The personal trainer from hell

To say that I’m not a fan of exercise is probably the biggest 0 since one of our politicians shakily claimed that we might have a traffic problem.

It’s not only the tiring process itself I abhor, but the thought of having to leave the gym feeling sweaty and looking like I’ve been passed through a hedge backwards is enough to break me out in a cold sweat.

The few times I have ventured into a gymnasium, I also inevitably end up bumping into someone I haven’t seen for the past 10 years, whom I often would prefer not to see again till one of us shoves off this mortal coil.

Long winded statements aside, the truth is that apart from the reasons mentioned above, I also seem to have horrible luck in meeting instructors who even remotely inspire me to take time out of my day to do something which I intensely dislike.

Indeed, I’ve had everything from pushy, rude mothering types to super fit scowling Sams who berate anyone who so much as looks at a chocolate bar. However, one particular instance stands out in my mind as the possible trump card to trump all gym cards out there.

A healthy body starts with a healthy mind

The story went like this: a close friend of mine insisted I find a personal trainer and after scouring the web for me, found me a man with what seemed like an impressive track record that had his premises in the south of Malta. I made the necessary appointment and showed up at what looked like a massive garage but could have also doubled as a chop shop.

Undeterred and determined, I went in and waited before finally being greeted by the man himself. The thing is that apart from the fact that he was instantly aggressive from the get-go, the clincher came in the form of him asking my age and then saying, and I quote: “Aren’t you a bit past it to be going out on the weekends for a drink? Shouldn’t you look to get married and stay at home?”

Well, after I had picked my jaw off the floor and put it back in my handbag, I gave him a withering look and left the premises never to return. I doubt he’ll ever read this piece but if he does, I’d like him to know that his kind, motivating words haven’t gone unnoticed by me or my large circle of friends.

So what’s my point? The reality is that it’s hard enough for people to find the time, energy and motivation to stand in a freezing room in winter or an overheated room in summer among absolute strangers and that a little encouragement would go a long way.  People constantly go on about the need for a healthy body but they grossly underrate the fact that a healthy body starts with a healthy mind. In the same way a teacher should be reprimanded for ignoring a more difficult student, personal trainers and dieticians have a responsibility to show their clients a modicum of understanding.

Indeed, while my confidence remained completely intact, the more insecure might have been completely destroyed by such a disgusting, demoralising and misogynistic comment. Maybe one of these days I’ll return to his garage with a chocolate bar and some pizza; he seems to need it more than I do.


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