Expectaions – written in 2012

I love my job, everything about it. I know I am very lucky and in a huge minority when I say this, but it is true. I don’t even mind getting up early with my first client. Or even that I spend a lot of time by myself. I love the fact that I can change people’s lives for the better and educate them to make life style changes, and that I can help people overcome their fears and open their eyes and minds to new things. I love seeing my clients achieve their goal, or even find things out about themselves that they didn’t know they were looking for. I love the fact that the industry is forever moving forwards and there are always new things to learn and try. I love the challenges that land in my lap on a daily basis. But I hate the level of frustration, expectation and pressure that my clients feel.

Since moving to London I have noticed that there is a huge amount of pressure on everyone walking around, more so than when I was living in Southampton. Maybe it’s because I’m more aware of what’s going on around me or maybe ‘the London mentality’ is an actual phenomenon.  For example; it’s acceptable to work 12 hour days and then bring more work home, emails being sent to you at 2am with an answer or action being required immediately, for children to be put into nursery at 6 weeks old so both parents can go to work, to look fantastic all the time and be the perfect size and shape, to be able to go out socially every day.

It’s too much. I don’t know where this level of expectation has come from and why it is necessary for people to feel the need to fulfill every aspect of their lives every day of the week.

I’m not surprised when I read statements like: the number of people having treatment for depression is on the rise, heart attacks and other stress related health issues in people my own age, suicide rates on the increase, divorce and single parent families trying to cope and failing on the up, petty crime and vandalism in areas that have been deemed as safe places to live, redundancies at every level, unemployment on the rise and hatred between societies and religions.

I am lucky to train a wide variety of clients from all walks of life, but they all feel some level of expectation in one way or another.

Some of my clients that are mum’s are struggling with having time to train because they are under pressure to keep a perfect house that is in immaculate condition, as well as making sure the children are getting to and from school safely and have all they need at home, after school clubs, seeing their friends, getting all the shopping and other chores done, satisfying their husbands needs and finding time to work or do things for themselves. I’m hardly surprised that if and when I get to see them they are exhausted and stressed out because they feel they have let me down because they haven’t had a chance to go to the gym or exercise every day.

I understand that for many people having a Personal Trainer is a luxury and expensive. And I believe that’s as good a reason as any to have one.

For all the things I mentioned earlier, everyone is stressed and in need of release. Let me take the pressure of program design and targeting results. Putting more pressures on yourself to look perfect, have a flat stomach and all the rest is only going to drive you crazier. Use the time you have put a side to train/see me to switch off the rest and focus on you. So what if the floor hasn’t been hovered, so what if the kids clothes haven’t been washed, ironed and put away before they get home, so what if that email doesn’t get actioned straight away, so what if you leave the office after 8 hours and get to spend more time with your loved ones, so what if you switch your phone off at the weekend and heaven forbid you say no to going out. No one is going to die and the world will carry on spinning if you sit down and have a cup of tea in the afternoon.

Sometimes you need to be selfish and do what you need to do, not what you think you should be doing. Don’t try and live your life by keeping up with other people’s Facebook highlight reel. It’s not healthy and the only person that will suffer is you.

Trends will come and go, work will change, and the children will grow up and move away and start their own families and all that you will have to show for it is a clean house.

Screw that, go make some memories and enjoy what you have right now!!!

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