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My One Simple (But Necessary) Personal Trainer Prerequisite

I have been researching a new running coach/personal trainer/magic worker.

I have never used one and after listening to a few podcasts, I’ve decided to give it a go and see how much it will help my running relationship and, of course, help me to reach a new half marathon personal record.

One of my main criteria for a personal trainer is a bit abnormal. I realized what it was after I started to look at all my fitness inspirations, trainers and friends who I have made along my fitness journey.

They all have one thing in common: They are all parents.

To the trainers without kids: You may have worked so hard for that amazing body, you may have lost 100+ pounds to get to where you are today. I am so proud of you and say, “good for you!” You may be an exceptional group leader who never wants kids and that is perfectly fine! To each her own is something I live by. I know, for certain, someone is out there who you will match up with perfectly. 

But, I will pass you over when looking for a new trainer. 

Why?

Well, it is hard to explain to someone who does not have children. But to put it simply, you have no idea how hard it is to fit in the “fit life” AND be a mom.

You don’t know what it is like to wake up three times throughout the night to nurse and still get up before the sun to get my workout in. You don’t know the guilt I sometimes feel when I have to put my toddler in the jogging stroller when I know that he just wants to play and climb and be wild because that’s what toddlers do.

Can you imagine grocery shopping and meal prep day with kids? It is 95 times harder when you have to entertain kids in the shopping cart all morning. Then you come home to prep for a few hours while trying to feed the kids their normal meals, entertain them by getting out the Play Doh, clean up after them, and then resort to more snacks just so you can finish chopping the bags of veggies, so you will reach for those tomorrow instead of the cheese stick. It’s exhausting. Really, it is. 

More importantly, when I am having a moment and crying over the choices I have made or the things that I CAN’T do because I’m a mom, your words will not be genuine. You can’t say, “I know what it is like.” Because you don’t, and you have never had to make those hard decisions when it comes to being a parent AND working on yourself.

When you want to go on a runcation, you get up and go. When you need to get your 20 miler in, you work around social events or your work schedule, but you don’t have to walk out of the door when your 14-month-old has a 102 degree fever and just wants you to hold her.

Moms need to be reminded that what we are doing and the choices we are making are worth it — that the first time we can run around the park with our 5-year-olds and kick a soccer ball for 30 minutes without getting winded and needing to stop is SO amazing.

We need to be reminded that the choices we are making today are making us a better a mom, and one day we will look back and know that our healthy and strong bodies are an amazing role model for our little girls.

And I need those sentiments to be true and from the heart. I need to know you, as my running coach, had to make those hard decisions a few months or years ago while training for a marathon. 

But, we also get some fun moments, too. When you daughter starts to plank right along next to you, you know those early morning workouts are so worth it. The few miles that your toddler looks up through the window in the jogger and gives you the biggest smile because you are going SO FAST! I need to be able to share those wins along with my fitness wins. 

I am not saying that my mom status make my weight loss or my PR any better than someone without kids. Or that trainers and running coaches who don’t have kids are not as good as ones who do. I am saying that in my life, I need motivation, and I need to be able to relate to someone who I know is speaking from experience.

Everyone has a life that he or she needs to work around while training, I get that. But the challenges I face and the obstacles I overcome are much different, and I need someone in my corner who gets it. 

This post may get a little pushback, and some people may not understand or feel the same way, and that is perfectly OK! Remember, this is just my opinion and my prerequisite. 

What are you “must haves” when selecting a running coach or trainer?

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2 Responses to My One Simple (But Necessary) Personal Trainer Prerequisite

  1. Morgan April 12, 2018 at 12:23 pm #

    I’m a former personal trainer and current new mom, and this post hit home! Before I had kids, I followed the “everyone has the same 24 hours in a day” mantra whenever looking at parents who were no longer as fit as they were before kids. But now that I’m a mom, between solo parenting during the week, not having access to a gym with a daycare for any kids under 1 year old, and postpartum pelvic issues that kept me from running….7 months after giving birth, and I still can’t figure out how to make it all work. Having a trainer who understands your lifestyle is huge, because a personal trainer is exactly that – PERSONAL – and you need someone who will know how to encourage you by knowing when and where you need it. Thank you this post!

    • Meredith
      Meredith April 12, 2018 at 6:32 pm #

      I agree, Morgan! It is so easy to think that everyone can make time for a good workout or make it a priority! But let’s get real #sleepgoals are much more important that first year! Keep it up!

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