I’m a fitness pro who has been training clients almost daily since 1997 and I try to pass my years of experience on to you. Recently, I had a big epiphany when I realized how much I’ve learned from my clients. Here are some secrets I’ve learned:
The early bird gets the worm. The most balanced and successful of my clients work out first thing in the morning. They literally take care of themselves first and then move on to the rest of their day. These folks tend to be the CEOs or other driven types who are making a real difference in the world. But their first daily priority is themselves. How cool is that?
You stay skinny by not eating too much. Exercise is important to maintain joint and cardiovascular health. It will keep you toned and looking svelte in your little black dress. But the real secret to keeping your dress size in the single digits is to avoid putting the calories in your body in the first place. Eat in moderation and remember that it’s okay to have a “forbidden food” every once in a while, just never overdo it. Really, it works like a charm.
Consistency is the most important thing. Showing up is 90 percent of success. That quote, or a close variation of it, is from Woody Allen, and he doesn’t exactly look like he has a gym membership. No matter how you choose to work your schedule, commit to it. This is true for a fitness program, but really it’s for your whole life. My clients who consistently show up are the happiest and have the best results.
Friendships endure and change over time. I have three clients, now in their late sixties, who have been friends since pre-school! They have drifted in and out of contact over the years as boyfriends have come and gone, then husbands, then children. Once they all reached the empty nest stage they found they still had lots in common and fitness was just one of them. I love to see how they interact with each other. Keep those friendships, even if it’s just barely, until you have more time to devote to them.
You catch more flies with honey. Sometimes schedules get messed up and my studio and staff try to stay on top of it, but if an instructor calls in sick or there’s a communication snafu…it happens. When it does, we bend over backwards for the people who treat us well and hope we don’t get yelled at too badly by the people who don’t take kindly to trip-ups. The nice people, in the end, get more from us as instructors than the not-as-nice clients.
You can build a community anywhere. One of the big surprises of my Pilates studio is the sense of community we have there. We trade recipes, movie reviews, plumbing referrals, even parenting advice. Some of our clients have met randomly in a trio equipment class and become the best of friends. It’s a joy watching a client go through her pregnancy and have all the other clients who come at the same time cheer her on and even leave baby gifts after they’ve delivered. I love that.
What have you learned from your clients or customers? What have you learned from coworkers? Would love to share some stories here. :-)