Official Website of Sarah E. Rippel, BS, CPT, FMS

-Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude!-


This will most likely be a bit of a “soapbox” post for me, but i’ll try to keep it brief.  The message I want to send out to you today has to do with ATTITUDE.  I am going to share some of my past experiences with you in the hopes that you may understand where i’m coming from.

Have you ever wanted to reach a goal so bad, something you saw other people doing, but you couldn’t seem to get there?  We all know that a PLAN is super-important in reaching a goal, BUT of equal importance is ATTITUDE.

I have been a Personal Trainer for almost 14 years.  I am not lying to you when I say that roughly nine of those years weren’t time wasted BUT more of a “spinning my gears” thing.  I was lost, unhappy, and my attitude flat-out stank.  I often tell my clients these days that they probably wouldn’t have liked me back then.  I was obsessed with dieting and working out, I didn’t care about school, and to be honest, I really didn’t care about life in general.  We all have our life issues, and I have definitely had my share of battles.  Up until the fall of 2004, life felt like a constant struggle.  I knew I was capable of great things, but I held myself back.  I was my own worst enemy.

What happened in the fall of 2004?  I began working for a personal training studio here in Baton Rouge.  I was making ridiculously small paychecks because we were paid a small fraction for each training session…$15, to be exact Insanity?  Heck yes.  Regardless of this, I rediscovered the enthusiasm that I have for working with clients.  Over time, though, I began to feel bitter.  How come i’m busting my as* making somebody else richer, while i’m bringing home a weekly paycheck of $300?  I remember one week, my check was somewhere near $400, and I was THRILLED!  Pretty sad, I know, considering I had years of experience, a college degree, and more determination and heart than most of the trainers in this city.  I was underpaid and underappreciated, and fortunately I got out of there.  What happened next?  I started building my in-home training business and also worked for a “big box” local gym.  My boss appreciated me, they paid me 50% of each session, and they encouraged me to form my own boot camp programs which were a hit.  They hired me knowing that I had clients outside of the gym, which is something many gyms wouldn’t agree with.  They gave me a chance, and even though I am no longer associated with them, I’m grateful for that.  I  had lost that bitterness, I could focus on my clients, and I could work on building my business.  

My attitude had morphed from one of “there’s someone out there who’s better than me” to “I know i’m good at what I do, and I deserve to make the most of my life.”

Nowadays, my attitude is “why not?”  This applies not only to myself, but to the people I train.  I bust my butt every day working on my business…and it’s not for greedy reasons.  I don’t expect to become a billionaire.  I just want a comfortable life, and as little stress as possible, because I wasted too many years worrying about anything and everything and NOT TAKING ACTION.  I refuse to sit back and let someone else do the things I KNOW I can do even better…AND because of this attitude, I feel i’m a more effective trainer.  I’m not going to let my clients slide by knowing they could do better.  I expect them to give me their best, because I want them to see progress.  Sometimes I feel I want it more than they do, but I guess that’s a good thing. 🙂

You don’t think you can do it?  Why not?  Give me reasons you can’t, and i’ll give you reasons why you CAN.

All too often, we hold ourselves back…out of fear, embarrassment, or whatever reason.  You know what?  The clock keeps on ticking.  So all the time you’re worried and not going after the things in life you truly want, time is passing you by.  

I don’t know about you, but i’ve come too far in my life and worked too hard to just sit back and live in fear like I used to.

Hell no.  No way.  

And I don’t want you to either.

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2 responses

  1. JMJ

    Great post, and so true. It really is all about the attitude, for us as trainers and for our clients.

    With respect to clients-we all have those clients that we really enjoy working with because of their “I can do it” attitude-and you know the ones I’m talking about. Always on time, always willing to go the extra mile, never complains, wants to do the extra rep and extra set. You gotta love that “I can do it” attitude from clients.

    February 10, 2009 at 9:19 pm

  2. AMEN!!!! So very true! We are blessed to have clients like this! It’s so much fun to be able to throw almost ANY exercise at a client and know they won’t complain about it…and they’ll try it with a positive attitude! It’s so interesting to work with all personality types. What’s really awesome to me is when a client is the “i’m in control of things” type, and for a while may resist a bit and not “hand over the reins” to me, so to speak. Then, all of sudden, something happens to transition us to a place where they realize I’M the one in charge…they drop the “i’m in charge” attitude, are receptive to anything and everything I have to say, and begin to make some tremendous progress! Priceless!

    February 11, 2009 at 1:46 pm

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