Friday, 10 February 2012

To ask or not to ask....

By Sabina Skala

I was walking past a dentist the other day, and I thought I actually hadn't visited a dentist for a while. I knew the dentist, he was a regular at the gym where I train, he was always nice and said hi.

I thought why not pop in and ask him to check my teeth, in the end I was around and I was sure he wouldn’t mind. As I went in asking for Dentist X the receptionist informed me that he couldn’t see me because at that moment he was performing a major dental surgery. She also said I would need to book an appointment to see the doctor and that the consultation costs £x. To be honest I decided to ignore her.

I am a busy person, don’t really have time to book appointments, as I cannot commit to any time or day. I was in the area, I knew the dentist, all I wanted is to take care about my health and hygiene, I couldn’t understand why I should have booked an appointment just to have a minor check done, or why on earth should I pay for it. It wasn’t like it was supposed to be a serious treatment, was it? Plus shouldn’t dentists be happy that I care for my dental health? In the end this is their job, right? I decided not to speak to that lady at reception, she obviously was not very helpful. I did what was best - went to ask the man himself, I could be a valued customer, he should have appreciated my enthusiasm. As I walked in, the dentist was just drilling in that poor mans teeth, I tapped his shoulder, put my best smile on and said - very politely "Excuse me, I see you are busy, but could you just spare a moment please, it wont take more than 5 mins of your time and I am sure your patient wont mind". Guess what happened next....

The above story of course isn’t true. But if it was, wouldn’t it be ridiculous? To most of you - I am sure - it does sound pretty crazy. What happens then if you replace the word dentist with - trainer, and the word surgery with training session. Can you see any difference? Not really, and yet, there is still plenty of people who would behave exactly as described above and expect to be attended to here and now.

I wonder if its just me or have other trainers noticed that recently nearly everyone seems to want to have a personal trainer, preferably – for free and at any time. It had happened in the past that I was asked to help an enthusiastic gym goer, whilst I was either doing my own training or training one of my clients. At that time (a good couple of years back) I would politely excuse and ask the person to wait until I finished with my client. If I was training myself I would drop everything and rush to help, thinking I was saving yet another soul from the evil of obesity and unhealthy life. Recently however it became epidemic (maybe due to the credit crunch). Not only I have been interrupted when I train my clients/athletes or doing my own session, people get really upset when I refuse to give them advice here and now. They get even more angry when I tell them to book a session and pay for my assistance.

Therefore to put the things straight – just a few thoughts to all keep fitters:

When you see a trainer training someone , please do not ask for advice or anything else. The clients pay a lot of money and that session is for them not for anyone else around. It is not cool to request assistance at that time.

When you see a trainer training him/herself please do not ask for advice or anything else (unless you want to use i.e a pull up bar in-between sets)

When you see a trainer eating lunch, please do not ask for advice or anything else, its their private time and …they sometimes get hungry.

And… please do not ask a trainer to stretch you after your workout, unless you are their client.

If you however would like to receive some help with your training etc, I advice to ask your chosen trainer for their rates and book a session. No one ever thinks about going to osteopath and asking for a free spinal adjustment, or going to a lawyer and asking for charge free advice. Trainers only do their job and very often have to pay a lot of money to the gyms they use for training their clients. It is not cool to require them to give you a training or diet plan , it is also not fair to their clients, as they pay big money for that exact advice and assistance. I believe that some people are not aware that they are taking an advantage on trainers, so hopefully this short post will build more awareness.

Keep your body and mind strong and ….respect the trainers ;-)


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