The Bearer Of Bad News

Being a PT has taught me a number of things, however owning and running a business has taught me many more. One big learning curve was how to face ‘rejection’. I’ll give you a slight back-story; after deciding to go travelling for 3 months I sourced another PT to cover 2 of my clients whilst I was away. Upon returning I was informed that, one of my two clients decided she wanted to stay on with the new PT rather than come back to me.


Now I know this happens – and it happens a lot. Personal training is personal by its very nature. When I set the two clients up in December last year I knew this new PT would be a great fit for my client. However once I knew one of my clients had decided to stay with the new PT my first response was to feel hurt. It really did knock the wind out of my sails. I thought, what could I have done differently? Why was this other PT so much better? What is this clients problem? All the snap responses I could muster with a good amount of anger thrown in too. Personally I believe this comes down to the fact that I am an unbearably competitive person and I cannot stand losing. I don’t even allow myself to play board games, fifa, cards etc. as 9/10 it ends with me flying off the handle. I am at least aware of it and it is something I try and work on (but boy is it taking some work and time). But like most things once I had the time and a chance to reflect I came to a very different conclusion.


Firstly I am really pleased that my old client is happy, enjoying her new training protocol and that she is getting results. For her, it is the best option and for me it is too.


Losing a client was a positive thing for me, because I didn’t ‘lose’ her at all. I realized it wasn’t about how much money I would lose out on or what my old client though or what my peers would think. I realized that for a long time (well over a year) I resonated extremely well with my client. We got on, achieved some incredible results and cultivated a very strong friendship. But now it was her time to move on and continue her fitness journey with a new outlook. This is something that as personal trainers, I believe we should encourage every client to do.


Fitness is a journey; a long, often strenuous and personal one. I don’t want my clients to be reliant on me forever. It is not sustainable and it is not a sign of a good personal trainer. Eventually I want them to be able to grasp their own fitness identity, by making themselves accountable and gaining confidence whilst doing so.


Ultimately as soon as I came to terms with this change. I felt I had been the best personal trainer I could be and that I shouldn’t feel hurt or angry, but accept my clients choice, I grew as a trainer and as a result so did my relationships with my current clients.