A new strain of PTSD caused by coaching

The other day I had an inquiry out of the blue for fitness coaching.

I wanted to vomit.

I've got Post Coaching PTSD.

Since I haven't said this in public anywhere, let me say it:

I will never again coach anyone, concerning workouts or nutrition, in a professional capacity.

To make it razor-sharp, I wouldn't even consider it for anything less than four figures monthly, with a minimum 6 month commitment, paid in full, up front and 100% non-refundable for any reason.

If the person's first question is "how much do you charge?" then add 50% to both fee and time figures.

Even with those boxes ticked, there's a 99.97% chance I'd turn it down.

Such is the caliber of difficult, unmotivated flakes and headaches that you attract as a coach in the health/fitness space.

Makes my palms sweat and stomach churn just thinking about it.

I almost cushioned that with "no offense", but on second thought, I do intend some offense. People need to be more offended.

I had great clients back when I trained, but I also had many time-wasters, tire-kickers, free advice seekers, whiny price-shoppers, and the occasional entitled human trash-heap, all of which made the total experience less than glowing.

We need more offending.

I tell you what though. The reason I put all those crazy conditions is not only because the idea gives me flashbacks. It's not even because I'm a Scrooge-like miser chasing filthy lucre.

Main reason is, a premium price point combined with absolute commitment scares off the many boojums that want to steal my time and peace of mind.

Only the most willing and serious-minded would even consider it.

The unserious people who care more about cut-rate prices than real results can head on over to Planet Fitness and get those 10 sessions they'll never use before heading safely back to the couch.

The older I get, the more of a premium I put on (a) my time and (b) not being around people I don't want to be around. If you expect me to give up either or both, that's going to cost you plenty.

I didn't understand this back when I trained professionally 10 or 15 years ago.

Back then, I thought I was too good for plebe things like... economics.

Experience plus a doctorate in moral philosophy have since taught me that you're never too good to take care of your own survival and well-being. There is nothing wrong, shameful, unjust, or evil about taking care of yourself and those closest to you, and doubly so when your time, labor, and hard-earned skillset are called upon. Aristotle himself wrote that you can't be a flourishing human being if you are destitute, sick, and lying in the gutter.

If you value your own health & well-being on the same level as a Black Friday bargain at K-Mart, what do you think I'm going to do for you as a coach?

Have a think on these two fictional characters:

A) Happy to pay $2000 a month, shows up to every workout, logs every morsel that goes into her mouth, always checks in on the weekly call

B) Complains about paying $60 for a single session, skips 2/3 of his workouts (while asking for refunds), forces me to chase him down to get updates on his progress

After 6 months, who will have the better body?

Who do you think I'd rather spend my time on?

Price signals value, and value reflects attitude.

If you wonder why I'm talking about this, realize that the lesson in this email was NOT about coaching.

Be good & take it easy.

Matt Perryman

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