How to be friends with a fitness professional    

We’re similar to regular people…

When your professional life doesn’t follow the traditional Monday-to-Friday-9-to-5 scenario, teeing up times (and mental capacity) to socialise can be tricky. Not only are we not available when everyone else is, but there are some other anomalies that add another layer of complexity to maintaining a social life – truly it’s not because we don’t want to. So today I thought I’d list a few considerations that go a long way in hanging with your fitness industry bestie: 

On reservations

If you have the choice of making dinner reservations with us for the 6pm sitting or the 8pm sitting, for the love of God make it for the earlier one. Same with movies. 9pm session? At that time of night we are just buying ourselves a nap with a sticky floor.

On surprises

Surprise farewells, surprise weddings…surprise anything. Don’t get me wrong, please keep inviting us to fun things. But understand that the engagement party we thought we’d escape at the civilised hour of 8pm that turns into a surprise wedding…you better believe we are now calculating the hours of sleep we will not be getting before our 4:30am start (not to mention the trash-fire of a day that will follow). We thrive on plans…we survive on keeping them.

On ‘normal’ hours

Trust me, we too are bummed that we work at prime-weekend-brunch-time. That dinner times are our peak working hours. Please don’t guilt us into attending gatherings at these times. As much as we love an eggs benny and your company, most of us work for ourselves or are contractors: no work = no pay.

Look don’t cry for us too much – while you’re in a meeting that could have been an email, we are having brunch on a Tuesday.

On alone time

We people. We people all day. We need to be switched on, pleasant and motivating. On a good day this kind of output is draining to the max. One of the ways we replenish this vital energy system is: alone time. So even though we’re technically not doing anything and we could fill this time with social peopling, for our sanity and longevity we occasionally need to turn down plans and retreat to our cocoon.  

On guilting

“Aw can’t you just miss this one training session to [insert something here that is not your training session]???”

We can.

We just don’t want to.

Our clients and members are probably training more than we are because we are too busy training them. So when it comes to our own time to exercise, that’s sacred. It’s not you. It’s us.

On what you see

What you see is a couple of hours of work sporadically through the day. What you don’t see is the preparation time that goes into these working hours. I can appreciate it looks like we have a lot of spare time to do things and the rejection feels real when we turn down offers to hang in our seemingly spare time. The reality is, in between actual gym hours, personal trainers are writing programs, chasing up clients and hustling for new business. Group fitness instructors are learning choreography. And fitness business owners are very busy rocking back-and-forth in the corner (that could just be me).

To conclude, if I may declare on behalf of fitness industry professionals everywhere: we do love you. We do want to socialise. Please keep inviting us to things…it’s just that we may sometimes turn down you down in favour of lying in the foetal position.

You understand.