WhoDoneIt?! – by Mark Carson

Who Done It?


Why can’t we resist a mystery?  We can’t help but get sucked in to the roller coaster ride of a who-done-it.  Try it sometime.  Just crack an Agatha Christie classic, read the first 1/3rd, then put it down.

You can’t do it.  

It’s OK; there are Billions of others in the same boat.  Why do you think CSI: insert-any-random-city-name-here is still on television?  Because we watch it.  It’s the same plot hour after hour; decade after decade.  Somebody killed someone else, and our main characters/heroes have to figure out motive, means, and opportunity.  The HOW is usually the easy part.  Most of the episode is taken up eliminating who COULD NOT have had the opportunity (usually done with Sherlock-Holmes-style deductive reasoning which also serves to illustrate just how many hundred years have we been getting sucked into the SAME plot).

But it is the WHY, the MOTIVE that we never learn until the last 5 minutes. We HAVE to wait until the last 5 minutes because once that is revealed, everything else is shoulder-shrug material. EVERYTHING stems from the WHY.  Just like your exercise program.  Those of us in the fitness industry spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out the mystery of why gym patrons stop exercising.

The frustrating part is that we know the answer. The biggest reason people stop putting out effort, stop making progress, and consequently stop coming to the gym, is forgetting why they cared in the first place.  People who KNOW why they workout do not need to be sold a gym membership, or enter a national contest; they don’t need sales, specials, promotions, or loyalty rewards.

So, why DO you go to the gym?  Why do you workout?  Why did you get out of bed this morning?

The sad part is, I meet people every day who can’t tell me why they workout.  You have a class reunion in 6 months.  So what?  Are you trying to reclaim your high school body because you are going to face that special someone you didn’t have the courage to talk to back then, or do you want to make a point with the former quarterback?  Or maybe the invitation was just the catalyst which reminds you how far you have drifted from your teen-aged hormone high.  Each path involves structured movement, but Tae Bo may work for one, where professional Kickboxing instruction may be required for another (and I’m only a certified trainer for 1 of those).

But you make a commitment to shape up, and decide to hire a trainer to help. Trainers across the country are known for being large, muscle bound, men or tight, toned, no-nonsense women.  We have a reputation for pushing, pulling, yelling, insulting, and embarrassing; anything to motivate someone into getting through whatever exercise comes to our sick, twisted minds.  There is a reason for this; manipulation, coercion, and intimidation work.  Clients get results, and we get referrals.  We often come across as aloof, and only interested in talking to clients or perspective clients.  More clients means more money.  Many trainers have a small mortgage in student loans, and most make slightly less than the average waiter.

I can give you a workout that will break you down.  It is my job to find your limits and push you to them, and I’m VERY good at that job. But WHAT you do and HOW you move always have, and always will, flow out of WHY you move.  (Listen up because I’m about to tell you WHY I do WHAT I do) Physical movement is a primary way we learn about, interact with, and define the world and ourselves.  We move to work, correct, achieve, express, play, compete, grow, and transcend.  Because of THIS truth, I recommend a physical discipline to every person I meet.  Sure, I’d love to have more clients and
make more money; we all would.  But whether you are paying for my knowledge and experience or not, YOU need SOMETHING, and that will grow from YOUR WHY.  


It makes no difference to me if it is cycling, singing, Tae Bo, Zumba, running, or ping-pong.  I can lay out a plan of progressive movement to get you the result you want. I can dangle incentives before you.  I can use all forms of coercion to compel you to move, but all of that is just wasted effort on my part if you cannot tell me WHY you are here.  It is not enough to have a goal.  A picture in your head of something you want to HAVE, DO, or BE is not enough.  You need to know WHY you care; it is the one mystery that only YOU can solve.