That's What He Said

Posted on May 15, 2016 by Mary Patterson

I originally had a plan to blog about the new reality show Strong and bash it with frustration. I am still frustrated and strongly challenge the producers to look at the stereotype they are allowing to play out. A sarcastic, thank you, but no thank you keeps playing in my head. However, as time went on and I began to verbally express my frustration to my female clients, my emotions took a turn and I was challenged. I accept the challenge.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. - Mahatma Gandhi

A great thing has been happening in the fitness industry over the past (more than) couple of years. The focus on strength versus skinny or fit versus a certain number on the scale. For fitness professionals, it is a breath of fresh air and we have areas in fitness such as CrossFit to thank for this huge movement.

A new television series, Strong wants to display and create positive energy behind this awesome movement. The introduction pops on the television one day and I see a trainer that I have had the privilege of attending seminars with and I am even more pumped because I find him, Todd Durkin more than inspiring and a great fit for the show. 

But then I ask myself and at the same time my husband voices behind me, wait, did they say male trainers and female participants? Ummmmm...

Wait. What? Still processing. There is no female trainers? No male trainees? Really!? 

OK They are going to say why.

Still waiting...

I am not the most hoorah feminist you will find by far. I actually get annoyed and irritated at extremes and think sometimes, quite frankly, women ruin it for women. Men and women are different and in this is a beautiful thing. 

BUT...

We have a show called STRONG with only MALE TRAINERS and FEMALE TRAINEES!

Does anyone else see what I see? I thought for sure this had to outrage others so I brought it up in a boot camp class waiting for the gasps or at least looks of frustration, disgust and WTFs (yes, I was and am that frustrated with it). What followed was blank stares, indifference, and silence. I stood shocked unsure of what to say next. I stood on my soap box for a bit, said my spiel and still... awkward. silence.

For a week or so after I brought up the show and voiced my frustration with the set up, I actually lost a good bit of sleep. I thought, I have failed. I have failed at my biggest mission as a personal trainer and health entrepreneur. After all, I saw the commercial of the show pop up literally a week after I announced a new 6 week program Gaia Fit is running called Strong Girls.

After sitting on it more and yes, watching the show AND observing my boot campers more, I don't think I failed my mission. I have the privilege of watching women (and men) do things they never thought they could on day one of training. I see the pride. I see the drive. I see the look of determination. I see the difference in how they carry themselves.

Where I have failed is I am not sure they see it within themselves. They are quick to compliment and build up their fellow boot camper, but they never stop to pat themselves on the back and recognize their own accomplishments. 

This is going to change and it will change with out hiring a male trainer. 

Gaia Fit get ready to brag and boast your accomplishments loud and proud and mean it. You will celebrate your successes. You will feel the strength inside and out not only in your comrades, but in yourself. 

I must and will note that I am not saying, we don't need men to help us do this and that only women can help women and men help men. There is no male bashing happening at all. I have learned just as much from my male colleagues as I have from my female colleagues. I embrace what each individual offers another.

I thank Strong for making me take a step back and find what I need to step up and do as a role model and trainer.

And I challenge Strong to even the field. There are amazing men AND women trainers just as there are women AND men that can use a kick in the pants and some inspiration to get STRONG.

Posted in Entrepreneur, fitness professional, Mary Patterson, strength training, Strong


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