Friday, January 15, 2016

Exercise. An addiction?

      I see and hear a lot of things being in the health and fitness industry that rub me the wrong way. I could go on for some time about it all, but I won't. Not today. Today, I want to talk about something that I've heard quite a bit. Which is, that exercise is or can become an addiction.
      Here's why this idea or phrase bugs me. The word addiction connotes something negative or harmful. In fact, the definition of the word Addiction in the dictionary states
 'the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma'
      Go ahead and read that definition again.
Why would anyone think that being addicted to exercise is a good thing somehow?
I'm 100% for regular exercise, and I'm 100% sure that when we make exercise part of our daily routines, we feel good. But, addiction? No.
      This is simply another unhealthy way of looking at things that are healthy and that make us feel good. How about we take that word out of the vernacular when speaking about healthy life choices, and instead we simply do what makes us feel good without the need to put any labels on it.
      I enjoy exercise a lot and yes, I notice when I go too long without a good workout but it certainly does not cause me trauma. And I am by no means enslaved to it.
      Please do not get sucked into things like this. The other thing about it that irks me is that people are loosely using a word that is in fact a serious struggle for many, many people. If you have never truly known the effects of addiction, than saying you are addicted to exercise is insulting and insensitive. The least you could do is know the meaning of the words that you use, and choose your words more wisely.
      Here are a few different words and phrases that could be used instead. 'Exercise incites me to exercise more'. 'I'm impelled to exercise regularly because it makes me feel so great'. 'Exercise influences and inspires me to press ever onward'. 'Exercise is my driving force'. None of these make me cringe.
If you are truly addicted to exercise, I urge you to please seek out help. Because addiction is not a positive thing. Exercise should illicit positive, healthy life choices and habits that only make us better, stronger human beings. Leave it at that.

        Movement. Mindset. Mastery

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Movement. Mindset. Mastery

      I'm adopting these words to describe my approach. Why? Because, you can't master any movement without a healthy dynamic mindset.
      What most of us don't realize is how immensely powerful our minds are. Without knowing it, most of the things that we do everyday are influenced by some external force. Our experiences, our environments, our belief systems, our language. How many of these things for you create a stressful approach to your day? For example: You know you have a presentation at work that is due. You've been up all night thinking on how it'll go, surmising all the while that no one will like it and you'll get fired. You wake already stressed, you go into the meeting stressed, and sure enough it goes bad. You knew it. Now, what if you were able to change that outcome simply by changing the expectation of disaster. You can!
      By accepting that our expectations and beliefs are just stories that we re-hash in our minds, mostly because of past experiences, then becoming aware of our self talk or scenario spiraling, we can change the story. We can change the expectations, and we can change the outcomes.
      When I talk to my athletes about this, it's usually in relation to fitness. Especially movement. We all think that we move well. But, do we? Most of us have simply become conditioned to just move. In other words, most of us are not aware at all of our movement patterns, or when we've developed disfunction. We all have in some way, usually it's due to injury or surgery, but it can also be due to lack of movement or simply never having paid any attention before.
      None of those things are bad. But, they can have an impact on longevity. Big time.
      So, we must re-learn how to move well. Anyone can lift a lot of weight and have big muscles, but wouldn't you rather lift heavy weights or have big muscles AND be able to move really well. I know I would. The first step is awareness, just like with our mindsets. Study your body and how it moves, how it feels, what it looks like in a movement, then you can start to become the master of your life.
It takes practice. All of it takes practice. Every day.
      If you want to know more on how to do this, let me know.
                                                                              Movement. Mindset. Mastery

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Change......inevitable, scary or necessary?

      I say change is necessary.
     But, it's also scary and inevitable. It can be avoided if you're the kind of person that is complacent to mediocrity. 

     I recently got hired to train at in Oakland. Since I started personal training, I've been working at a small place where I've felt quite alone. As I grow and learn and build my business, one thing that I've come to know is that I need support, I need guidance, I need a network of like-minded fitness professionals that will help me when I need help. 

     I didn't know how much I needed this until I started to feel that I had it from my network of supportive peers. So, the scary changes have to start taking shape. The questions have to start being asked and answered.

     What do I really want? Where are the resources to help find the things that I want? What kind of people do I want in my network? What kind of trainer and coach do I really want to be? 

     A bit of research, some phone calls made, some emails sent and the answers start to take shape. Changing something that isn't going the way you want can be scary, but is it worth it? Absolutely! Do I know if training at a new location will work out for me? No. But, life is all about change. It is inevitable, but how I treat changes and how I react to changes can make or break a happy, fulfilling life. If I'm too scared to try something new or take chances on new people or new environments, I know I'll be miserable. I'm not the settling kind of person. I'm not interested in being mediocre, so I have to change things up once in a while. 

     I choose to take chances and make changes and set myself up to learn more, to surround myself with people that are supportive and open to sharing knowledge and information, and to be successful.

     Don't avoid changes. Try. Try something new, take a chance and don't settle. You are worth it. Just as I am worth it. 

                                                    Movement. Mindset. Mastery

Thursday, August 6, 2015


      This site is about fitness. I try to write about that, to share my experiences with you as a trainer and coach and how the things that I've learned might help you along your own fitness journey in some way.
      Today, I'm not writing about fitness, I'm writing about Mindset. My mindset to be more specific. I want to share with you today things that I thought in the beginning of my fitness career that I would not share here. I wanted to keep this page professional (that has not happened, what the hell does professional mean anyway?) I wanted to talk about fitness and fitness related subjects. But, what does that matter anyway? I'm a personal trainer. 'Personal'. If I can't be personal, then what's the point?
      Personal is in my job title for Pete's sake . So, who am I?
      I'm a person on a journey. One that's been filled with turmoil, pain, hurt, distrust, anger and confusion. I'm a person that's flawed, a person that's been around the world, a person that's seen the bottom of the hole.
     But, let's fast forward to today.
     You don't need to hear any of that today, so I'm gonna skip that part and get to the part where I share my thoughts and feelings about today.  About right now. After all, today is the only thing that truly matters.
      Today, I am so many things that I've always been. I'm loud, I'm crass, I curse like a sailor and don't apologize for being me, I speak the truth and live with honesty and integrity. I do my best everyday to be respectful and kind to myself and people that I encounter. And, I expect no less from those around me. My standards are high and I have no intention to lower them.
      Today I am also better. Today my life is solely my own. Today my future is not so uncertain. My lifetime struggle with what my life 'was', is fading. My soul is freer today than it was yesterday. After years of living in a fog of uncertainty, a haze of doubt and making myself very comfortable behind a very thick wall, I am beginning to see clearer, to trust myself, to look within first for my answers, to slowly chip away at and eventually tear down my wall. Today, I can do that.
      I've managed to get to today because of one simple thing that I did a handful of years ago. I chose to put me first. To put my own well being, happiness and success at the top of my priority list. The moment I made that choice, said it out loud and sought out the help that I needed was the moment the fog began to clear. I put myself first for the first time in my life. Since that choice was made, and the hard work began on learning who I was and who I wanted to be, my life has changed. I chose to distance myself from toxic relationships, I chose to pursue a career that I was interested in. I chose, and continue to choose to put me first because I started to believe that I do actually matter and that I am allowed to put myself first.
      Changing and shifting my mindset is a work in progress and it will always be, but today I woke with a sense of optimism, with a light step and with an open mind. Today I feel like anything is possible for me, truly. It's super scary and I have no idea what tomorrow may bring, but today I know that if I keep choosing to be clear, to be honest, to be me, tomorrow will be fine.
I'm confident in saying that if I can find my way out of the hole, so can you.

                                                              Mindset Matters

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