A client story from a proud Coach:
I've shared stories about this client before in our Facebook group and YouTube channel for various reasons. I've known and worked with him for a long time, and it never gets old how awesome his changes and progressions are. He puts in the work without question, but he's a prime example of how our health practices DON'T have to consume us to reap positive benefits.
A quick overview of this client to give some context here:
-He is retired (2-years now I believe)
-He works the spring to fall months at a winery in the county (which keeps him active for sure)
-We moved to video sessions during the pandemic and have stuck with the convenience since
-Sessions from home means limited equipment, however he has items such as loop bands, small dumbbells up to 10lbs and a yoga mat to name a few.
-We meet 2x per week online for a 30min session
-During months of from the winery he stays active doing yoga at home, walks, hikes, snowshoeing etc with his wife, as weather permits
*Our sessions involve a good deal of mobility, stretching and stability exercises along with some simple strength exercises using his body weight and available equipment.
**Typically each session may vary depending on sore muscles from activities, perhaps stiffness from long drives (vacation or family) etc... In the months he works at the winery sessions are quite often active recovery oriented, and ensuring he's utilizing his hottub etc as needed.
It's a really nice, natural kind of rhythm that we've created in our work together. Nothing seems forced from either end.
Sounds pretty ideal doesn't it? And you know what?? .... He's proven that approach works in terms of results and sustainability of his health practices. As I mentioned, I've done several posts and videos about progressions and positive changes this client has achieved. Just last week he was talking about having to buy all new sweaters because he's down to needing a men's small since he's lost weight and leaned up over the past couple years (without really specificially targeting weight loss!).
This week, we had another reminder with this client that I truly want to help everyone experience; It simply requires a change in mindset....
Yesterday's session was pretty wide open in terms of what we can do, and the fact that he had no soreness or stiffness from recent activities. We've been working with some shoulder stability and rotator cuff work to help support the neck / shoulder area during long drives when he needs to for example. Yesterday I decided to challenge the strength side of things more and we brought his eccentric pushups back in. He did them REALLY well!!! 2 sets of 5 reps.
"SO WHAT?" you ask....
When I dove back into my notes, the last time he did eccentric pushups (or regular pushups) was in July 2022!! Half a year ago! Yet his control and pace was excellent (like we've been doing them every week). Awesome.
What does this remind us?
The all too common approach is to beat yourself up and force things upon yourself, trying to "force" our physiology and mother nature. We worry that stepping back from something specific (while still doing other things) will HINDER our progress. Yet reality is it PROMOTES progress. Similar examples in our physiology and practices:
-Adjusting time / distance/ intensity of our runs from the norm can produce positive change
-Working on a project for a while then hitting a wall, stepping away from it for a time, then coming back to it creates new ideas, momentum and we get it done
-Getting stuck learning a new song on an instrument after trying for a week or two, we step away for a bit and when we come back it "just clicks"
-Doing a jigsaw puzzle and you get stumped. After several attempts you step away for a day or two. When you return to it, you "magically" figure it out and finish the puzzle
The examples are endless. Our physiology naturally needs ebs an flows of work-rest (despite our modern approach of exhausting, "always on" mentality).
My client has proven quite often, over the last handful of years in particular, how consisency in your practices creates positive changes, but at the same time while not trying too hard. He puts in the necessary work, but nothing extra per say:
-Active work during the spring-summer-fall seasons
-Implements activity and movement into his days that he enjoys
-Stays active around the house (projects, chores etc)
-Regularly attends his 2-coaching sessions per week
It's a simple, consistent and stress-free recipe that has created a myrid of benefits for his health.
He just does his thing. It's part of his lifestyle.
We don't need to hammer-things into our days or force change. We need a relaxed, enjoyable and consistent approach of "Try .... But not too hard".