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Scales On Fire

4/12/2011, 4:38 p.m.

Michael Baptiste

Personal Trainer

My grandmother waits on a bank teller line better than you...

Doesn't have much of a ring does it?

There are plenty of things we have to do in life that we really don't want to do. Some are pretty boring. Some come every few months, some we have to do every day. We rarely though, do things that don't make us feel good without either some reward, or without the oppression of rules. So when it comes to ourselves, guilt becomes an authority figure we really don't want to deal with, and unpleasant things become the work of others on us. Animosity toward unpleasant things, like trips to the DMV or airports, becomes directed toward the workers there. We can't imagine what DMV workers and airport screeners do on their regular time when they're not harassing us, and to us, these are society's most repulsive human beings.

That same focus of negativity is thrown upon personal trainers when people go to them with a blind "understanding" of how they respond to the negative elements of exercise. They ask the trainer to "kill them" and they say things like "I know I need discipline," and most trainers oblige them with tough workouts and voice-shrilling screams, and no one really cares if the client likes exercise at some point. Exercise falls to the tier of church and the doctor: You know it's important to go, and it's always a personal positive when it's over, but it's tedious and not a hammock on the beach with a bowl full of ice cream. Most of us think we need the yelling to continuously remind us of the negativity and overcoming it.

But we overcome a whole lot of things in life, negative and positive, and piled up bills and dirty dishes are what we'd have to show for life if we needed someone to yell at us to do them. They're just things we handle, without being insulted to do it. Why? The results are immediate and obvious. With our bodies, the results of hard work are gradual and for some, only as good as yesterday's workout. So impatience adds to the negativity. Why not hire someone to be impatient for you? To be impatient with your bevy of gradual processes? To be impatient with your missed days of on-your-own training and your anger at something they should love with so much passion. Having our needs served is great, but emotionally, having our needs served in order to miss the point of something physically taxing is harmful, and as silly as having to be yelled at to keep yourself healthy.