Jo’s SolCore Fitness Personal Trainer Journal
Hello, it’s been about 4 months since I started my training at SolCore Fitness. I would like to share the experiences I have had so far.
I have found that some of the best moments come from challenging yourself, even scaring yourself a bit. In my situation, shifting gears from a school setting to personal training, has definitely challenged me on more than a few occasions.
The combination of working towards my Personal Trainer certification through the Santa Fe Community College and the hands-on training from Ekemba at SolCore Fitness has been interesting, difficult and rewarding.
I was nervous about taking on so many projects at the same time, especially after moving to a Santa Fe and trying to find my ‘flow’. While I might have felt overwhelmed at times, I can honestly say that I have found balance between life, work and learning.
I am sure you have all noticed my presence observing classes and private sessions. And I really appreciate your willingness to have me be a part of your work outs. Early December, I traveled to Dallas, TX, for my ELDOA 1 training. I was given tons of information that I am finally able to use in my work at SolCore Fitness. I now feel like I better understand this new concept of Bio-tensegerity and techniques like Myofascial Stretching and ELDOA, and am excited to learn more and teach more. My next step is ELDOA 2 in February!
What is fitness? For me, one part of being fit is being able to feel good in your body doing your normal movements in daily life, like walking up the stairs, doing dishes, or working in the garden. These are all things I, and hopefully you, want to be able to continue as I get older. Quality of life is directly related to fitness, if you are constantly in pain, your quality of life is affected. In relation to this, although my cardiovascular fitness is great, my muscle strength in my back is lacking. This unbalance has resulted in physical stress so that my body chains were not working together properly. Because of this, I have always felt like I have had a weak link somewhere in my back. This fall, while taking a Youth Fitness class at the Community College, I felt a spasm in my lower back while playing a friendly game of soccer, and realized that I had injured myself again in some way. I have had a recurring back issue for as long as I can remember, seemingly appearing during my rest periods between races and training. In the past, I attempted to fix the issue just through resting or ignoring the pain and the need for treatment. This is clearly not the healthiest option, as it is a recurring problem.
With SolCore and its philosophy of bio-tensegerity (balanced body) and the technique of spine elongation (the idea of creating “space” in the spine between vertebras), I have been learning about how our body works and how it should move properly. This helped me to better understand the interconnectedness of our bodies and how one link can affect the whole chain. A good example of my trying to understand this concept is when I broke my bike chain while commuting to work. Just like in the body, a bike chain works between tension and compression. When the whole chain is under stress, all the links work together to make the wheel spin. When the chain is under too much force in a brief moment, the weakest link in the chain will give out. This concept is the same for our bodies. When a chain in our body gets overloaded, the weakest piece will “fail,” translating into pain or injury. This may not present itself immediately, or not to a severity where you are out of action, but can remain in wait until another (even smaller) trigger causes worse injury.
When thinking about my life in sports, I finally realized that the “no pain, no gain” mentality is the wrong approach to fitness health. When you are under stress from pain and continue to put your body under stress, you will affect your performance in a negative way. There is a difference between pushing through a difficult exercise and pushing through pain. Challenging yourself in exercise is important, but without proper technique you can really injure yourself. You may not notice improper technique as creating a weak link immediately, but it will cause issues down the line. In reality, “what you don’t know, will hurt you,” if you are exercising and don’t understand the body mechanics involved.
I have more awareness of what my body does and how it moves while exercising. I catch myself slouching and hunching while driving or biking, and now correct my posture to spinal alignment. I even notice an immediate change to how my body feels, even with the smallest changes, like tucking my chin while swimming or adjusting my pelvis while riding my bike.
While the learning curve is steep, I feel confident, knowledgeable and excited to further my education to be a better coach. I am excited about being a personal trainer at SolCore Fitness and all my continuous training that I get here. I and am looking forward at challenging you as well as myself this upcoming year.
Joris Van Cutsem
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