Can't Afford it? Can You Really Afford Not to?

Something I hear quite a bit as a strength coach from people who approach me or discover what I do for a living, is “Oh, I would love to have a coach/trainer but I can’t afford it.” I do understand this, completely. 


 I was a stay-at-home mom and neither of us worked in the tech industry, we were “true” normal people.  I pushed the double stroller in the neighborhood for my exercise and ran around with my kids.  I finally said I’m done and I found a trainer at the gym where my mother had bought me a membership for my birthday.  I showed up to every session, I never no-showed. 


To make it work, I figured out a way to squeak 6 months of training out of my budget, I cut my clothing budget by a third. Why buy clothes if I didn’t feel good in them? I exchanged childcare instead of having to pay for it.  If I was working toward my fitness goals, my outlook on life was better; it kept me out of counseling.  (Now I know why I needed counseling, I was comparing myself to other stay-at-home moms. Thankfully, Facebook did not exist yet to exacerbate the issue).


Now I can afford my coach and a few competitions each year but I still justify the expense. I’m keeping myself out of the doctor’s office and off the medications that tend to come with age in our American society, and  I’m still out of counseling. Medication and doctors visits are getting frighteningly expensive.  I intend to keep my medical file thin and only filled with well-person visits and the occasional illness that requires antibiotics or an injury from being active.
Can you really afford not to be active? What is the price of you feeling good, having more energy, and possibly improving your emotional outlook?  Getting active, if you are not right now, will help to keep you out of the doctor’s office, you will save on co-pays or other medical expenses, and maybe eventually medication.  


Are you saying to yourself that you can do it on your own?  


After all, you can get workouts easily from the internet. Do some research, get a box gym membership and you are good to go.  


Have you printed the workout or have it on your phone and just need to walk in the door of the gym? 


 How long ago did you purchase the membership? 


Still not in the door? 


Or, that workout you pulled off the internet isn’t translating to the equipment in the gym?


 If you haven’t made it into that gym, it’s like the clothes hanging in your closet that you have never worn.


Can you not afford to be active because you are saving for retirement, or for college for your kids?  I don’t intend to belittle those efforts because they are very important. However, what if you are so ill or your medications so expensive you can’t enjoy retirement?

Is your health more important than helping your kids through college?  Yes, we would sacrifice anything for our kids, however, keeping yourself from health to pay for college isn’t helping you or them.  Wouldn’t you like to see them flourish past their college years?  Yes, it is nice if you can help them pay for college. There are other ways to pay for college, including having the student help pay for it.  


I will let you in on a secret: One of my greatest fears is losing my health and not being able to take care of myself.  Hey, if I make it to 85 years old, I’m probably going to need some help.  I want to be independent as long as possible. My quality of life is very important to me.
NOT being active and having goals that bring me happiness is much more expensive in the long run than my training expenses.   


So you can you really afford not to have a gym membership and a trainer?