From Me to You...The LOVE of Fitness and what it can Offer
If I could bottle up the feeling of running on this gorgeous, crisp spring day and share it with you, I would. Actually, I believe the “runners high” we often hear about can be achieved through any physical activity. Personally, I have felt that feeling – the rush, the chills, the amazing “I have to do this again” feeling you get when working out. If you’re not getting the workout high, I invite you to experiment with some other methods of exercise to find it.
The endorphins running through your body are healthy and keep you wanting to come back for more. Do you feel mental clarity with your workouts? I’m able to work through many obstacles in my mind, reflect on things that may be troubling me, and really get traction on what do to about them.
Sometimes workouts are great for reconnecting with our bodies, feeling all the sensations, and working on mindfulness. Other times, workouts are a great stress reducer. You can allow your thoughts to work themselves out in your mind and engage in trouble shooting, all the more reason to set an intention at the beginning of your workout. Perhaps you can ask yourself how you want to lead your workout, what you want to accomplish, or how you want your body to feel. Reminding yourself of your goals may be helpful in setting a direction for yourself. Remember, your mind-body connection is powerful so use it to your advantage.
Many people say they have a love-hate relationship with running. There is no hate in my love for running. Anyone who knows me knows that. For that matter, there’s no hate in my love for fitness. For goodness sake, I named my business For the Love of Fitness. I get fired up in the best way about fitness and all things health and fitness, and that’s a good thing. Imagine a trainer or instructor who isn’t excited about your fitness - no thanks.
Sure, I can be an intense trainer. This fact has been kindly shared with me. It’s who I am. When I work with a client, I am authentically me, and if that’s intense, it’s because I always do my best to ensure my clients can achieve their best. And I always give 100%. I talk to my clients often about giving their best and that their best changes moment to moment, day to day, and is fluid.
The idea I promote is to work with what you have and give your best based on how you feel that day. In that way, you’ll never have to wrangle with guilt, shame or judgment. Knowing you did your best is always enough, and it will always be enough. Accepting where you are and doing your best is where it’s at, people. So, before your next workout, take an inventory of how you feel, and give it your best based on that. Then be done with it. You did your best and that represents your 100%.
In the not too distant past, I had two separate people, on two different occasions, tell me to do less than 100%. Well, these were times I was quite reactionary. I don’t do less. I do more. Clients of mine know one of my Doris’isms is, “Why do less when you can do more?” Now that doesn’t apply to everything, but it applies to me. I don’t do short cuts or “wing” things. One individual suggested I do 80%. My face got hot, and I can’t quite remember what happened next, but I do recall revisiting that conversation with that person and kindly suggesting to them not to suggest that I do less than 100% because it’s all I know and do. I believe when you work, you go all in.
Recently, one of my mentors, described me as an “all in” trainer. Well, he’s right. I am all in with my clients. My clients are not business transactions, they don’t represent money or a pay cheque to me, or another hour on my invoice. Clients aren’t even clients to me. They are people with hearts, souls, and lives with priorities. We develop relationships. I support, encourage, cheer, lead, guide, provide tools and resources, inspire (hopefully), follow up, keep them accountable (by request), and believe in them. I work hard for them. I do everything I can to ensure I set them up for success. I want the best for them, and I care about them.
Being a small business owner, I made the decision some time ago to work a reduced number of hours for a couple of reasons. If you’re interested in knowing what these are, feel free to ask me anytime you have five minutes. I will gladly share with you. Working part-time as a personal trainer, Yoga and Pilates instructor, and freelance writer for Optimyz magazine is the right career path for me. It has taken me many years to find the right combination but I have it now. I have some exciting plans for my future that will evolve over time through professional development.
The combination of people I am blessed to work for, and with, is incredible. Folks, I can honestly say I am working with amazing individuals, kind souls, good-hearted people, and people who are good to others. My purpose is getting clearer and clearer, and as I carve out and streamline my path, I am learning and growing personally and professionally. I feel so lucky to have you on the ride with me. I even have a unicorn along for the ride (you know who you are).
My clients give so much back to me. They are such a light. They show me silver linings, teach me life lessons, and are always making me laugh so hard I cry. We have fun in our sessions. I am so proud of my clients. They work really hard, and I’m not an easy trainer. I push or some might say “nudge.”
Goal setting is a big part of my clients’ sessions, and I regularly follow up with them. I also use other strategies to keep my clients on track and their sessions, effective. They are always up for the challenges I present, trying new things, listening to one of my crazy stories or rants. I appreciate that they listen because there’s always a lesson I’m trying to share with them. Sometimes I’m just trying to distract them from their muscles burning (I can be sneaky like that.).
Helping others reach their fitness goals and offering fitness services and information is what I’m meant to do. I feel it in my heart and in my bones. I hope my clients feel the passion I have because it’s in me to give. I also know that helping others requires energy, time and effort.
Self-care is important on this path. I make a point to focus on taking care of myself so I can always be ready to help others, lift them up, take care of them, and be there for them.
Fitness has been a powerful healing strategy for me over the years. I believe strongly that there is healing to be had through working out. When we are using our bodies, we release energy and invite energy. Our thoughts can create emotions, and feelings will come up during our workouts. Many times during my own workouts, I’ve had heavy emotions come to the surface, emotions I didn’t even know were inside. I have cried in spin classes, while running, in a yoga class, during physiotherapy treatment, in my home gym, and while on the stepmill.
Everyone has their struggles, whether it be in their past or right now. Fitness can help you through adversity. It can offer you healing space. It allows you to center your mind and thoughts, gives you time to focus on that one thing you need to work though, and lets you reflect on and ask the hard questions. Sometimes we simply need to allow the body to alleviate stress. That in itself can be very healing, to release that high stress feeling and, in a sense, “leave it all on the gym floor.”
You can also receive the power of healing through fitness by engaging in a mindful workout: being aware of all your bodily sensations, tuning in to your presence from head to toe, feeling all the muscles working and contracting, observing your breath, and feeling grounded in your feet - having the focus on your body, and the feelings of your body, rather than on the repetitions, sets and weight. It’s a mind shift that may help bring about a new path that invites the healing you need. In my experience, fitness has been a large part of my healing path, and I hope you can experience that too.
Times are interesting. There are days where life is so beautiful, but we can also see the world from a different lens. We are living in a world that can be lonely, scary, sick and exhausting. It’s time we take care of ourselves, help each other, support one another, and simply be kind. Live life to the fullest, breathe it all in, exhale the doubt, pause and feel the sun on your skin, listen to the stillness, get lost in a book, save the animals, eat the cheesecake, walk the dog the extra block, sleep in, cherish the time you have with your loved ones, protect the earth, and give back when you can.
Congratulations if you’re still reading this! You win the prize for being the person to read the most long-winded post ever! 😊 If you would like to talk to me about anything regarding this post, please know I would like to talk to you about it. It’s been shared with me that I appear to be a private person. I would like to share with you that I am not. I’m more like an open book. You can ask me almost anything and I’m happy to share. There are a few things, of course, I keep private out of respect for other people and for confidentiality purposes, but please ask your questions and I will share what I can. I want to help.