|Pool at one of my triathlons|
Before I ever completed my first triathlon way back in the day, I looked for a swim coach for some training. I had been a certified trainer for a few years already, really just needed some swim training.
Anyway, I found a trainer who was also a swim coach and hired her specifically to work with me on swimming to prep for the triathlon.
She took me swimming a handful of times & gave me some tips & training. I'll give her that. But I got more. Here's some highlights of what I received:
- We went to a local university's pool to swim. I had expressed nerves about being there beforehand. Instead of being sensitive to that she made fun of the EXACT thing I was nervous about. In front of everyone. Nice.
- We didn't do much swimming. Maybe that's good since she made fun...Mostly I ran with her, which was not what I hired her for nor was it something I needed help with.
- Did I mention when we ran, she would bring along her child, her dog & proceed to scream at the child throughout.
- When she wasn't screaming at the child, she was non stop talking all about herself. I mean constantly. Ugh.
- I met her run group for a weekend long run. Once. She promised me two things
1) I wouldn't run more than 6 miles (for crying out loud, I was training for a 3 mile race)
2) She would stay with me the entire time because I didn't know the route.
10 minutes into it she ran ahead because I was too slow. I had NO idea where I was. I got lost. I ran nearly 9 miles.
- She chose a triathlon for my first one, specifically telling me this was a perfect first tri for anyone. I didn't do this one first but I did it a couple of years later. To this day that race was the hardest one I've done. NOT a good beginner's tri. This (among other things) tells me she was not in tune AT ALL with beginners.
I'm not a sensitive person but this experience was really bad. I was kinda traumatized by it.
Good things can come from negative experiences.
- This experience with her is the reason I started our Newbie Triathlon Program.
- This is one reason why OnTrack Fitness started working with beginners. There's a special place in my heart for them. I never EVER want anyone to have such a bad time like I did.
- I had the chance to take clients to that same pool. We discussed what to expect beforehand, how to deal with nerves & HOPEFULLY I made it a better swim for them.
- We never leave people behind. If I say I'll stay with you, I'll stay with you. The workouts aren't about me.
Listen, I'm not saying I'm perfect. Far from it. I'm not saying she was a bad person either. But I don't give credit to this trainer for teaching me to be better. I give credit to God, who taught me how to be a better trainer through my experience. Things work out in the end if we're open to learning.
-- Written by Emily Collins Onwer & trainer of OnTrack Fitness