Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What does being strong mean?

      I think we all have our ideas of what being strong means. It could be physical strength, the ability to overcome adversity, or being brave enough to be yourself. Strength comes in many, many forms.
What does it mean to you? Have you thought about it?

      I have. And I'd like to share what I think it means to be strong.
First, I'm a personal trainer, so the physical aspect of strength is very important to me. Not only do I want to be physically strong, I want my clients to be strong as well. I encourage it and train in a manner in which they will achieve it. Still, what does that even mean? Physical strength will manifest also in many, many different ways. At the end of the day, all it really means to me is that we're capable of moving well, that we are able to perform our daily tasks and routines without pain or incurring injury. The icing on the cake when talking about physical strength is when we find ourselves doing things we didn't know we could do. For some it's being able to do pull ups, for others it's being able to lift very heavy weights.

      Outside of physical training, strength for me means simply to face the world everyday without fear, without limiting my actions. To do what I want for myself without feeling that it's not possible or that's it's unattainable for me. Facing my fears and learning from the experiences so that I can be a better person, a better coach and trainer, or a better friend.

      What does strength mean to you? Sometimes we don't recognize how strong we really are. As a strength coach and trainer, I see this from time to time. I also see when my clients begin to recognize their own strength and I get to see how it can empower them.
Physical strength is a great way to change perceptions and attitudes around other areas of our lives. Be strong, stay strong and thrive athletes!

                                                   Train Today to Move Tomorrow


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Movement Matters

      I talk a lot about movement and if you know me then you've heard me say things like "just get up and move" or "some movement is better than none".
      I speak like this with my clients because I don't believe for a second that in order to be healthy we must spend hours on end in a gym moving heavy weights around. Don't get me wrong, moving heavy weights around is hugely beneficial and if that's what you like to do, please do it as much as you want.
      But, it's not for everyone. As a fitness professional, I must know this above all else. No matter what I like to do with my own body and my own training, my clients and customers are not me. Together, we will discover what you like, what you can and will do regularly and proceed from there.

      The first step is just that, Steps. Moving more. Moving on the floor, or standing, walking, running whatever works. Just move more. Then we can begin to move Better. Moving better, in my opinion, simply means that you begin to understand how your own body moves and you begin to build strength from the inside out, and from the ground up to improve on your movements. You may want to include weight lifting exercises with this process and you may not want to. No matter what you like or want to do with your movement and strength building, it can happen and it can happen in countless ways.

I've said it before, becoming stronger, moving better and being more healthy does not need to be complicated. Our bodies are extremely complicated machines and all the information that is out there is also very complicated and can be very overwhelming and confusing.

I say, simply take one step at a time. Take the time to learn what you like and what works for your body, for your mind, for your overall well being and go with that.
      As a fitness professional and enthusiast, I am here to help you figure that out. Together we can find out what works for you, where you find the most joy. Health and fitness should never be a chore or an obligation. When we move well, we feel well and we'll be well. Who doesn't want to be well?
      So, get up and move. It's as simple as that.

                                             Train Today to Move Tomorrow

Thursday, April 30, 2015

To Coach or To Count

      All through the time that I've spent as a personal trainer, I've taken time to observe trends, to learn from other trainers, to work on finding my own style and my own methods of training and working with my clients.
      Something that I've been reading a lot about lately, it seems to be a trendy topic, is whether I as a trainer am a coach or just someone putting a client through a routine.
      This topic is important to me because I know the importance of coaching. I know that my clients, whether they know it or not, hire me to guide and coach them. If a person came to me wanting to just 'get a workout' I don't think that I would work with them.
      Coaching as the personal trainer takes much more than just putting a workout together for a client. I'm not talking about cheerleading, or being there simply for motivation, I'm talking about taking a client through what can often be a roller coaster of emotions when on a program designed to make long term changes. Guiding and teaching them along the way that are capable and strong.
      I cannot do that if all I do is count reps, or spend my time distracted by my phone.
      As a trainer and a coach, I have a responsibility to be present with my clients. All too often, I see trainers texting or doing whatever they're doing during a training session. I would like to ask these 'trainers' what makes you think you deserve that client's time, dedication and money? Our clients put much trust into us, the least we can do is give them our attention during their sessions.
      That's besides the point even though it's an embarrassing aspect of the fitness industry.
      The point is that we as trainers, I as a trainer, should hold ourselves to a higher standard. I choose to do this for myself and it pays off everyday when I can help a client feel better, when I can assuage their fears of trying something new or of simply returning to better function. That is my job as I see it. I am not just a trainer, I am a coach and I am a teacher and a source of support.

