Being a fitness trainer for over 20 years, I have seen it all. Quite often, I think about how far my career has gone. It seems like yesterday I was a recent college graduate from Mississippi State University (Go, Bulldogs!) trying to break into the fitness industry. Because I am a people person with a natural desire to help others, I felt right at home after landing my first client in a local gym.
Fitness training can be very serious, but it can also be a hoot. Most of the time, these funny sessions are not planned—which makes them even funnier. One thing I love about training people throughout the day is getting to work with so many different personalities. Some of y’all might see this as a nightmare, but I find it extremely entertaining. And y’all know southerners love to be entertained.
Speaking of being entertained, one of my funniest gym moments has to do with stability balls. Most of you are probably familiar with these. They are like anything else—you can buy the expensive model, or you can go the cheap route and get the less expensive model. Well, when you are putting all your body weight and trust on an oversized balloon, you better hope you’re sitting on the expensive one!
My first place of employment did not see the importance of well-made stability balls. Go ahead, the knockoff brand will work fine was the philosophy. Well, okay. I knew in my heart that was not a good idea, but I was just the rookie.
Imagine being about a foot off the ground, lying on your back with one of these balls being the only thing between you and the floor. Suddenly you hear a loud POP! Y’all know this doesn’t end well. You find yourself on the floor with several pieces of material around you that was once an exercise ball. What in the world happened? The cheap ball exploded instead of slowly deflating like the more expensive one was designed to do.
I stood there like a deer in headlights not knowing whether to laugh or call 911. Once I realized my client was doing okay—and got over the shock of what just happened—I had a great big belly laugh. Ironically, it made my abs very sore the next day.
As I think back over the last 20 years of my fitness career, it’s moments like that one that bring a huge smile to my face.