4 Things My Daughter Taught Me About Working Out

Have you ever thought you knew everything, only to have reality slap you in the face? Maybe life had to humble you for a bit. I had a similar experience when my one year old daughter taught me some impressive life lessons. No, it wasn’t about time management or some other reality check that happens when someone has a child. In this case, my daughter taught me about working out.

Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve been a personal trainer for 10 years. I have two degrees in exercise science along with certifications from USA Weightlifting and Precision Nutrition. Just like any you or anyone else, I can get a big head once in a while. That’s when life likes to give me a wake-up call.

Personal training is a mash up between art and science. The science is easy. The art is when to apply it, when to push a client, and when to back off. A back squat for 10 reps will help build muscle, but reading all the research in the world won’t push you past rep number 7 if you want to quit. Watching my daughter play, crawl, eat and do just about everything else has taught me a lot about the human element when it comes to working out. I have the luxury of taking my daughter to work with me. Usually the clients are more excited to see her than me, but it’s given me a lot of experience watching a little one grow.

Here are four lessons my little sweetheart exposed me to:

1. Do What You Love – There’s no stopping my daughter when she wants to do something. As much as I want her to play with a brand new toy with all the trimmings, she gets more enjoyment from playing with a spoon. There’s not much I can do to change her mind.

If you hate running, then find something else. If salmon grosses you out, switch to fish oil. Sure, running and salmon are healthy choices, but finding alternatives that you actually enjoy will keep you in the fitness game much longer. Science tells us what works, but it won’t produce results if you hate doing it.

2. Have a Sense of Wonder – While she loves that spoon, it won’t be long until something else catches my daughter’s eye. And when it does, you can believe that she’ll either become fully engrossed in it or revert back to the spoon ASAP. That passion can lead you down different roads that may aid you in your fitness journey.

So if you’ve been doing 3 sets of 10, try 10 sets of 3. If you’ve been doing straight sets forever, check out some drop sets. Long distance running? Try sprinting 400 meters. Check out something new, absorb yourself into it, and see what happens.

3. March to the Beat of Your Own Drum – You know how I beg for my daughter to play with her new toys instead of the box that they come in? My pleading won’t change a thing. Like they say, wish in one hand and…..well, you know the saying.

Be your own person when it comes to fitness. Friends may try to persuade you to bail on gym time, but don’t be afraid to say ‘no’. Don’t jump on every diet fad that comes along just for the sake of change.

4. Always Be Determined – As I write this, my daughter is trying to walk. She holds onto something, tries a step, and tumbles down. And then she gets back up. She doesn’t give up. There’s no drama, no pep talk needed. She know she’s going to walk, and it isn’t a matter of if but just when.

Don’t quit. You’re going to have setbacks and lousy workouts. But it isn’t the end of the world. Like they say, failure doesn’t occur until you quit.

 

So there you have it – four important lessons my daughter taught me about working out. While I have a few degrees, she has me beat on the art of personal training. Looks like science has to take a backseat to the art on this one.

 

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