                                                    Train Today to Move Tomorrow

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mindset, Change, Opportunity, Growth, Progress

      These words have been spiraling around and through my thoughts a lot lately. I've been in the fitness business for about 6 years now and have been making steady upward progress the whole time. Not only professionally, but personally and intellectually and dare I say spiritually.
     What happens when we start to think outside the box? When we try different things that may be scary or intimidating? These are questions that I've never before tried to answer honestly.
      How can I progress and grow if I'm not ready or willing to step outside my comfort zone? How will I seize any opportunities if I'm too afraid to fail? How will I make changes if I don't try? I won't, that's a fact. I won't.

      In my recent efforts to learn how to lift heavy, I've experienced a few things that have caught me off guard a bit, and have put some of my thoughts on mindset and making changes into perspective. I know that I'm strong and capable when it comes to my workouts, but learning new skills and techniques for heavy lifting and power lifting has lead me to put my trust in another person as well as myself on a level that I've not before experienced. I went into this knowing what I was doing and I set my mind to accepting a new challenge. However, with each workout so far, I've had to re-set my Mindset. I've had to do this because each workout has brought on not only a new physical challenge, but more interestingly to me, a new mindset or emotional challenge that I've had to face, recognize, accept and learn from. I've found that what I don't know is a lot, and that in order for me to learn, I have to give it the time it deserves. This is going to take a lot more time than I anticipated. And, I believe that giving things time is way more worth it than trying to rush to the end.

      I never thought that I'd like this kind of weight lifting, but it's been fun and rewarding. I've never felt such fatigue or stress from a workout. I've never allowed someone else to coach me. I've never felt comfortable enough to allow someone else to coach and guide me.

     So, what's different now that I'm doing just that? Nothing except that I made a decision to try something new. Something that I knew I'd not be able to do without guidance. I've taken steps in my career slowly and with intention (mostly without guidance or help). As I learn more about myself, and what I can do, I'm also learning everyday how my actions and decisions can shape my future. The more I wander outside of my comfort zone, the less scary it becomes. The more I experience new things, the more I recognize that I can handle it, and more importantly that I can rely on and use others to help out from time to time.                                                                                                              
      My point to this is that we sometimes need to seek guidance to grow ourselves. Sometimes someone else's perspectives can help us to think on our own actions and decisions differently. And different is good. Broadening awareness in ourselves is good. It's not easy, but it's good. It's an ongoing process and for me, a welcome one. As I begin to choose to change my mindset more and more, I begin to notice changes in my outlook and perspective. I believe that this is the beginning of a growth both personally and professionally. I believe that my opportunities are endless my progress can be whatever I choose to make it. Right now, personally, I'm going to keep working on learning the new lifting skills. I expect that this new knowledge and skill set will and does correlate to other areas of knowledge and awareness!

                                                   Train Today to Move Tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Bit of Experimentation

So, for the next two months I'm committing myself to work on strength and muscle building in my workouts. I'm very comfortable with how I like to workout and train. I tend to stay well within my comfort zone and only push outside of it once in awhile. I recognize as a fitness professional that any muscle development that I want to see won't happen from my current routines.

