There are two types of people in this world: those who put Adderall up their butts and those who don’t.
Actually, scratch that.
There are two types of people in this world: those who are married to their careers and burn out, and those who work smart, and can chill the fuck out when they want.
Now that it’s 2018, I feel everyone is on their grind.
They’re going through the hustle. Working 7 days a week. Working 12 hour days. Hash-tagging “no days off.” Pissing off their spouses. And burning the fuck out when it’s all said and done.
Especially in the fitness industry, it seems everyone is working all the time.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe being busy is good to some extent: you have clients, your schedule is full, you’re making money, and if you’re super busy, you have disposable income to go see Taylor Swift in concert for $200 a pop.
Busy can be good.
Money is cool, but it’s just paper we can wipe our asses with. When the world ends, and when the zombies finally take over, what’s left? Nothing.
Would you be satisfied you made a shit load of money that disappears with the bat of an eyelash? Or would you never forgive yourself you didn’t spend enough time with your family?
Let’s hope the latter.
And sorry not sorry I got morbid right off that bat.
Beyond making money, okay, it’s good to be busy because you’re helping a massive amount of people. Whether you’re in personal training, sports coaching, or strength and conditioning, it’s good to get face time with hundreds of clients so you can help them improve their physical fitness.
I do believe, however, it’s important to help yourself too. Because when you help yourself by giving yourself time to regroup, then you come back with zest and more passion to deliver a better coaching service to people.
Admittedly, I’m hard on myself when it comes to coaching. I always want to be on. I always want to be energetic. I always want to be positive. I always want to be fierce. I always want to be passionate.
And in order for me to do all these, I need my days to refresh.
Which is fine.
But also, I want to help myself because I enjoy alone time. I am happy when I see my family. I love catching up with my best friends. I love going on new adventures.
So for those of you who need time off like me, let me comfort you with this:
You don’t need to work 12 hour days.
You don’t need to work weekends.
You don’t need to work on the holidays.
Just because everyone is splashing “hustle” memes across their Instagram, doesn’t mean you need to follow suit.
It’s all bullshit. The fitness hustle is bullshit.
This reminds me: the other day I saw an Instagram story posted on the 4th of July from a strength coach that read, “if your strength coach isn’t working 4th of July, you have the wrong strength coach.”
What’s funny here is, not everyone is this guy. Maybe he’s a Gary V clone and enjoys working 365 days a year.
Maybe he enjoys not getting laid.
Maybe he’s fine with infuriating his wife.
But that’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
And it’s certainly not mine.
Fuck outta here.
Personally, no, I won’t work on the 4th of July.
And I told my athletes, “hi guys, I have a life outside of this. I won’t be in during the holiday.”
And they respected it.
So why did I take off and speak to my clients with transparency?
I wanted to spend my holiday to see a friend I hadn’t seen in months.
I wanted to see my own mother.
I wanted to go to Washington, DC to walk on the waterfront.
I wanted to snuggle up in my bed alone and read Eastern philosophy books.
It’s not like I was getting shit faced and wearing an American flag bro tank while doing keg stands on a yacht while waving an American flag in the air.
While I pride myself for hustling hard when I’m in front of my clients and athletes, or when I’m writing for publications, I’m just a normal human being trying to live life too. I can’t always be the jacked up Erica the world expects me to be.
And can you hold that against me?
Can you hold it against ANYONE?
Truthfully, I think it needs to become more normal for strength coaches and trainers to take time off. Enough of this hustle crap.
With that said, there are a plethora of ways to evade burning out.
Here’s how to do so:
1. Actually take time off.
Some of us need at least 1-2 days of no coaching. It doesn’t matter if you choose a Monday, or a Wednesday-Saturday combo, just pick your days off and stick to them.
Your clients will understand.
As long as you’re honest with people, they will respect your decision.
But also, sometimes you don’t even need to give a reason. You can just tell people, “hey, I’m not working these days and here’s when I’m available.”
They’ll make it work.
2. Semi-private training
While I believe one on one training is good for attention to detail, it’s just not that much of a win for anyone.
Group training provides several benefits: less cost for clients, less hours for you as the coach, and more camaraderie and motivation for the clients.
It’s a win-win for everyone.
But I will say: if people need one on one coaching because they’re beginners and need to get up to speed on a certain skill, then that’s fine.
However, group training should be sprinkled in once they become more advanced.
3. You don’t need to respond in 1 second.
Let’s be honest: being on your phone, replying to emails, and texting clients back takes energy.
So stop doing it 24/7.
People can wait and it’s totally okay to respond to someone 10 hours later.
The world won’t go up in flames.
The Universe won’t slap you across the face.
And the iPhone X will still have a portrait photo option.
In my coaching life, I have a rule with my athletes when it comes to this stuff. I tell them, “if you text me after 10PM, I will not respond because my phone is on airplane mode and I’m winding down for the night. I won’t answer.”
So set your boundaries.
Again, people will understand as long as you’re honest.
4. Spend time with loved ones.
Putting all the pointers above together, now you should be in a place to make time for the people who matter in your life.
And I’m not saying your clients don’t matter, but family and friends are just as important.
Honestly, I don’t think I’d ever forgive myself if I hustled on the 4th of July and didn’t see my mother.
Because who knows…maybe she would get an illness the next day. You never know.
Work is great and I love my job, and the work I do as a coach is tremendous. I pride myself in going above and beyond for my athletes, whether this is by going out to watch their games, or sending them “good luck” texts, or coaching the fuck out of change of direction drills.
But I also pride myself in making time for my life outside of work and giving my family and friends just as much.
And you should too.