Sunday, June 1, 2014

Why do I high Five my Boot Camp participants?

I am a Personal Trainer!!

I say this with pride because it’s a fulfilling career that I absolutely love and a career that I take very seriously! However, in addition to personal training sessions I also instruct various group classes. These group classes are the inspiration for this blog.

Six months ago I instructed my very first group exercise session. My first assigned class was “Boot Camp” and I think, and hope, that at the conclusion of the class I made an immediate and lasting impression!

Why do I say that? Well, because immediately following my very first “Boot Camp”, I spontaneously, impetuously and enthusiastically ran around the studio like a crazy man and forcefully “high fived” every single participant!! Even though every last exhausted person appeared to be more than a little befuddled, shocked and surprised, they happily returned the sentiment with a reciprocating hand held high! To this day I’m truly not exactly sure why I did it…it just felt right at the time. Since that day I have literally run hundreds of classes and since that day I have finished each and every class exactly the same way. On top of that, I have also taken it upon myself to commit to memory the first name of each and every single participant taking my classes…EVERY CLASS! And now I end each class exactly the same way…I address every person by their first name, along with a congratulatory “GREAT JOB”, as I collect my “high fives”. As a side note I am the only trainer at our club to do so, and am specifically known for doing this. I do not point this out for any other reason other than to comment on the fact that this feels right and works for me personally. So I decided to give this some thought….

Why do I “high five” every single participant in my Boot Camps? It’s very simple…it’s not out of a sense of obligation…it’s not because it’s a habit…it’s not because it’s a gimmick…it’s because THEY FUCKING DESERVE IT!!!!

Here’s the thing; I literally have people of every single level of fitness taking my classes; from the extraordinarily fit  (people who could give “Pro” athletes a run for their money) to the first timers (people who have never ever set foot in a gym but want to change and effect their lives in a positive manner).  The truth of the matter is this…I am equally inspired, and impressed, by somebody who does 2 “off the knee” push ups during 45 second piece as I am by somebody who blasts out 47 plyo push ups during the same 45 second piece!  BOTH have given 100% effort and BOTH have done this because I have instructed them to do so. This is a simple fact that I do not take lightly and a fact that I chose to make personal! They have put their goals and aspirations in MY hands!! They have entrusted me to help them progress!! It makes me emotional and I feel I owe it to them to bring my best!!

This is MY simple truth….people WANT to get in shape!! All you have to do is take a quick look around!  We live in the day and age of “Big Box” gyms, “before and after” infomercials, the “Biggest Loser”, paleo diets, low carb diets, fat blocking pills, detox recipes, 30 day challenges, workout DVD’s, Bowflex, Total Gym, Crossfit, Yoga, Pilates, Spin; ad nauseam…fitness is a business and the business of fitness is up for grabs! So the way I see it is, these people have made a CONCIOUS decision, to put the responsibility of helping them to get fit directly in my hands by signing up to train with me. Not only am I thankful but I goddam well take that responsibility VERY seriously!! In the simplest terms, getting healthy and fit is a personal choice! How an individual allocates their finances to get healthy and fit is also a choice. So, if somebody choses to train with me, then I will give EVERYTHING I have for 45 minutes and I promise you WILL remember those 45 minutes!!

So, if you ever decide to participate in one of my “Boot Camps”, or if we’re ever together for a personal training session, you can expect a “HIGH FIVE (insert name here)!!”

This is simply my way of PERSONALLY thanking you for choosing me!!

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Bluenose Marathon...My first 10K

Well, that JUST happened!! On Sunday, May 18th I completed my very first 10K at the Bluenose Marathon in Halifax, NS. I have several takeaways from the experience that I would like to share.

