Helping others has always been my core motivation in becoming a personal trainer. The news of a close family member’s health issues really lit the fire and sparked me to ask my family doctor how I could prevent the same issues from befalling me. She recommended I start an exercise program, so I joined the local gym. Not long after that, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic migraines. Through the help of my doctor and my own research, I discovered that exercise was another way to manage my symptoms.
I was motivated to exercise for optimal health, quality of life and illness prevention. I soon became interested in running and strength training. A few years passed and I continued to be inspired, so I made the leap and registered for a personal training course being offered in a nearby city. That was in 2002.
Fast forward to today—I have trained over 1,000 Atlantic Canadians by offering personal training sessions in gyms in every province, but Newfoundland and Labrador. I hold many fitness certifications including Personal Training, Group Fitness, BOSU, Indoor Cycling, Pilates and Yoga.
Early on in my career, I was quick to understand that personal training is more about relationships than it is about exercise. My clients helped strengthen my patience and kindness and have served as great reminders to enjoy life to the fullest. Clients have showed me how changing priorities impacts their exercise programs and how important it is that we adapt as a team to those situations. They have showed me their hearts by sharing personal details and I am so glad they feel they can trust me.
Your heart grows to care for your clients’ session by session. You want them to succeed at their goals so you do everything you can to support and encourage them, to empower them with tools and resources and to show them how much you believe in them. In then end, it’s a team effort based on hard work, trust, care—and a little fun, too.
Five lessons I’ve learned
1. Believe and achieve
You may fool others around you but you cannot fool yourself. Your mind and heart hear what you say out loud and what you say to yourself. If you make negative comments about yourself in your head, you will eventually believe them. Do yourself a favour and repeat positive affirmations. Believe in yourself. Develop your own personal mantra. It will be powerful in moments when you are feeling powerless.
2. Give your best
You can only do your best and nothing more. Every day is a different day for your body. Some days you feel 100%, so give your best of 100%—other days you might feel 50%, so give your best of 50%. Simply give your best depending how you feel that day and recognize that each day your body’s energy changes.
3. Take the high road
The high road is always the best road, but sometimes it can be tough to get on and to stay on. However, it will always be worth it and it’s guaranteed to be less crowded. Not engaging in gossip at the gym and being respectful towards other fitness professionals in this competitive industry is always the best choice.
4. Take advantage of the stress-busting benefits of exercise
Exercise and mindful movement are an incredible stress management tool that has been proven to reduce anxiety and help with insomnia. Exercise is my best stress management strategy and I also regularly incorporate mindfulness into my workouts. Along with some of my clients, I have issues with anxiety and depression. We’ve had many conversations about how our exercise routines have been integral in helping us to manage our symptoms.
5. You could be inspiring someone else
Yes, you! Someone, somewhere is just starting out and they might be noticing you. You just might be their source of inspiration. Isn’t that amazing? Remember when you started? Reflect on who or what inspires you and ensure you always keep that in the forefront.
Interested in more?
To learn the other 15 lessons Doris Ward has learned from training in the health and fitness industry, pick up a copy of OptiMYz’s Vol. 10 No. 5 issue—on stands from Nov 20th 2017 – Jan 31 2018.