There’s More To Life Than Looking Good – My Client’s 20 Year Struggle

It’s not always about your weight or your waist measurement.

Yes – 95% of my clients want to look better in clothes, when naked, when they walk into a room or when someone looks at them and we do achieve that.

But today I want to tell you a story about one of my newest clients and how personal training is more than just countless repetitions of an exercise.


Are you ready?

This lady met me by chance and decided that after putting off doing something about her weight would give personal training a go.

Her husband had just been diagnosed with diabetes and she decided that now was the time – for the sake of her children.

This was in July.

So scared was she about the thought of personal training that it took 3 months between meeting and actually getting started.

People are often scared about starting something new. Especially when they don’t know what to expect or are worried they will fail.

In those 3 months she agonised over her fear of getting started. It was eating her up and making her feel worse about herself.

She was getting annoyed and upset with herself yet still couldn’t bring herself to get started.

At our consultation (which took a whole month to happen – taking us up to August) she told me that she would likely get cold feet and back out and that although she knew that training was the right thing for her to do she would need a kick now and again.

So that’s what I did.

Every few weeks she would get a call, a text or an e-mail.

It should be said that this is not normally the approach I take but I knew that this was what she wanted and NEEDED.

Finally the day came and we met at the studio to do her initial assessments.

Every client is scared of finding out their weight, seeing a photo of themselves or by feeling out of breath – that’s totally normal.

But this client had something else that was playing on her mind.

Something that had been getting in her way for the last 20 years.


The Backstory

Back in 1996 she had a serious accident that required intensive surgery and reconstruction to one of her legs. Without going into detail there was a LOT of work to be done and she was left with a lot of scarring.

Worse than that was the mental scarring.

As it turned out, she had not used that leg to walk up a step, step off a curb or walk down the step.

She has spent almost 20 years favouring one leg and not once using the other for anything other than a counter balance and walking.

As soon as I found this out I knew that there was more to be done here than just the weight loss.

She was effectively living her life with just one leg.

Ever tried walking up a flight of stairs by using the same leg to repeatedly step up? It’s HARD WORK!

I had a plan in my head but I will admit I was nervous and fearful that I was being overly ambitious to the point where I might put her off exercise forever.

But deep down I trusted in her resolve and that she trusted me as a coach. 3 months of getting to know each other probably helped a lot.

As the time of our first proper session became just a matter of minutes away I had that moment of panic that I was doing the wrong thing.

We started the session with some gentle warm up and movement preparation and then it was time.

Single leg step ups onto a step with hand rail for support – crunch time! Although I was hoping to avoid any crunching!

We started on the ‘good’ leg and all was well which was no surprise.

As for the ‘bad’ leg? We managed one rep and it was too tough – physically and mentally.

So rather than give up we lowered the step to it’s lowest height and went again but her confidence was clearly shaken.

I got rid of the support rails, stood to face her and held both of her hands, assuring her that just attempting one rep would be an amazing achievement regardless of whether she managed it or not.

The look on her face when she managed that one rep was something I will NEVER forget.

Mostly because it was all I could do to hold back the tears of joy and pride I felt at something so amazing.

This woman supported her own bodyweight on a leg that has not done so far almost 20 years!

Not only that but she immediately decided that she would do the next set without holding my hands – do you think she did it?

Well yes she did!

It was probably the proudest moment of my career as a trainer and one of her biggest personal achievements.


What does this mean for you?

Well, next time you’re worried about starting that exercise program or doing something scary just remember that you CAN do it.

Ok so you might have to readjust your goal to be slightly more realistic if you suffer a setback but DON’T GIVE UP.

If you give up then you are guaranteeing you won’t achieve anything.

So if your goal is to lose 4 stone but you don’t feel like you can achieve it, why not try and lose a pound and go from there?

I guarantee you can do that.

Then maybe try and lose 2 pounds – you can do that too!

Rinse & repeat and before you know it you will have lost that 4 stone.

Whatever your goal is, try breaking it down into smaller manageable pieces and watch how powerful your result can be.

I’d love to hear what your goals are and how you plan on breaking them down to be more achievable.

Best of luck











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