Years ago, a potential client walked into my office wanting personal training. When he walked in I felt like I’ve met him before but could not figure out where. He introduced himself and told me that I gave him a business card two years prior at a wellness seminar I was involved in. He told me he could not afford a trainer. He recalled me telling him that time was infinite and when it was time for us to train I’d be there for him. I immediately remembered him then and my spirit celebrated the day’s encounter.
In the beginning of our meeting his motives seemed as sincere as when we first met. He desperately needed to lose weight and his doctor advised him that if he did not change his unhealthy life style life he would not be on this planet much longer. He even brought his best friend with him so he could save money and share the journey with him. The consultation was going great. I gave them both a full assessment and showed the steps that they needed to make to reach a healthier status and they appeared to be receiving the information well. I even gave them a rate that I haven’t given since my early days as a trainer out of compassion. All of a sudden, I needed to take a quick potty break. When I was in the restroom I don’t think they knew how thin the walls were in my gym. I could hear the friend telling my potential client, “Man this CJ is a joke! If you listen to me, we can do this our selves. You are wasting your time here bro. You know I got your back!” When I came out of the bathroom I pretended that I did not here a thing. I knew where this was headed so I accepted this as another learning experience.
When I walked back into the office I could sense a bit of hesitation that wasn’t there earlier. The man that was ready to change his life was now ready to walk out of the door. He said to me, “CJ I just need more time to think about this. I’ll definitely get back to you.” Of course, I know what that meant. On top of that the friend that he brought looked back at me and smirked. Staying true to my personal values of not chasing clients I allowed them to freely walk out of my gym.
Approximately two weeks later, I received a call from the same man. He told me that he wanted to come in and meet again. When we met, he apologized for the previous meeting and told me about his friend’s suggestion in the earlier meeting. I asked him how his workouts were going with his friend and he said, “CJ the only thing we’ve been working out on is lifting donuts into out mouths at the local shop. CJ, I’m serious this time I’m ready to start now.” We continued our meeting; he was so excited that he wanted his wife to join him in our program. I gave him a moment to call her. I could hear a female voice yelling from the man’s cell phone. When he got off the phone he had the most defeated look on his face. He told me that his wife loved him fat and she did not want him to lose weight. I so was perplexed that I had to get the truth out of him. He told me that his wife has tried numerous weight loss surgeries that have not worked. She does not want to do any physical activity and does not want him losing more weight than her. I don’t meddle in marriages but I had to tell him how wrong that mode of thinking was. I had to express how dangerous it was for him to listen to that toxic logic. Here is a man that a doctor has ordered to live healthier or die suddenly and he is about to leave to satisfy his wife’s disturbing suggestion. He apologized to me and told me that he would come back at another time. I haven’t seen him since.
I applaud people that can turn their own lives around and I want that for all people, but when someone makes a clear choice to come to a fitness trainer they realize that at their current state in life they cannot motivate themselves and need an external source to help change. This man loved his wife and his friend so much that he wanted to include them in his desire to get healthier for life. His wife and his friend loved him so much that they wanted him to stay the same and potentially die with them. They may never say it or mean it, but that is exactly what is happening. I’m really hoping that this man is taking the appropriate steps in changing his life for the better, but from what I’ve experienced I can only pray.