Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Guest Post: Can the "can'ts"

Today I am super excited to bring you a guest post from a personal trainer! Tera Busker is a sweet gal I met through twitter who happens to be a trainer not to far from where I live, run and blog!! I liked her right away! Here is a piece she wrote on owning our fitness success and caning the can't talk. Enjoy!


I think every personal trainer out there has, at one time or another, been asked the infamous question - “Why did you become a personal trainer?” Ninety-nine point nine percent of all personal trainers (including myself) will give you the same answer.

It’s because we have an incredible passion for fitness and an immense desire to help people learn how to live and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. We do what we love and we love what we do. But recently I was asked a question that I have never been asked, “After so many years in the business, why do you continue to be a personal trainer?” It was something that I never really thought about. Interesting question – yes, but difficult to answer –


I became a personal trainer because of my love of fitness, but I continue to be a personal trainer because of the life changing experiences that I am able to witness and be a part of. Don’t get me wrong, I love training the people who are looking to lose 5 pounds or the clients that want to tone up for their wedding – it’s a fun and exciting challenge that is very rewarding. But when I see someone transform both emotionally and physically before my eyes – I feel so honored to be a part of their journey.

One of the greatest experiences was with my client Becky (I take client confidentiality very seriously, so this is not her real name and she gave me permission to share her story). When we started training together in 2007, Becky’s vocabulary was filled with “can’ts”. “I can’t run. I can’t do pushups. I can’t lift that weight.” She had absolutely no faith in herself or her ability to do anything.

Some days I felt like our entire sessions were all about me trying to prove her wrong. Her lack of confidence and her ability to take credit for anything was starting to hold her back from reaching her goals.

One day during a session, I told Becky about a 10 mile race that I had just completed. I shared with her how when I first started training for the race, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to finish it. But then I told her how much fun I had, what an exciting challenge it was, and how proud I felt when I crossed the finish line. She told me that she would love to do a race like that, but she didn’t think she could.

I think her exact words were “Runners are athletes, and I am not an athlete.” I guess this was another time I felt challenged to prove her wrong! After A LOT of encouragement, I finally convinced her to train for a local 5k. I told her that if we were going to train for this upcoming 5k together, then she would have to do what I tell her to do and stop with all of the “can’ts”.

She trained hard, did her homework and did everything I told her to do. When the day of 5k came, she was ready and I knew she would do great. I was there to watch her as she came across the finish line. I think I was more proud of her than she was of herself.


After the race, Becky came up to me and kept thanking me for training her and for what I did for her. Wait….what? I looked Becky straight in the eyes and told her that “I” did not run the race for her and “I” did not do the hard work. I just gave her the tools and knowledge to complete her goal, but she was the one who did it.

I remember at that moment seeing the light bulb turn on in her head – she finally got it. She needed to take credit for the incredible job that she did. And boy did she ever. Now Becky doesn’t tell me what she can’t do, she tells me what she can and will do.

My amazing client now calls herself an athlete and has completed 2 half marathons. Becky, who once had no confidence in herself, grew into someone who knows no limits. She is an inspiration. Clients like Becky are why I love my job and why I continue to be a personal trainer.

Tera Busker lives in Roberts, Wisconsin with her husband of 7 years, and her 2 Bassets, Maggie and Lucy. When she's not training her incredible clients or herself, she's living the life of a rural Wisconsin girl and loving every minute of it! As a certified ACE (American Council on Exercise) Personal trainer since 2000, Tera worked for big gyms for 2 years before starting her own business Fitness-To-Go in 2002. She is able to bring her services to clients free of excuses or distractions. In the last 5 years she has found a passion for running & tries to run as many local 5 or 10K races as she can every year. It’s her way to give back to the community and spread the word on fitness.

What a great message on positive thinking and a cool insight into a trainers world!

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