The Trainer. February 2012. Chamonix, France
While I was writing and thinking about all the delicious things that I would like to do in my life, I grew anxious. I started to wonder whether my body could endure as much work and travel as I desired. How is my health in general? I decided to take a medical examination for the first time in many years. I have no symptoms except fatigue/heaviness in my body, which I wrote earlier. Even so, I decided to check my health. Fortunately, all the tests were good. I am healthy. But my doctor said that my cardiovascular system is completely unconditioned and despite the allowable body weight, the ratio of body fat and muscle is very unbalanced. If I do not start training soon, I may have problems. What the doctor said is scary but not very motivating. So, I start to think about my Natural movement. When do I actually move in life?
I notice while doing my inner work, right before I get to something important, right before I get an insight…usually my body starts to move by itself.
Oh well, of course I know in order to be in good physical shape and to have a healthy body, the body needs work. Muscles and the cardio-vascular system need training. Physical exercises, sports, generally any activity supports tone, strength and stamina. In my childhood, I liked to do gymnastics and I didn’t even question myself “Why?”, “Do I want it?” I just did it three times a week. When I grew-up, all the sports-clubs and aerobics and yoga… bored me. I can make myself go to a club for a month, two, maybe half a year, but then my willpower ends. The feeling of being tired and the feeling of meaninglessness overwhelms me. I stop.
What about joy and promised endorphins? I ask myself: “Don’t you like the high that comes after doing sports?” My friends and my husband, who really like sports, ask me… “Don’t you like the feeling of conquering your weaker self?” No!!! First, I’m against conquering myself. I don’t like the word and the abuse. The “high state”, I can get also from non-physical joys – foods for example or sex or just being with friends and nature. All in all, I can’t find any reason to make myself do sports. And “making myself do it” is not working. It does only for a short time. I think I need a good coach! But it feels like my “inner trainer or coach” is either violent/critical to me, or just leaves me without helping in any way.
But, I want to try exercising again! Maybe just in a different way. I hope it can work with the help of innerwork.
So, I’m trying to imagine what kind of trainer I would really like — mmmm…honest, hard, solid, kind and loving… Do I recognize these qualities in people? I definitely know people like that. My psychology teachers for example and in my school years I had teachers like that…But not in sports so far. And I know myself to be this way too. I’m exactly like this with my children and my students, and I’m the same way with my clients… Generally, I am this way with those I like.
I am closing my eyes and finding this solid, kind and loving quality inside of me. How can I use them for my physical sport development? I start a conversation with myself moving from one part of the room to another as if two people (my inner-trainer & normal me) are in dialogue.
Trainer: “ Well, Xenia, dear… let’s find at least something you like a tiny bit in physical activity….possibly we will develop it further.”
Xenia: “Ok! But that’s really a very tiny bit…you wouldn’t even call it sports”
Trainer: “Don’t worry! Just list those things. Let’s try.”
Xenia: “Ok, I am shy to speak about some of them, but I will:
- I like to walk by myself in beautiful nature and think there.
- Trips, hiking trips and horse-riding trips, mountain skiing. But this kind of activity can’t happen on a regular basis because of where I live and my life style.
- Shopping, I can walk into beautiful shops, and try clothes all day long.
- Thai massage. I really like when somebody squeezes and streeeeeetches my body until it slightly and pleasantly hurts.
That’s it :))”
Trainer: “Great! Let me think…It seems like you like walking when your mind is busy with thoughts, when you are absorbed…? Why? What do you think of that?
Xenia: “When my head is busy, time flies. It does when I am absorbed with something inspiring also. Actually, when something inspires me, my body moves better, well, you know, they say “you can’t sit in one place”. Well, for example, if I read some captivating book and some insights happen during that reading…it’s difficult to sit in one place. I want to put the book aside and go for a walk. Also, if I move and my mind is busy with something fascinating, I don’t think “when is all this walking going to stop?”
Trainer: “Give me some time…Oh! It seems I’ve got a plan :))! A quite realistic and nice one. I think you will like it.
- Download audio-books into your I-phone.
- Listen and walk. No matter where you do this…in the city or in nature.”
Xenia: “Ahh!!!!!! That’s quite realistic. Good thinking! I’ll go and examine I-phone apps right now!!! How did I not think of it before?! Fun idea!”
Trainer: “One more thing! – stretching. What’s so good about it?”
I got up and stretched to investigate this sensation.
Xenia: “Feels good, relaxing! And it feels as if I get bigger, but naturally. As if I grew out of my shape and skin. It’s nice to be stretched with care, and love.”
Trainer: “Yep… That’s how you need to stretch your environment, your habits… I mean stereotypes…It is a great metaphor and skill for bringing new ideas into the community or family….Stretching it with love and care like a Thai massage therapist. Gently but confidently and persistently. No need to break boundaries and edges…and also, no need to be afraid to hurt it a bit. Stretching is very healthy.”
Personal observation: I just love how naturally such great ideas came to me in this chapter. I just needed to really identify with the wisdom of the good coach/trainer in me. I thought I was not a trainer but it turned out that this role is in me and it is very creative.