First of all, running for me has always been a means to an end. I have never EVER really enjoyed it and I've resigned myself to the fact that I will never be one who develops a passion for running and participating/competing in events. That being said, this is simply my personal feeling and I know that I am in a very small minority :) However, going into this event I had set one basic goal for myself. Having never run for more than 7km straight, I decided my end game was to run the entire 10K route without stopping once. For me this was a formidable challenge as there were several long hills to traverse…and 10K is damn long haul :) So I plugged in to my IPod, turned on my ITunes playlist and started forward. I can't say that it was easy because assuredly it was not, but the constant support of the people lining the entire route was amazing!! I actually felt great for the first 8km and knowing that the finish line was steadily approaching kept me plodding forward until I finally crossed the line in 66 minutes. I will admit that I DID pump my fist and smile while crossing the line!

Now, I simply must acknowledge that the atmosphere provided by these events is wonderfully motivating and uplifting!! Being part of a group of thousands of competitive and recreational runners as we weaved our way through the streets of downtown Halifax, over the bridge that links Halifax to Dartmouth and back, was truly a remarkable experience! The entire route was lined with spectators and supporters constantly cheering and encouraging every single participant. There were representatives from both genders as well as every age and level of fitness and for that one event, we were ALL part of one massive community of like minded individuals! To that end I can honestly recommend to anybody who has EVER considered entering a 2k, 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathon or full marathon to PLEASE do yourself a favor and GO FOR IT!!! The completion of the event is only the icing on the cake…it's the training, the focus, the anticipation, the pride and the dedication to your goal that will literally impact your life in SUCH a positive way! To that end I encourage ANYBODY who has ever thought about this to JUST DO IT!! Put on some running shoes, and just get started!!

Finally, as I now proceed with my main goals I can honestly say that I WILL absolutely plan to participate in this event again next year and now that I now what to expect, I will make a specific goal based on time! For now, running will remain a part of my training regime but in a reduced capacity. So in conclusion, if you've actually read this blog and have made it this far…thank you! I'm going to keep working on my blogging skills and hope to inspire and inform. Stay healthy!!!


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Well folks, this is my first foray into the world of online blogging. Admittedly I am somewhat apprehensive as it relates to expanding my horizons via technological outreach. I only recently started using Twitter and that was a massively uncomfortable undertaking that caused more than it's share of arguments. And even setting up "Blogspot" today raised my blood pressure slightly…you see, I am also a curmudgeon at times and as such I am resistant to change :)

However, I also recognize that we live in an era of "Social Media" and electronic outreach is massive and expansive. Therefore, if one has a message to deliver, the simplest and most convenient form of communication is social media. 

I intend to be purposely brief today as it is my first "blog" and I will go through many changes, adjustments and tweaks as I (hopefully) get better at this. I already have a list of, what I feel are, interesting blog topics and I very much look forward to being able to expand on the topics I discuss on Facebook and Twitter. 

At the risk of sounding immodest, I understand and appreciate that much of what I am currently doing "on-line" is helpful to many people in various ways. I am exceptionally proud of how far I have come, and although it is only the first step, I love the fact that so many people have responded so positively to my numerous and frequent posts. Again, I do not want to come across as arrogant in saying this, but I feel almost a sense of responsibility to continue forth with sharing my journey publicly as it  DOES help and inspire so many. I, myself, looked to my fitness mentors and role models for constant motivation and assurance and I am grateful for every single post, tweet, tag, share that I saw….because it kept me moving forward with passion and direction! As most of my friends and followers know, I can not only sympathize with those who are beginning, restarting or constantly moving forward in their fitness journeys…but I can EMPATHIZE. You see, I was "starting a journey" less than a year ago. My intent is to help build a community of friends who are like minded in their goals and aspirations using various mediums. I'm looking for all stages of fitness journey and input from  everybody. Because whether or not it's apparent or believable, I too am inspired and motivated by anybody who is passionate about getting healthy regardless of what stage you are in currently!! I am looking for all stages of contribution.

Future topics will range from serious, to instructional to downright comical. But I hope to always be entertaining. So please feel free to add me on "Facebook" and "Twitter" and by all means, please reach out and share stories, pictures, recipes, ideas and even constructive comments. 

Thank you….I'm glad you have joined me on my first step into the blogging community! :)