“What would you do in this situation Christie?” “Can I run something by you.. I just want to double check I’m on the right track” “Hey I had this great idea I thought you could use..” Just a few examples of conversations I’ve had recently with other fitness professionals who all hold the same ‘collaboration over competition’ mentality that I do within the industry.
In the 10 years I have been a personal trainer and running Active Soul, I have up-skilled, completed various courses to support / complement my personal training certification and provide additional learning in my area of specialty as well as branch wider to increase my scope of practice; all for the greater good of the clients I work with. At all times, I have been quick to put my hand up and acknowledge I don’t know everything (far from it in fact) but being someone who works for themselves, have always loved the interaction with other trainers and the benefits that can be gained from working alongside rather than against!
There are a lot of us trainers out there! All with different styles, strengths, client bases, tips and techniques. Like a good hairdresser, when you find one that is the right fit for you – hang onto them! They understand you, your needs, your strengths and your limits and know just how to get the best of you. When someone in the fitness industry finds another that can hold him or her in good stead, that relationship should be valued for much the same reasons also.
Which brings me to the concept ‘collaboration over competition’. Imagine for a moment, a world where this happens without even a second thought.
- Where individuals were seen for the strengths they brought to the table, without comparison or judgement.
- Where technical knowledge and key understandings were shared in order for each person to do their job to the best of their ability.
- Where people supported, encouraged and kept each other accountable.
- Where women lifted each other up.
- Where insecurities were pushed to the side thanks to a guiding hand or reassuring voice.
Meeting Jen Dugard in Melbourne and stepping into the BBB affiliate team 3 years ago provided a specific forum for collaboration such as this and as the only kiwi affiliate at the present moment, I have a full appreciation for being part of a team bigger than just me. Our collaboration starts with the trainers in the team; sharing ideas, tips, techniques, highs and lows, keeping each other accountable, amplifying each other’s message and supporting, encouraging the journey. It goes further than this though; with trusted professionals sharing knowledge, promoting growth and encouraging personal development through master class events. With strong relationships and collaboration between other health professionals encouraged also, it goes along way to ensuring, we, as fitness professionals, stay on top of our game and are able to look after our clients as best as possible under their guidance.
I have a couple of key practitioners I continually refer Mums I come into contact with depending on their circumstance. This enables me to know exactly where there body is at, thanks to expert eyes and can programme accordingly following any specific suggestions given. Juliet from Plus One Wellbeing is our trusted Women’s Health Physio here in Auckland and says ‘It would be wonderful if a Post Natal Check with a Women’s Health Physio was accessible to every Mum. We love working with Christie from Active Soul and other trainers to screen Mums to return to exercise safely” The feeling is mutual.
I choose collaboration over competition. To have brave conversations with like-minded fitness and health professionals knowing that in coming together we can empower, support and improve the way Mums are looked after in the fitness industry.
Do I have all the answers to the questions? Definitely not! But I love the conversations it sparks, the connections it raises and the overall positive effect gained and can only hope this movement catches on with more and more of you!