Success: Relinquishing the Battle

Hi y’all!  I’d like to introduce my friend and client Sharon, author of the first installment of my Success: Client Defined series, where I will post original writings and thoughts from my clients about their journey with me.  (You can read more of her spunky and honest thoughts on midlife, dating, life in Baton Rouge and football on her blog Midlife Moments).

Sharon and me before a race

I first started training with Jessica in person when we were both in Memphis TN. I hesitated a little because I wondered what this 20 something would know about a 50ish woman’s needs. I was afraid she’d be this drill sergeant personal trainer that would wear me out and not personalize my program. At the time, I had paid for a gym membership a year prior but couldn’t make myself go to the gym. I had been marathon running but had lost interest. The biggest motivation I had was that I had gained a good deal of weight, and I felt frumpy and old. I had lost interest in any kind of exercise, and I knew had to get re-energized.

We did the typical 30 minute weight-training sessions, and immediately I knew I would like her. She wanted to know about my life and my interests and my struggles with regular exercise. While I was working out, we would talk about diet, dating, overeating and my weekly issues surrounding getting to the gym. I got on track again, and I started to lose weight.

After awhile, we stopped the personal training, but we remained friends. I’d hook up with her running group every now and then, and we talked infrequently. When she moved to Austin, I hired her for her email program. I have to say I like this system even better than in-person training. At first she sent me an email every week with all of my workouts on it. Over time, it became evident that my needs changed too much, so we are now on a system where she sends my workouts every day or every other day. After every workout, I check in with her to tell her how it went.

I feel like I have a health advocate working with me. She “gets” emotional eating. She “gets” mood swings and distractions to exercise. And, although she gently pushes me to stay engaged in what I want to do with my program, she allows me space to take breaks and get disillusioned with the process.

I’ve been participating in Jessica’s email program for over a year now … maybe two. When I compare before I started with where I am today, these are the results I’ve seen:

  1. My weight has been maintained without a lot of fluctuation.

  2. I feel much better about my emotional eating. I still do it on occasion, but I don’t beat myself up over it as much because I have shared it with her. It just doesn’t seem to have as much power or attraction to me anymore.

  3. I have been more consistent with working out than ever. I used to get bored and take 3-4 week breaks a couple of times a year, but I haven’t done that since I started the email training. I may take a week but it’s usually a day or two before I’m back at it. The consistency helps.

  4. My workouts are shorter in duration but produce better results.

  5. I have variety in my workouts now. I think that’s why I don’t get bored. I also have a bank of workouts in my email folders in case I want to try something different.

  6. I finally feel in charge of my health and habits.

  7. In the last 3 months, I got off my anti-depressant medication due to my healthier, saner lifestyle.

  8. Most of all, I have a friend in my court. No matter what is going on, I can call Jessica and talk to her. She knows how to listen in a non-judgmental way. And she’s really, really smart.

My worries about this young girl not being able to coach me were unfounded. I’m so glad I let them slide. One of the best things I’ve ever done is hire Jessica for my coach. It’s about so much more than exercise.

For the future, I’m looking forward to Jessica building her flexible training empire. I envision her having a web presence and serving clients all over the country … maybe even the world. She will never lose that personal touch because that’s who she is, but I think she will discover efficiencies to help her create her own “space” in this market. I actually think that when you look up coach in the dictionary, you’ll find her picture. She’s that good.

Thank you Sharon, you’ve been a joy to work with!  

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8 thoughts on “Success: Relinquishing the Battle

  1. Nice write up, Sharon!! Kudos to you, Coach Sprenkel!! Encouragement with empathy and understanding, self-motivation and finding what works!! Keep up posted!

  2. yey! That is so true and well written! Lovely to see you in nola and meeting Sharon too. I’m so very happy that you were my PT for long time and keep in contact as a friend too 🙂

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