Awhile back I went on an interview to a gym in my area. I am always über nervous when it comes to interviews because I hate..scratch that despise having to talk about myself. The gym scene is an intimidating place to begin with, so when I walked in early and was looked at like I had five heads my anxiety immediately climbed through the roof. I am an early person, if you’re not 5 minutes early you are late! So finally this guy comes walking over to do our interview, in the waiting area of said gym. Out in front of the whole gym.. again anxiety. He honestly looks 16, great because I love working for 16 year olds! We begin to chat, we are both dogs lovers so that eases the awkwardness a little. We had things in common like starting a business from scratch and know the dedication and time involved in all that. He asks me the normal strength and weakness questions (which I think are total blarney btw) but I do my best to roll with them.
So then he asked me why am I a trainer? Personal trainers are a dime a dozen. Everyone becomes a trainer to help people. So how are you not just another peg to fit in a very large board.
Well first, I pride myself on being the square peg that won’t fit in the round hole. Sympathy is better than empathy. I’ve been fluffy, I have a hormone disorder,I am a busy mom, I’ve made every excuse you can come up with so nothing gets by me. But mostly I value integrity and loyalty over all else. I feel I am approachable, which he didn’t understand either. To which my response is: Most people who work in a gym do not know what it’s like to be the fat person in the room. Do you think it is easy for that person to walk up to you and ask you for help with something as simple as how to use a dip machine? Um no, because you are not approachable with your big muscles and 5 tubes of hair gel with your Beats on while you grunt uncontrollably. So in turn I don’t ask for help, I get discouraged and I leave and don’t come back because well I am mortified even if not a soul on earth knows what just happened. Being real, being approachable is far more important than the $ on my paycheck.
Deciding I wanted to become a trainer was not an easy decision. Self-doubt built me a wall every time I even thought about it. We were seriously contemplating opening a nutrition/supplement shop. I just wanted to help people not hate themselves, that sounds harsh but there are so many people who really do hate their reflection. I wanted to show people it’s okay to love yourself. It’s okay to put you at the top of the list. Against what society tells us not everyone is meant to be a size 2, but none of us were meant to be a size 22.
The day I got the words to finally connect from my brain to my tongue about taking a trainer class, my amazing supportive husband replied with “I wondered how long it was going to take you to figure out that is what you need to do” I sure do love that man! Yes, I am not the most qualified person for the job. Yes, you could probably find someone with experience,who is gorgeous, 22 and probably has letters behind her title like IFPA or WBFF. But I am here because I believe in changing lives. It’s my passion.. the end.
As I left this interview, I was starting to feel good about myself again when the final blow came. He told me there was another candidate which he equally liked but to be honest (I respected him until this next part) “While I like you equally, the fact that you are a mom and an oilfield wife are strikes against you.”
I am almost so dumbfounded I can’t speak, my quick rebuttal was my kids are old enough to take care of themselves and I think I have missed a total of 1.5 days in the last 2 years of work due to them being sick. Also I like where I live so while the oilfield is my HUSBAND’S career, it doesn’t dictate where we live.
So why write this now?
A. I calmed down enough to not spit fire on him and call the department of labor to report him for attempting to discriminate against the fact I am a mom! B.He popped up in my Facebook feed today as a motivational speaker, which kinda chapped me. C. This day, this horrible freaking day, made me realize that I am just going to keep doing me. Helping people my way, because I don’t have to fit in the hole and wear the uniform and conform to someone else’s ideas of what my life or my client’s life should look like.
So thank you, while I probably will never step foot in your establishment again or refer anyone to it. You pissed me off so badly that the level of RAGE was beyond imaginable. In true fashion of being me, I just used that rage to fuel a better, brighter, future.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference.- Robert Frost