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Claire Jones, paralegal at Minster Law, shares how different aspects of being a paralegal and personal trainer can assist in each role and in personal life

Recently, after years of weight training in the gym, I decided to study to gain my Level 3 personal training qualification alongside my job as a paralegal. When I started in my role, I found that even though the two subjects are so different, the skills and the knowledge that I have gained from my personal training qualification have had a great impact on the work that I do on a day-to-day basis as a paralegal and vice versa.

After having previously worked in the Fast Track department, many of the injuries that I started to see in Multi Track were far greater then those that I was familiar with. The physiology and anatomy module within my personal training course allowed me to identify, and understand, the more complex injuries and what impact these could have long term on our clients.

As cases progress, I see different recommendations for physiotherapy and sometimes personal trainers which could help our clients return, as much as possible, to their way of life as they were prior to their accident.

It helps me have a greater understanding of the importance for this rehabilitation process as exercise is a fantastic way of strengthening the bones and muscles. It also allows me to appreciate how difficult it must be for some of my clients going through this process, as I know from a personal level how difficult some of the exercises can be even for somebody who is not injured. Talking to our clients on a regular basis gives me a better understanding of this especially as clients with similar injuries will recover at different speeds. This led me to think about my personal training and how no two people are the same so what may be suitable for one person may not suit another. This highlights the importance of personalising training and rehabilitation plans to the individual.

Recently, I sustained a foot injury and found it very frustrating, both physically and mentally, not being able to do the things that I was previously able to do with ease. This made me think about my role as a paralegal and how speaking with our clients how much their lives have changed because of their injuries. Even sustaining a far less significant injury myself, I know what impact it had on me, so I could only begin to imagine the struggle and the journey that our clients face. My experience with personal training and fitness helped greatly with my own recovery process.

Not only does fitness help physically but it is also great for the mindset too. Working in a role such as this, having those two different aspects of my life are fantastic so if I am finding my work challenging, I exercise to release the stress and anxiety, which then gives me a clear mindset to go into work the following day.

Ultimately, I would never have expected the two main and very different subjects in my life to work so well alongside each other and to have had such a benefit on my personal life also!