This little photo session has been a few months in the making.
I met Marie at an April Natural Bodybuilding competition in Cobourg, promoted by my friend Winston. She was there both as a volunteer and as a coach helping her clients. Marie was preparing to take the stage at the Provincial Championships, at the Toronto Pro Supershow, at the end of May.
She seemed full of life, radiating energy, and blissful excitement. Not every coach and trainer have this energy. I have met a few of them, and the odd one even manages to be sour. With Marie, one got the impression that somehow, she was the one presenting her physique on stage that day.
After having a chance to spend some time with her yesterday, I am even more convinced that she is an amazing coach. She is wonderful at what she does because she puts her heart and soul into every competition. She walks the walk.
She derives so much joy from the success of others and is very tough on you, so that you can experience that joy yourself.
They were calling for rain.
We originally set our meeting time for noon, but we reconsidered and thought it would be best to meet a little earlier. We met at nine instead, despite the fact that the powers that be were prognosticating rain.
Strangely, the rain never came.
We must have brought our own sunshine. Safely secured behind the brilliant gray rain clouds.
I won’t discuss the naïve and innocent church group that gathered at the park that morning, but take consolation in the fact that there was very little collateral damage.
The photo session was wonderful.
Marie is a beautiful person. A very strong and a humorous woman. A determined and passionate athlete.
While we walked, and worked, we also took the time to tell some stories.
I love stories.
My favourite story was about Marie’s client who had recently lost 65 pounds, yet she continued to speak and act as though she had made very little progress. She could not see the changes in herself. Her new body was so new to her, that she had forgotten to unwrap it. She did not derive any joy in her new gift. She forgot to dump the old self to the curb.
Marie convinced her to do a photo session with a talented local photographer. After some coaxing and convincing, she dutifully followed her coach. She got all dolled up and insecurely stepped on stage and timidly, began to strike poses that showed of her new physique.
Midway through the session, Marie sensed that her client was still not excited. She still held on to her old beliefs and visions, and continued to shy away from the camera.
She brought her over to the photographer’s laptop which was very close by, and together they showed her what she looked like in front of the camera.
“Is that really me?”, she asked, tears welling up in her eyes. “Yes”, was the enthusiastic response. “Now go out there and strut your stuff the way you were always meant to be”.
If we had more time, we could have spent the whole day chatting about life, fitness, and, the craziness of competitions.
Unfortunately, we were short on time, but we do have some amazing photographs to look back on. I present them to you for your enjoyment.
And if you need to get in shape, I highly recommend Marie.
Sometimes nature cooperates. This is the most genuine smile I have seen on a client in a long time. A little unexpected splash of cold water goes a long way. Marie is a great actress, because it is hard to imagine it is only +12C outside.
It is always important to leave your client leaving the session in fits of laughter. Not at your skill set of course.