      So, in an effort to stick with my commitment and to see it through, I've hired a trainer for the next two months. I will put my trust in him, the same way my athletes put their trust in me. I will do as I'm told to achieve my fitness goals and work outside my comfort zone during each workout.
      I'm good at creating workout programs for my athletes, but pretty terrible at it for myself. I don't particularly enjoy the more traditional weight lifting, hypertrophy training that I know works great for building muscles, adding strength gains and possibly reducing body fat percentages. So, I'm hoping that I will have success in following a program that isn't made up by me.
      Just like you, I need motivation and accountability to do this. I know I won't do it on my own, so I will allow my trainer to guide me. I want to know that I can achieve something that I've always felt to be somewhat of a barrier. Putting on muscle has always been an agonizingly slow process for me. I've given myself every excuse as to why it doesn't work for me from genetics to injuries. But, it's time to stop making excuses and try another way. For me, it's having someone else to guide me, to encourage me, to push me beyond my own perceived limitations and come what may, I will know that I stuck it out and completed it.
      Tomorrow will be the start and I'm nervous and excited to go into an area that is a bit intimidating, but I also know that I'm strong and capable of training hard and will commit to my trainer's programming without excuses.
      Here's to new adventures in 2015.

                                                      Train Today to Move Tomorrow

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Just about 1 more year.......

      And then I turn 40.
      I'm not one of those people that fears getting older or hates my birthdays, but as the years go by I find myself continuing to put off any real goal setting for my future.
      When I was younger, I truly did not believe that I would be around this long. So, I never really gave much thought to my future or what it could look like. When I turned 30 and I realized that I was still young, healthy, smart, capable and able to do whatever I wanted, I simply had no idea what that was. I had no idea, and still don't, how to set a plan into action. How to want something for myself and then go about getting it.
      Now, I've got my career of choice in place. I'm still young and healthy and I'm still capable of making any goals or dreams into realities. I still may not know what goals to set for myself and my future, but I do know that there's nothing in my way to achieving anything I want. Nothing.
      I know that once I do set a goal for my future, that it is possible. That it's never too late and I'm ready for my future.
      I hope you are too, athletes!

                                                              Train Today to Move Tomorrow

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A few thoughts as we end 2014 and start fresh in 2015

      A few years back, I decided to put myself first above all else. Selfish? Maybe, some may think so, I don't. And it was what I needed to do to become a better human being.
      I needed to invest the time and energy into sorting out my troubled soul and to find who I truly am. So, I dug my heals in, dug deep, uncovered many truths and faced them head on. One of the things that I needed to find was a career path that I would enjoy and thrive at.
      I had no idea what would come of this choice, I just knew that I had to do it. Now or never. I was at my rock bottom for sure.
      Fast forward to the present, I have learned so much and filtered through many foggy, confused memories and life experiences. I've found my work that I love and can freely say that I am far better off now than I was five years ago. I am by no means finished with this work, but it's been a good start to what will most likely be a long journey. One that I intend to continue to face head on and with relish.
     One thing that I didn't anticipate going into making such a change in my life was that I would lose support and openness from people that were friends. It's unbearably sad to know that in the time I took to better myself for myself, and for those around me, people that were in my life would vanish. Maybe those people were not the ones for me after all. I'm no less saddened by it.
      I have no regrets, however, and would do it all again if I needed to.
      My point in saying these things here is that the people in your life, your friends, your family, your loved ones should be able to show support and care through all life's ups and downs.
Admittedly, during my process I didn't go out as much, my schedule changed drastically so I no longer was around the usual scenes. Maybe it was just the old 'out of sight, out of mind' thing, I don't know. But that's besides the point. The point is that true friends don't turn tail and disappear when things change.
      I suppose those that are willing to stick it out with you are the ones that you know always will. The ones that don't, well in the end I guess they don't matter much anyway. I also know now, full well, that I'd prefer no friendships than ones that are dishonest. If you know me, you should know all of me. Not just the parts that are comfortable for you.
      I don't ever declare New Year's resolutions, but if I were to this year, it would be to continue on my path of being better. To keep moving forward with integrity and a sense of courage to do so. And, I will do it all alone if need be.
      I believe wholeheartedly that happiness and contentment starts with an ability to know yourself and like yourself. And, to put yourself first. Why not? You're worth it.
                                                          Train Today to Move Tomorrow