Reflecting on a year of this sh*t, and thanking the people that have made it anything but.
This pandemic has been extremely frustrating for this extroverted trainer… Although pivoting through change has been quite exhilarating, it has been hard to navigate emotions that are tied so heavily to the fact that my job is all about the PEOPLE. My clients are my friends, and the classes that I teach give me energy and focus.
I was getting pretty burnt out from my “pre-covid” way of living, mostly due to the fact that I had to bike or drive all over town to get from gym to gym to give energy, refuel my social buckets, train clients, wake up early, work late, and do it all over again. Weekends were becoming the most favorited part of my week, and it didn’t used to be like that. Am I just getting older?
When Covid took over the world in a way that affected a personal trainers job with the snap of your fingers, we had to PIVOT. And when I say pivot, I mean, really take control of thoughts saying “is this what I want to do anymore? Am I ok with teaching classes online? Do I have the following and the technological skills to really do this? Are my clients going to stick with me without having access to equipment, facilities, hands on corrections, in person examples…”
Well, I will tell ya… I took that bull by the horns, put my best foot forward and didn’t let my clients skip a damn beat! I was LOVING this new change… The pandemic brought me out of a slump, allowed me to feel empowered by the strengths my clients were recognizing in me, and my online bootcamps were full screens of hard working friends! My one on one clients started working out with friends online, and enjoying the fact that they could still feel connection in a time where our world was pushed into isolating, physically alone. I had so much fun reinventing the wheel of how I trained people, how I motivated people, and the strength I was beginning to see in myself at the same time.
At the start of the pandemic, I went through a break up, so I actually carried my laptop to 5 different homes before I found my own. Through living with the ex, living with a friend, living at a cabin, living in Edmonton, and then finally my own home, I found solace on the harder days with online training and getting to see my friends and clients daily. This kept me busy, it kept my extroverted self feeling herself, and didn’t feel isolating at all.
Summer came, yard workouts became a thing, and everyone was able to connect again. You can only imagine what that did to my self worth and my confidence. I had my mojo back, loved my job again, and had more clients than ever before. I was happy as a clam.
This past winter over the last 3 months have made me more anxious than ever, going back into isolation. It’s a very trying time for someone like me, who lives for friends and family, hugs and connection. Stories and cuddles, playing music with friends, entertaining, hosting, dancing… I tried everything I could to stay connected to who I am, but I started to lose that. It was dark and rainy, short days that seemed to go on forever, and not enough physical touch and affection. Christmas was cancelled with the family, and every decision I made I had to second guess. Living in a single household, lots of people would trade in that quiet alone time for a week without their chaotic household of 5 with kids running wild, dogs to be walked, and working in those small four walls of a home office… What I wouldn’t give to trade them that right back!
Winter has been long, times have been hard in decision making, with feelings of anxiety and guilt. But what has given me hope, strength, and excitement is that fact that I still get to see my clients every damn day. They give every day a purpose, they give me just as much energy now as I can give to them, and they all stick with it because it feels just as good on both ends. Braving the mask wearing, most are now working out with a friend because it’s the safe place they can reconnect and socialize. Most corporate teams have taken the rain or shine approach to outside, so they can keep fueling that “team” vibe from wherever they are currently working out of.
I am SO grateful for my clients and my job every day. More now than ever before. You are all keeping me together, with your stories, your hard work, your unrelenting good vibes and encouragement. You need me? Well I need you just as much.
Please be kind to yourselves… Everyone has their own story. Their own way of coping in these times. For some, it is through work. Others it is through cooking, drinking wine, long walks in the woods, or having that extra piece of dark chocolate in the middle of your day to keep things sweet. I am encouraging everyone to be kinder to those they don’t know, to those that they know are struggling. Hang on to those thoughts that we are all in this together and there IS a light at the end of the tunnel. When someone is having a bad day, don’t tell them it will get better, tell them you’re sending them a friggin bear hug, and hold on tight. Don’t shame people in their food journeys, their weight gain or loss, their ways of coping with long days, their glass of wine with dinner, their cry before bed… Encourage them to call you, to walk with you, to do what feels good for them, because every person has a different journey. Don’t be a “NO” person. Telling someone that they can look better and feel better if they “cut out sugar/sober January/cut out carbs/exercise more/stop eating breakfast/”... you have no idea what these things might be doing for someones soul right now. Maybe wine with dinner is the small enjoyment a single mom gets out of her day when her kids go to bed. Maybe having a bite of chocolate for dessert is their treat for another day making it through another long day at the home office. Maybe ‘doing less exercise’ is how someone is treating their body with MORE compassion and giving it more of what it needs.
Please remember that we are here to encourage each other, create healthier habits by sharing our own experiences and only giving that advice if asked. Right now is a time for COMPASSION, UNDERSTANDING, AND FOLLOWING YOUR OWN JOURNEY.
Thank you for joining me on mine, and thank you to all of you who have held me the ef’ up. Keep it up, I need ya.