The Busy-ness of Freedom

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I woke up naturally today, around 6AM, despite having gone to bed past midnight. Feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, ideas brewing and accountability in check by writing each action item for today on top of the usual “Philippe” Schedule. It’s another Tuesday, with clients, the usual Action Fitness development and commitments, as well as SmartFlex™ promotion within the health and fitness industry. Despite a recently mentioned setback/flare up of my herniated discs in my cervical spine, the body feels surprisingly good, and that’s after a StrongFirst recertification this past Sunday.

The difference is I am home alone. My wife and two sons are visiting their grandparents and cousins in Minnesota. I get to operate at my rhythm, my speed (which isn’t slow, by the way, I still have to actively pursue relaxation), but I don’t feel the pressure, urge and juggling of a pre-schooler’s camps and activities with the entertaining of a baby while my wife and I have to swap, prioritizing the most important professional tasks. I miss my family and love them beyond anything you can imagine (uh oh, this sounds like a Southern “bless their hearts” disclaimer!), but this recharge is fantastic. Also necessary and unless you have kids, a spouse and everything else that can distract you from your well-mapped path, you’d be hard-pressed to truly sympathize. Seriously, you don’t know what you’re missing till it’s gone.

I am, for two weeks, a (loyal, committed) single guy with no one but myself to account for. I had a fantastic workout at home yesterday, got stuff done, got plenty more to do today, and the efficiency I have developed over the past few months at delivering the minimum effective dose to move the needle in a positive direction is paying off. I’m able to do 3 out of the 4 jobs I normally manage daily without the time-suck the most important one of them (parenting) attaches itself with, diminishing the attention dedicated to the others. I get to:

1) train clients without wondering what’s happening at home to my hard working wife.

2) train myself without putting restrictions of time, slotting myself like a client but with the need to frequently compromise certain aspects of training when I could do all modalities as others can embrace and practice.

3) develop aspects of the start-up without feeling the effects of the inevitable sacrifice of time, sleep, nutrition or more importantly, sanity.

Removing the parenting aspect of my life from a logistical standpoint is completely, utterly necessary. Every parent knows it. The mental reset is incredibly powerful. The metaphorical cortisol injections as described by a peer and role model, Dr Mark Cheng, are instantly gone, in remission like the diseases that starts with C. There’s a newfound sense of focus associated with the freedom I have.

Now, before anyone chooses to judge, I am taking a convoluted path to a specific point. I am not writing to pat myself on the back or to make excuses for what others may do better than me in terms of achievements of performance, or even show a case of “freedom-envy” because some folks can train as much as they want and gloat about how “superior” they are. This freedom actually is the equivalent of the athlete taking a few weeks after being FMS-screened to restore the body and “injury-proof it” in order to have a healthy and successful season, to paraphrase Gray Cook in a recent Movement Lectures talk about Athletic Body In Balance. Beats grinding through it and likely end up on the bench with an overuse injury treated like a medical condition with a scalpel, costing the team owner’s millions of dollars. I may not make millions (I’m rolling in the hundreds…) but this reset is just as important to the teams I owe everything to: the team owner and manager (my wife), the coaches and agents (SmartFlex™ trainers and PT’s, as well as business partners) and the fans (my sons).

The end goal remains the same, and it IS a goal. My sport is my professional development and success, be it in training or with the SmartFlex™. Otherwise, I’m just working out to work out, not training for an event. The goal of training is to play ball, surf, tennis, fight, compete etc. I’m not going to work to just repeat the same work daily. Promoting other’s fitness goals is about their progress and that’s the calling of a trainer, but it remains a grind if you as the fitness pro do not grow the business itself in a myriad of ways (you have to choose your path).


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