Annie asked the question, Linda what makes your Personal Training business different from anyone else? My business LAPT is different in many ways really because its uses over thirty years nursing experience and skills, to treat my clients own personal needs and goals including their whole wellbeing.
Empathy and knowing how to use it, is what makes my business unqiue and special, with an ability to understand and share feelings of another. Having empathy allows that special connection to anyone, especially working with clients on a one to one basis.
As a young child I remember having the ability to empathise even though at the time did not know the word empathy or what it meant. From childhood to the present day one particular memory stays with me.
A childhood friend and I were playing bat and ball in our street, and on this occasion a local elderly lady was passing by carrying her shopping. In that moment I hit the ball so hard that it ricocheted off the pavement hitting her square on the back of the head, causing her to drop her shopping. The inital instinct was to laugh but instead for some reason the feeling changed quickly into a sick sinking one, down to the pit of my stomach. The surprise, shock and hurt expression on this womans face left a sadness within me. Empathy was rising at my hearts level allowing me to sense her feelings of distress, while at the same time my friend laughed her head off.
I decided later that day to go and apologise to the lady, knowing it was the right thing to do. She opened the door cautiously, and with that, my pitiful word sorry broke out from within. Her smile widened confirming all was forgiven. After a friendly chat I left leaving with a delicious golden apple, which in those days was like gold dust. Empathy turned a horrible incident into a happy one for both of us.
As LAPT I go out to visit clients in their own homes which allows them to feel safe to confide in that enviroment. Treating not just their health and fitness issues but their whole wellbeing, and this is where empathy plays a major role. Other issues that arise requiring empathy are clients who feel lost in some way, losing their own sense of identity to others. To a point where they do not know any longer who they really are or want to be. Or, they have low self-esteem and no confidence causing them to neglect their whole wellbeing.
Empathy is used in a way that does not put added pressure on a person, lecturing them on what they should or should not do, or over whelming them with too much information. Its about listening to them putting yourself in their shoes, feeling their emotions to understand them better. But also allowing them to take full responsibility of their own lives with my empathy, support and motivation.
I believe my business LAPT, like Annies Down2Earths Centre is successful because we can use empathy to treat our clients whole wellbeing. In todays society there is a great need for all practitioners to have that special empathy to connect with everyone, making the world a happier place to be.One thing for sure empathy is at the very heart of LAPT and the Down2Earth Centre.
This is a guest blog by Linda Allen who took part in Annie Conboy’s Inspired 2 Write 28 Day Challenge. Well done Linda.