Identity, Celebrity, and Why It's Good to Be the Help

Why I am NOT a celebrity trainer.

By , Columnist

As many of you know, hubby and I are preparing for yet another major life change as we move from the tiny resort island of Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos to the very big island of Manhattan. Where were we before TCI? On the Main Line of Philadelphia, living a life that we created but realized that we didn't want.

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I turn 45 in less than a month and started to think back to where I thought I would be and what I thought I would be doing at this point in my life.

Generally, I knew I would be teaching something (since I do that well) and hoped to be in a major metropolitan area. Oh, and I was sure to have cats.

Just typing this is funny, because life turns out so differently.

Now I find that while I have general ideas about likes and dislikes, I have stopped major planning beyond how much money I want to live well on and where I want to live. And I am always open to changes in those depending on situation. Living well in NYC costs more than living well at Parrot Cay.

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In the course of this move I have had to do lots of introductions and lots of profile changes. Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, professional forums, directories, and bio boxes are everywhere and they all need updating.

This is causing a small crisis as I attempt to redefine myself. Who am I?

I am a Pilates teacher, a fitness trainer, a writer, a mom and grandmom; I am a gourmand who loves pizza and Five Guys burgers, and a clean freak who hates to actually clean. I am actively and openly Jewish, I appreciate Buddhism, and I cannot stand religious zealots of any kind (even though I believe in something unidentifiable, I lean towards atheism); and once a philosopher always a philosopher, as I spent over a decade of my life teaching and studying western philosophy.

I love to stay up late and sleep late, now love dogs as much as cats, identify as a liberal, and truly believe that we are witnessing what Plato meant in The Republic when he said that democracy would devolve into rule by the lowest common denominator.

Oh, and I am a Usui Reiki Master teacher who practices energy channeling even though I am not sure what it is that I am doing (I do it because Reiki actually works).

So who does this make me?

Titles bother me. I hate the phrase "celebrity trainer" even though I do train plenty of celebrities. I don't like the phrase "reiki master healer" even though people do feel and sleep better with my reiki treatments and my students all successfully practice reiki on themselves and others.

I actually like the phrase "service worker." I like being the help. I am lucky enough to choose to live my life and earn my living in service to others (and hopefully myself as well). Never denigrate service workers — all of us behind the scenes people who keep people and places going.

You like a clean subway seat? Thank the people cleaning. You like having dinner served on clean plates at a restaurant? Thank the dishwasher before you thank the chef. Had a great workout? Thank the trainer.

When did chefs, personal trainers, and hair stylists become celebrities? If you get paid to provide a service, whether it's deciding what's for dinner and cooking food for your customers, cutting and styling someone's hair, or helping someone look and feel great, you are the help. You are in service.

My name is Lynda Lippin, and I am the help.

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NYC resident Lynda Lippin is a world-renowned Pilates, Fitness, and Reiki instructor with nearly 25 years of experience. She is also an accomplished writer and a former Philosophy professor. In her Featured Column, Lynda will lead you on a path towards Fitness Sanity. Got Questions? Want Lynda to checkā€¦

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