This has been THE week. The week for what you may ask? Well, I’m not sure I can actually pinpoint it, I just feel that this week there has been a major shift, maybe it’s the great weather, maybe it’s because I’ve got a big chore out of the way, maybe I’m still riding high after last weekend (I was a guest speaker at a retreat for female business owners…will have to tell you about that another time) or perhaps it was taking part in a Pilates class for the first time, I really don’t know. What I do know is that I feel taller and that my head is lighter and the world around me is a brighter and generally more lovely place. My mojo is returning in my workouts having been missing for a few months. I’ve been getting up earlier. I’ve been going to bed at a better time and actually getting to sleep rather than having a million things on my mind. I LOVE MY LIFE RIGHT NOW!
I’m not telling you this to make you jealous. I just feel the need to share it. I took on 2 amazing new clients this week and the first contact with one of them came through my Instagram account so I could see she is a Pilates instructor. Knowing a client is in the fitness industry fills me with dread. I was severely bullied for nearly 3 years when I was at Secondary school. Girls that I had grown up living near to, some of whom had been my friends, indeed one of them had been treated by my parents as another daughter, suddenly turned on me, seemingly overnight. These girls called me names, made fun of me, said nasty things about my parents and made me feel less than worthless. The summer we left school, several of them walked into my house when I was home alone and attacked me. It was thrown out of court the following year for lack of evidence as it was 3 against 1!! At the worst point I was too scared to walk from one side of my estate to the other where my best friend lived and ending my life was something that I considered just so it would stop!
There were other girls too who were just more popular than I was, mostly blonde for some reason, in very large, tight friendship groups, girls that all the boys liked and who were very bitchy about anyone who wasnt one of them. They made me feel totally inferior. Between these 2 groups of girls I left school feeling pretty crap about myself and with no self confidence at all. I didn’t believe I would be capable of being a teacher, the job I’d wanted to do since I could remember, so instead I did a course to become a Nanny.
Fast forward and I am now a very confident person, but every now and then the 14 year old inside me still pops up. A direct result of the behaviour of these girls. Knowing that a potential client is in this industry is one of those times. I see or hear the words that tell me what this person does for a living and immediately in my head, I hear
“Well you’re screwed this time. She’s soon going to realise what a fraud you are, pretending to be a personal trainer…like you know what you’re talking about. Like anyone actually listens to you and believes that you can help them.”
These girls were in my life nearly 25 years ago…and they still manage to affect me all these years later. That’s the effect bullies have on people. It haunts you and can stop you doing things you want to do, even as an adult…well no more!!
When I spoke to this new client we clicked straight away. She wanted to add some cardio work into her life and do something for herself that she didn’t have to plan and think about or motivate herself to do. I’ve never done Pilates before so I agreed to work with her so long as I could have some ‘me time’ in one of her classes too! On the gorgeous day that was last Thursday, I did that Pilates class (ouch!) then I put her through her paces in that first PT session, and you know what? I absolutely do know what I’m talking about, I absolutely can help people with their needs and goals and I am absolutely NOT a fraud. I may be still fairly new to the industry, but I have worked really hard to get to this point. I continue to work hard to improve every day and the people I am working with are feeling a difference for the better. It’s taken me over 20 years but I think I’ve actually shaken the ghost of these girls and it feels incredible. Perhaps that’s why I feel taller and my head feels lighter? I’m no longer carrying the thoughts of the girls who are now adults with children of their own. I wonder if they ever think about their words and actions from back then? I wonder what they’d do or say if their children were in my shoes from 20+ years ago? I hope they see this and realise I’m writing about them. I hope they stop and consider the impact they have had on me and I hope they are living a life they love…because I know I am. They say life begins at 40, I think mine started a year early.