I was training myself when I asked Martin if he needed the incline bench. He did not seem to understand me, so I repeated my question.
He signaled to me that he is deaf and we started talking. Since I grew up with a deaf sister, I am fluent in German sign language. Martin seemed visibly happy about this coincidence, as well as me!
This scenario is now over 2 years ago and Martin has been a loyal customer of Get Shaped Personal Training ever since. He is incredibly motivated and we have achieved many sporting goals together and built a very good relationship with each other.
Of course, training with Martin and other deaf customers is something special. It gives me a lot of fun to convey my knowledge in DGS (German sign language), partly because I know that there are hardly any opportunities for my deaf clients to work together with a personal trainer, and secondly because it helps me improving my language skills.
Of course, everyone is different, but I think you can say that the deaf are mostly more alive in their being than the hearers, or they express their feelings more through facial expressions and gestures. This is a very refreshing change for me and despite the strenuous training; there is always a lot to laugh about.
Although I knew that there are hardly any personal trainers who speak German sign language, it has never been one of my goals to create a niche market. Just by chance meeting with Martin and his recommendation, this market has developed practically by itself, and I'm very happy about that!
Most people already know me in the gym by now and are no longer surprised when I give personal training in DGS, but every now and then a few trainers seem to take a longer sentence break to watch interested.
In these moments, I am always aware of how few listeners actually have to do with the deaf, which is in principle not surprising, but for me, since I grew up with DGS but amazing every now and then.
I’m especially very happy that this barrier does not exist for me and that my deaf customers can improve from professional personal training, understand the background of the training and feel well looked after during training.
Precisely because I know how difficult it is for deaf people to run club sports, participate in sports courses or get answers from the trainer in the studio.
I am looking forward to be able to look after more deaf customers in the future and I look forward to every new contact. Many thanks to my deaf customer for all the successful training lessons we have done. I'm looking forward to many more!