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What I’m really thinking: the fitness instructor

Early starts are a downside but it never ceases to amaze me how many people are queueing to get into the gym every morning at 6am. The diehards who can’t start the day without their workout; the city banker trying to de-stress before work; the retired pensioner who can’t get out of the habit of waking early; the fitness addict who will be back in the gym at 6pm.

The best part of my job is seeing someone who starts out very unfit and overweight and goes on to become healthy and strong. They often say, “I couldn’t have done it without you”, but the truth is they have done it all by themselves. I can’t control how much they eat at the end of each day, or give them the drive to push that extra weight.

I have lost count of how many people I have sent to their GP after finding high blood pressure during their first induction. Maybe I saved their life in the long run. I like to see trainee instructors who start this job with little confidence but go on to be brilliant personal trainers. Some are never going to make the mark – I’ll stop them before they injure someone because of their training techniques.

The bad bits are few: clearing up sweat from the cross trainer because someone feels entitled to leave their mess for someone else; the injuries when someone falls backwards off a moving treadmill while trying to send a text; worrying about the anorexic who shouldn’t even be in the gym. But you can’t stop people once they are adults.

The job is different every day and in a way we are like hairdressers: we get to hear your life stories.


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