I can tell you the moment I realized my career as a personal trainer wasn’t going as duckily as I had planned: About six months into the job, during a break near the end of a 14-hour day, I snuck out to the local ice cream shop for a brownie sundae. I deserved it, I told myself: I’d come in early that morning to train a few people, then spent hours writing programs and e-mailing potential clients, then met new member after new member for introductory sessions to the gym.
Like most days, I found myself at the club from sunup to well past done sundown, even though I was only “working” (read: seeing clients) for seven or eight of those hours. I rushed back to the gym to hide in the break room and devour my treat, but just as I got to the door, one of my weight loss clients, glowing from spin class, emerged.
“This is Kat, my personal trainer,” she told her friend. I stuck the bowl behind my back, hoping she wouldn’t see it, or the peanut butter sauce dripping down my fingers. We talked for a few moments longer, and then I shuffled inside, ashamed.