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Late Valentine: A Love Letter From Your Personal Trainer

(Welcome back to guest blogger, Anna Rose-McComb, who has a message for us all.)

One of my favorite things about being a personal trainer is the personal interaction and relationship I get to build with each client as he or she charts their way through different levels of health.  Some, who are looking for the spark to reignite their routine, need extra motivation and inspiring new ideas. Some need a hand entering a new routine from scratch, or perhaps after years without structured movement.

My least favorite thing about being a personal trainer is being a part of an industry that at times still thrives on self-deprecation, restrictions and an overall belief that we are each inherently unacceptable.

I do not mean to imply that we should not strive for standards of physical health and strength. On the contrary, I encourage goals of power, strength and endurance with the understanding that your power, strength and endurance are innate within you, awaiting discovery.  Our bodies are made to be pushed and our muscles challenged, and finding that threshold is an amazing and rewarding feat.

Charting your progress toward goals of inner strength and body awareness will be your key to success. On the other hand, noting your achievements with numbers on a scale or hours spent in the gym will leave you falling short, and is a sure way to leave you disconnected from your body and from the hope of any promising motivators. No amount of curls or push-ups will produce worth-while improvements, unless you're ready to love and respect yourself and your journey.

Striving for the acceptance of self may be the most difficult hurdle to overcome, though in the end will be our most crowning achievement.

In any class I teach, or with any client I counsel, my primary rule is that self-love and respect precede any physical and emotional endeavor.  I remind and encourage this with my clients as well as my self, and know all too well how easily self-acceptance can be forgotten. We can so quickly get bogged down with numbers, and handfuls, and areas of our bodies that are deemed imperfect by whatever standard - ours or others.

Striving to meet the standards of others is not only an imperfect motivation for our reach for perfection; it is a plan that will back-fire and leave you feeling more deflated than when you began. Striving for the acceptance of self may be the most difficult hurdle to overcome, though in the end will be our most crowning achievement.

Progress is more than a visit to the gym; it's measured instead in our overall awareness and perseverance in everything we do. The drive and need for change is natural and healthy and it's my hope and goal that we can find a natural and healthy road to success. It’s imperative to remember that any gains and strengths you achieve are more beautiful when your inner joy and fulfillment can radiate through your every expression. 

So this is my hope for you; that you can find joy and contentment within yourself, love and acceptance in your journey and an empowering inspiration for continual growth and change.

Anna Rose-McComb is a Certified Personal Trainer in Missoula, Montana. You can follow her on Twitter @annarosemt or on Facebook here.

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