Restorative vs invincible

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People enter a line of work for various reasons: a calling, a role model, an interest, economical circumstances etc. In my case, personal training was on my list of interests, but it didn’t take until I was severely injured with multiple herniated discs, nerve damage and the loss of mobility, strength and motor control and constant, excruciating pain before I explored training with this driving motivation. Restoration of the body was my “marketing focus”, my “niche” or differentiating element in the sea of available trainers at local gyms.

The “inciting incident”, as one would call it in a movie script, happened around late 1999, early 2000 and it didn’t take until early 2001 for me to begin the treatments that helped me recover slowly over 2 years (combo of bad advice and even worse finances). It was actually an accumulation of factors (car accidents, treating pain with more body-building workouts, quack chiropractor, landing on my neck multiple times through martial arts and gymnastic drills etc…)

But enough about me. Let’s generalize to everyone who’s involved in training, on the receiving or giving end. A body once injured is never the same (it can be better, but never the same).

I’ve heard from many of my peers that it’s a rare blessing when we find someone with no major injuries, setbacks, imbalances in our clientèle (but they exist!). A trainer who has experienced injuries, recovered from them and whose career spans at least a decade has a couple of lessons to share that might be useful and that can be replicated and adapted to a variety of bodies, needs and circumstances. Just like jazz music, it’s the combination of learned patterns that creates the tune.

Assessments and diagnostic tools, corrective and restorative exercises can be scientific with an artistic interpretation. Two medical doctors can vary in opinion and both heal someone through different methods. Two trainers knowledgeable in, for instance, the FMS, kettlebell training, Indian Clubs, therabands or the SmartFlex™ can use these ingredients differently to get you up and running.

It takes years of practicing, learning, tuning to find the most effective treatments that one could self-apply (to a point, beyond which one requires the services of others who are expert in their field). There’s no one solution for you, other than to educate yourself, learn and experiment (their education, your experience).

We trainers strive to get better and get you better, even if injuries may reappear once in a while. Some of us started broken (and kick butt now in ways we could never have without that blessing in disguise). Bruce Lee said “have no limitations as limitations”. He also experienced setbacks that led him to a smarter path. I believe if you know your limits, you can push past them. And yes, those limits can and will push back. That’s when you learn, and it’s your responsibility to share that with others!

I’m not saying you need to first get hurt to become invincible. But you can learn from any setback. Remember the definition of foolishness 😉


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