Professional Image

Unknown.jpegI just heard that one of my colleagues had his Pilates class cancelled because he’s over weight and doesn’t well represent the Club’s brand. I remember thinking the same about a few of our bosses; but the harsh reality is that we, as front line staff, must look the part.

I remember meeting a young trainer who’d just got his first job at an economy gym. He liked playing The Stud, relishing the public adoration; and he questioned my choice of attire. I was wearing a very tailored, matching track suit. He declared that he preferred to walk the gym floor looking ruggedly athletic (i.e. cut-off sleeves, baseball cap, tattoos on display). “I can appreciate the butch fantasy,” I told him, “but I’m not dressing for me. My aim is client sales in a very upscale market. The people who dress like you are more fun; but they can’t afford my services.”

My uniform/costume is not about feeling sexually attractive or wearing the clothes that I like to wear during my own workout. For instance, when I dress to teach dance, I consider the overall environment and the tone of the day. If I feel as though the students have become too casual or unfocused and I want to crack the whip, I’ll drape myself entirely in black, wrists to ankles. If it’s a grey day outside, or if I suspect that the class needs cheering up, I’ll wear bright colors. Either way, like a stage costume, the look is calculated, never left to chance.

How do you know when your emphasis on professional presentation has slid into a sad and insecure practice of conformity or vanity?

We can adjust our body weight and sustain a muscular physique; but age will eventually win out.

What do you do to keep an eye on your own ego?

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