The goal of this time is for me to gain practical experience as a personal trainer. If I had this job, at my gym, I would be responsible for developing programs for all sorts of people. I would also be responsible for just being there to answer questions, to help someone with form, suggestions, or as a spotter. I'd be there in case of emergencies and to do some light cleaning, such as emptying all the wastepaper baskets of the tons of paper towel that get tossed in there after clients wipe down their machines.
I was aware of some challenges going in:
- I am officially fluent in Dutch, but the fitness world has a jargon all it's own. I am often unfamiliar with the names for things. What's more of a challenge is knowing how to explain to people how to perform exercises.
- I am not sure how to balance working with people as both an authority figure and a partner in their progress.
I have discovered that the language problem is really more of my problem than an objective challenge. Memorizing specific phrases, using body language, and using English if I get desperate are all fairly simple solutions. (Most Dutch people also speak at least reasonable English, sometimes also another two or three languages.) I just have to let go of that perfectionism that sometimes stops me from trying if I don't feel certain.
The part about balancing how I work with people leads me to the challenge I found once I started practicing what I've learned. And that is: Find the beginning, and start there!
The feedback I've gotten has been that I can improve in three key areas:
- Keep it simple ~ The clients need to know in summary that their program will get them to their goals. If they are interested, they'll ask for more information.
- Keep it short ~ The clients need to know what to focus on. That's it.
- Keep it fun ~ The clients need to enjoy their workouts and see results.
This new path I'm trying out is a challenge! But, it's one I can definitely meet. It will call for patience, attention, and practice.