A quick google search will tell you that an excuse is ‘a reason or explanation given to justify a fault or offence’
What it doesn’t tell you is that it is also something that brings me immense frustration, not just as a Personal Trainer but also as an adult.
In fact there are probably few things that will guarantee a very direct and blunt response from me, more than an excuse will.
Why? Simply because I’d much rather someone tells the truth. I’ll admit that when someone gives me an excuse for not doing something that was easily achievable, I take it very personally. To me it’s clear that they think I’m stupid and are taking me for a fool, which none of us like.
I’d much rather someone was honest, regardless of how bad the truth may be. At least then we can sort the real problem and not keep avoiding it.
Over the years as a PT, I have heard all sorts of fascinating stories designed by clients to justify failure and get my sympathy. All have failed in the latter but these three have stuck in my mind for various reasons…
‘My core is higher than anyone else’s’
Delivered with true conviction and a little bit of attitude, this client was struggling with a basic crunch. The reason to him was obvious, his legs were short which meant his core was higher than anyone else's.
In reality his abs weren’t that strong, which was one of his goals and the reason why we were trying to do the exercise. Despite my best and most painfully diplomatic reasoning, he remained adamant and the remainder of the session was accompanied with an uneasy silence.
‘The builders are still working on my patio and I have to keep making them tea and coffee’
Six weeks in a row, this was considered acceptable for cancelling sessions!
Considering the size of the patio, I imagine the constant tea and coffee drinking was the reason that it took so long to complete.
‘My WiFi hasn’t been working so I had to watch TV, which was nearer to the fridge’
By far my favourite and said with such conviction, I had to ask her to repeat it!
I’m not perfect as I've said previously and have made loads of excuses in my time, both professionally and personally. I learnt the hard way and realized that all my excuses actually did, was stop me from achieving anything.
If you want to make excuses, that’s fine and is your prerogative but just don’t expect to achieve that much/anything.