Yesterday I had a conversation with my trainer. It began because I asked him if he could read my most recent post on running and give me his honest feedback. I wanted to know if he understood where I was coming from or if the whole thing sounded “whiney”.
To my surprise and delight he obliged. I say that only because I’ve been a little distant with the guy at work the past few weeks. My apologies to him now. The reason is that I recognize he graciously agreed to take on the challenge that is me when I more or less forced myself into his training regimen. I’m always conscious of that fact and at times I feel the need to step back and give him his breathing room. I’m sure he doesn’t always want to have me pop into his classroom with endless questions about my abs. It kind of sucks because other then training we do have some things in common and I genuinely enjoy having a friend at work.
He read and then we sat down to discuss.
“You’re not whining at all,” he said. “I should have explained things more clearly to you and I totally understand you’re frustration and your sense of discouragement. It’s natural.”
This was a huge relief to me. Knowing that he got what I was saying was very important to me. There’s no sense in handing large portions of your day over to someone else’s direction and then not feeling like there’s trust. I’m glad we’re on the same page.He went on to break down some stats for me about running including some personal anecdotes that I needed to hear. I still believe the man is gifted and I still think that’s a wonderful thing both for him and for me. He shouldn’t shy away from that label but wear it proudly. But I also believe that, even though it might take me longer and I might have to train twice as hard I can eventually get there. I learned them from our conversation. And I thank him for taking the time.
Before I left he added one crucial thing.
It was nothing about diet or the right shoes or push ups.
“You’re doing phenomenal,” he said looking up from his desk. “I mean that.”
I’ll overlook his improper adverbial construct. My trainer, a man who looks like a statue, told me I was doing great. It’s almost as if he said “I’m proud of you.” That was huge. I think all I’ve been looking for all along was some kind of recognition. I wanted someone to notice the hard work and dedication. The fact that it’s him who noticed means the world to me.
Look, as a teacher I’m used to not being recognized. Just a few nights ago I was really frustrated. Found myself praying “God, this might make sense if I even once knew that I had helped just one teenager come to a better understanding of You. I could take the fact that I missed out on the high paying jobs my friends all have or the feeling that I’m not respected for what I do; but to go so long without so much as a pat on the back? That’s tough. It’s more than I can deal with. Why did You ask this of me?” The frustration about my fitness progress was just a sub-symptom of that I think.
Do I still wish the trainer ever had a free evening to kill a bottle of wine because I love hanging with him? Perhaps if I told him how phenomenal he is at drinking…
By the way, last night, after that conversation I went and ran three of my best miles in a long time and tonight I jumped into a killer crossfit workout. A little encouragement goes a long way.