- Kimberly Paige
"But...You Don't Look Like a Personal Trainer"
When I was about 40 years old, I decided to get my Personal Trainer Certification (I was also in graduate school and working full-time…timing, hello?)
BUT I was (and am) super passionate about fitness and healthy living and I really wanted to share that with others.
Still there was some doubt… I thought “Am I allowed to be a personal trainer?? Will people take me seriously? Am I good enough? Am I fit enough???” The last question was the one that really shook my confidence…was I fit enough to represent myself as a trainer?
I was fit, but I also knew I didn’t really *fit* what I perceived as “the personal trainer type”.
When I told my very-best-friend from college that I was getting certified, Jen nearly choked on her Starbucks kid-sized hot cocoa laughing at me. Apparently, she didn’t think I fit the type either.
And Jen wasn’t alone, other people observed that I wasn't the right type. When I mentioned that I had started doing some personal training on the side, I received all sorts of comments that implicitly or explicitly implied that I didn’t “seem like a personal trainer”.
Because I was:
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Not muscular enough
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Not small enough/lean enough
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Not an athlete or a fitness competitor
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Too serious/introverted/intellectual
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Too educated
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Too invested in my *real job* as a therapist
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Too old
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Too “girly”
Well PEOPLE…I am here to disappoint you. Or surprise you, because I am a personal trainer and a pretty good one if I do say so myself (and I do say so myself).
The point is that healthy, fit people come from all backgrounds, in all shapes and sizes, and it is helpful for us to expand our view of what “fit” looks like and be accepting of its (fit’s) many incarnations.
And to expand upon this idea…what if you decide “strong is *not* the new skinny”? Strong is strong and skinny is skinny and curvy is curvy and there are a million combinations of just these 3 ideals alone (there are many more) and THEY ARE ALL OKAY.
Athletes, models, women, people…all of us come in different and LOVELY shapes and sizes. Let’s celebrate all the different ways that we can represent health and fitness and body acceptance.
So if someone says to you, “You’re too _______ to be a ___________” or “You’re not __________enough to be a ___________”.
You get to say (ha, there are so many options here and so very many of them are *quite uncivil*) something along the lines of, “I guess I have a bigger vision of what it means to be a _________________, because here I am.”
This refusal to be put in a little itty-bitty box of okayness is, to me, totally body positive, body confident, and utter bad-assery…own it!