay on my toes, to be on edge, which keeps me training at my best. The change of mind comes due to the other trainers and my new supervisor in the Athletic training zone challenging everything that I know. I am now asking more questions and discovering new material to enhance my training. The change of attitude is the simple fact that I do not want to settle for anything, I want to be at the top. I have to desire to have my name known. Around work the names like Charles Poloquin, Craig Ballantyne, Alwyn Cosgrove are thrown around. These men are huge in this business and have made enormous names for themselves.  I know it sounds vain but I want to be seen as that in the future. Maybe a Master’s degree in not the only way, but my focus this year is to find out how to get my path to greatness started. Our Bachelor’s degrees are not the final step. Our Bachelor’s degrees are merely licenses to allow us to further continue to learn.

Disrespect also fuels my desire at the moment. Where does it come from? The other day as a field house attendant was moving a guy out of one of the gyms I had booked for testing; the guy asked why he was being moved. Charlie told him because there was personal training going on the gym. The guy looked over and said, “he’s not a personal trainer.” When I heard who had said it I was angry. This guy is an outside trainer who trains one of our trainers. What a screwed up situation. He has no formal education. Sure he looks good…if you like that chemically enhanced look. He had the nerve to tell one of our best trainers that he couldn’t be a personal trainer either. He said you have to look the part. I have sweats and a pair of runners, doesn’t that make me a trainer, made him one. Funny thing is I have never talked to this guy, said a word to him or even looked at him in the wrong direction and he has an opinion of me. He is already in my “I wouldn’t piss in his ear if his brain was on fire” file, and I have never even talked to him.

That what we are challenged by, a lack of education for the general public that has the preconceived idea that to be a good trainer you have to have 24 inch biceps and a back you can play movies on. I have forgotten more than a guy like that knows and still people will go to see him. But then I think that those clients will come to see me, once they don’t see the results and/ or he hurts them. I just needed to vent a bit.

Funny how things seem to work.



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