When I tell people that I have a personal trainer, most just laugh or question why I would waste my money, but I know that you are not a waste; anything but actually. I met you a little over two months ago after a rough year at school that took a toll on my body both physically and mentally, leaving me feeling weak, unmotivated, and insecure. I agreed to sign up for two free sessions with a new trainer at my gym, whom I had never met or seen before. That trainer was you! I have to admit that I initially felt nervous that you would judge me or underestimate my abilities, but you didn't look at me any differently than if I had met you the year before when I was in the greatest shape of my life. You welcomed me with the friendliest and warmest smile and all my nerves went away.

We didn't start immediately with cardio, or strength training, or even stretching. We sat in your office and talked for about a half hour, getting to know each other (how crazy is it that we live down the street from each other!) and discussing where I was at with my fitness and nutrition. I was honest with you about my insecurities and my goals, as well as about my nutrition struggles, like IBS, celiac disease, and other sensitivities. The more that we talked, the more I knew how well we would get along.

Eventually, we ditched the office and headed to the fitness floor and did a quick workout with the time we had left. By the end of our session, you had told me one of the most surprising yet inspiring stories. You hadn't gone to college for nutrition, dietetics, or anything health-related. You graduated as a business major! At first, all I could think to myself was "Why is a business major my personal trainer right now?" until you continued the story. You started with a well-paying job out of college in your desired field, but you weren't happy. You went on interviews for other jobs until you realized that this wasn't the field you wanted to be in at all. You remembered your days as a cross country runner and realized what you truly wanted to be doing all along. You did what most people would be too scared to do; you started over.

You began online classes to become a nutritionist, got a job at the well-known premier gym nearby, and became a certified personal trainer. You now have a job you love where you get to do something you are passionate about every day while meeting and inspiring others along the way (like me!). That's something that not many people get to say they do. You weren't happy, and you made a change, an inspiring feat on its own.

I have never dreaded a session or come in to see you in a bad mood. You are so positive and motivating, which is one of the many reasons I look forward to our weekly training sessions. There aren't many things that I would wake up early for on a Sunday morning, but a workout with you is always something for which I will sacrifice a morning of sleeping in. Throughout our limited time of training together, you filled me in on all of the gym gossip and your personal life news while listening to me complain about work, friends, and school. Our workouts sometimes resembled therapy sessions, but they do say that exercise is the best medicine!

You always motivated and encouraged me, especially when I felt super weak during anything upper body related. You knew when to push me and when was too far, like sprints on the treadmill. You were so impressed when I told you I had been to the gym every day for two weeks in between sessions and while balancing work and back to school to-do's, but that was a result of the impact you have had on me. You once called me the "ideal client," someone who wants to work hard, see changes, and stick to set goals. You made the point to mention that I was doing all of these things for myself, not for anyone else, which is something that has stuck with me.

While you have encouraged me to get into the gym whenever I could and to maintain a healthy and balanced diet, you have also reminded me to enjoy life, to eat cake for breakfast if that's what I want to do from time to time. As I am writing this before our final training session before I leave for school, I remember that life is too short to obsess over how many sit-ups I can do or how heavy I can lift. Life is about meeting new people, people like you, who continue to inspire me to be a better version of me every day.