A day in the life of ….
So a lot of people ask what I do day to day between clients and as part of my job. So here is an insight into what I get up to in between putting my PT clients through their paces and the hands on sports massage work. This will hopefully also show that we (PTs) are human and have the same challenges as everyone else such as cravings, energy slumps and work-life balance.
This is a snap shot of no particular day:
In a day I could do anything from say 4 hours of contact time to 10 hours (averaging 6-7 hours a day) plus any admin work required. This could be spread over the day between 6 am to 9pm but is totally dependent on the day, my clients and what works best for them and fits with my own schedule. Normally it would build up of 2/3 Pt and 1/3 massage.
Wake up: 5-6am an hour before my first session and wake myself up with a coffee pre work. I need to make sure I am awake for my first clients.
Prepare my food for the day which would look something like:
Breakfast is normally consisting of jumbo rolled oats, whole milk, dried apricots, and milled linseed, sunflower seeds, chia seeds & goji berries.
Lunch: is normally salad (nice mix of green leaves with tuna/chicken, seeds, tomatoes, feta/cottage cheese and maybe another veg like peppers/carrot) or a soup low in salt and sugars.
If I have time I will quickly sit down to respond to email, complete more planning for sessions for the day that weren’t done the day before and make sure no clashes and diary is all in order for the next day.
A short 10 min walk to work and unlock the gym, set up the massage room or gym for the day’s clients.
Pre work PT: Kick start the day with 2-4 hours of Pt pre 11 am for the clients before their days work to inspire and push them. This is my favourite part of the day as people have energy and are leaving the gym feeling ready to tackle the day. Reinforcing given advice and providing guidance is one of the things I do the most often. Making sure people are doing their stretches/exercises or questioning and revising their lifestyles. Posing questions to people in why they are or aren’t doing certain things. From there hopefully people will find the intrinsic motivation and the purpose behind the choices of doing more activity, stretching, or defined bed times with time away from their screens prior to bed.
Breakfast: between 8.30-10am depending on gaps and sessions and my second and final coffee for the day unless it’s going to be a long one! This is another opportunity to make notes, email or text clients regarding the session we have just had.
My own Training: If there is time get outside for a run, swim and bike now the weather is getting better. I normally leave any long endurance work (bike or run) until the weekends as coming back in for the afternoon/eve after this is hard if more than 1-2 hours. I feel amazing for an hour or two and then want to sleep. It’s really good to get out of the gym environment during the day. Resistance work normally consists of 15-30 minute short sharp sessions 2-4 times a week. At the moment this is lacking behind so I know my own areas to improve on. I do yoga once a week as well as volleyball (Monday eve 8-10pm) and touch rugby wed eve (7-9pm) and maybe the odd game of squash if I can fit it in with work.
Late morning/ lunch time PT/ Massage: This can be a busy time for people trying to fit a session in on their lunch breaks. As I offer an off peak massage between 11.30am-2.30pm its normally busy with this. This can be again another 2-4 hours of work depending.
Lunch: Whenever I have time to eat it from 12-3pm ish. If there isn’t time or I don’t have anything prepared I will default to my snacks of: Boiled eggs, fruit (apple, orange, banana) or tin of tuna or carrot sticks and spicy hummus. Emergency lunch: wholemeal bagel toasted and cottage cheese or mackerel fillets in spicy tomato sauce and wholegrain microwave rice.
Post work PT / Massage (3-9 pm): This is the hardest time of day for myself, as most I get a slump in energy and fatigue. I try to combat this with doing one or all 3 of these: a short exercise session, shower or food’ to perk me up. Then the post work clients come in for sessions and massage. It is so noticeable, for some, that exercise is a cathartic way to relieve stress and to deal with the work / life stressors. It is great in seeing clients that start off not overly engaging in exercise, for various reasons, to wanting to come and really missing it if unable to get their session done. This is a really rewarding part of the job as you see people grow into different people with a healthier lifestyle. On the flip side, if I have a client I see twice a week (say tues and thurs) you can tangibly see the difference in energy, draining away from the effects of work/ stress that week.
Planning/admin: this is will fit in with the odd gaps I may have in the day, if I have cancellations that I can’t fill. All of the things from planning sessions, researching new exercises or preparing advice for specific populations/conditions such as kyphosis, Parkinson’s or rehabilitation related conditions. It could be used maintaining online presence, updating Facebook, twitter or my website; keeping on top of my book work/finances and the odd day off keeping up with courses (like a myofascial release course in Oct).
Dinner: This is normally totally dependent on how busy my evening is and also whether I have time to cook before work starting at 6pm or whether I have time after work to cook so I am not eating too late (7.30pm). Otherwise it is normally grabbing something that is prepared from a big cook on the weekend or super simple to eat between clients or on the run (like switching my cooked dinner with my salad/soup lunch).
My Time: This is more often than not at the end of the day but could also be in gaps mid-morning, lunch or mid-afternoon. If it’s in the day I try to switch off by using my time for training, food shopping, general life admin or if it’s the evening it will be to cook, exercise (sports) or a total escape via TV, reading or socialising before getting to sleep between 10-11pm. As most it’s always a battle between getting a good work life balance and some weeks you get it right, others you don’t but it’s constantly trying to improve it and changing things. If you don’t give it a go you will never know.
If you are interested in personal training or massage then give me a call on 07890632948 to arrange a consultation/ treatment.