This profession has given me the opportunity to meet many different people in the past 7 years; from a famous Canadian Writer (everyone should read “Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw by Will Ferguson), the members of the Calgary Flames to Olympic Athletes. Here is a look back at one of those moments.
An amazing thing happened the other day. I see members come and go in the time of a week at the Talisman Centre, but this random good bye had a different feel. The man I was saying good bye to and wishing good luck had a look of determination and excitement in his eyes. He was leaving that afternoon for Turin, Italy to compete in the Olympics.
For those of us who go to the gym to better ourselves, be it to gain a few pounds of lean mass, lose a few pounds of fat mass, or may it be any goal we may have, we think of the time and commitment we place into this feat. But for this gentleman, we could not comprehend what he has gone through, basically four years of your life, blood, sweat and tears are poured in to train for two minutes. That’s four commercials on TV, a minor penalty in hockey. Hell, half of the people in the gym do not even warm up for two minutes. Four years focused on two minutes, two runs, glory or disappointment. It never really dawned on me that that is what it took. I have been in complete awe and admiration since the Olympics had started. We know lots of the athletes that are there just through the gym or knowing them because Calgary is an Olympic City. It is an amazing feeling being in the field, and in the city where these people train.
Another thing that has been on my mind lately is that I dedicated four years to take on the profession that I am in today. Four years of University and really what have I learned? Don’t get me wrong, the professors did a fabulous job of preparing us for out chosen fields, but really what have you learned? You can do all the placements you want but really at the end of the day you realize that you know very little. A University degree is a license that allows you to truly start learning. I am in a facility that has a wealth of knowledge amongst all the trainers. Realize that I do not take advice from anyone, but there are about five trainers that when they speak I will listen, and listen hard. If I can someday be half the trainer these professionals are I will have considered myself successful. Realize that when you come out of school you only know the beginning and the more you learn the more questions you have that need to be answered. Really all you know is two thirds of five eights of shit. You are only touching the tip of the iceberg.
Now I know many of you have asked lately, “Is Jeff alright? He seems upset, angry, or even jaded.” I will admit there have been things bothering me, but I have gotten that out of my system. A new year is approaching and this is a good a time as any to hit the restart button.
There is a theme I find common among people around the age of 30ish. A time where responsibilities are piling up, we are in the transition of school to adulthood, real jobs and responsibilities. Is what we are doing now, making a difference for our future. Hell, have we made the right decision upon our career path. This is coming from friends and colleagues and you all know that I myself have asked the question from time to time. I have had the time to think about where I had made decisions and how they impacted where I am today. The conclusion I came to manifested in an early morning email to a friend. I figured to place my faith I the stars. What you may ask do I mean. Well, we all have out futures planned out in our dreams and we will get there, someday. But what we have to remember is that those that broke trail before us did not become successes over night. They too, took one step at a time. On a sports perspective, life is similar to a marathon, one foot in front of the other, and each foot step being a small goal. Eventually the culmination of little goals leads to a great means. Some of us will fall off the path and that is our faith, we must make mistakes in order to learn a valuable lesson. That was the purpose of losing track. We all know that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line but some of us must take the scenic tour to truly find out who we are. As a friend of my named her blog, “those who wander are not always lost.” Most of us will find that thing that makes us happy, and to those who do not, do not look for it. It more than likely passed and we did not see it.
I think these feelings come from the fact that in school it is taught to us that is it is not good to make mistakes, but we are human, and humans learn from mistakes. Take me for example; I had to learn that “laden jars” in a grade nine science classes are nothing to fool with. But I made a mistake and after being electrically zapped unconscious, I learnt my lesson. We have to make mistakes. We have to hope that they are not too big to recover from, and the defining of our character is how we recover from those mistakes. D o we let them beat us to the ground, do we dust ourselves off or do we cower and never take the risks and avoid mistakes all together. I am working on taking the risks; I am now getting better at dusting myself off.
And now… before this year ends, I will give a brief update on “The Experiment” that started a month back. I sometimes ask, “Why do we do to our bodies what we do?” Is it so that we live a vibrant life well into our 90’s? Is to lose that last pound of fat? Is it because as a society we are obsessed with the way we look or how we are perceived by others? Sure I think it is all of the above but the underlying truth is that for me, I am a sick and twisted individual. If you are thinking what I think you are thinking you need to clean your mind, rather I am talking about the whole gym idea. Though I never met my grandfather I imagine what his reaction would be coming into my place of business, and see what I get paid to do all day. My grandfather came from Ukraine, worked hard on the farm, and that was is form of exercise. He sure never lifted weights or did cardio. Yet to us the gym is a shrine to the body, to the aspiration of perfection.
And what stupid things have I been doing to my body? Well, there have been the three weight workouts a week which has incorporated Olympic lifting, the basics like Squats, Deadlifts, pushes and pull of all sorts. I have to say, I have had days were I could not climb the stairs at home. I have come to the conclusion that I need a warm up, as I am not in a constant state of warmness. Next week I resume running, this time on a track, indoors at my old gym, the Talisman Centre as well as at Peak Power where we have a new state of the art treadmill arriving. That will add two more work outs a week as well. And once again, why do I do this, BECAUSE I AM A GEEK FOR THIS KIND OF PUNISHMENT. I like to see what my body is capable of. I have a hard time doing it on my own but if someone else is there I try to save face and just do it. And by reporting to all of you reading this, I am now accountable. But there is also the idea I have that I will not give my clients anything I would not do myself. I am not a dictator but a leader. I want to feel what they feel; I want them to understand what I understand. That is a major part of my beliefs. If you just tell them to do something that you otherwise would not, how are they to respect you? You are nothing but a bully pushing the little kids around. And you ask how the results are progressing. I am stronger than I have been in quite some time. The running is a little slow right now but soon to pick up. And yes, weight has increased by 3 kg. I am aiming to run this half marathon at a lean 195 lbs. The last check I had, I was sitting at 13% body fat and 194 lbs. The goal at the moment is to be running at 195 with 9 – 10% body fat. Any less and I actually start to feel really awful.
I hope everyone had a chance to check out the video by Robin Sharma, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYlvYOhI-q8 . Next week I hope to have my list done and up here on the blog, for all of you to see. That way it makes me once again, accountable to all of you.
Until next time,
Yours in health and fitness,
Jeff Osadec, Mkin, CEP, CSCS