By now most of you know that a large chunk of my life has been devoted to the field fitness and health coaching. The first thing I want to say about that is, “isn’t it sad that I have to use 2 words to describe it?” After all, does anyone ever consciously seek just one without the other? In fact, the only way to have one without the other is to have an inaccurate definition of both of them. Accurately defined, there is no way to extricate one from the other. Yet, those 2 words are commonly used to indicate 2 distinct qualities.
And that single insight was the beginning of the road to where I am now, promoting the One Goal Rule and the Quality Of Life blog for the 2nd Halfers (50+).
In the world of the wide range of outcomes commonly referred to as fitness, for example, I can tell you with some certainty that training the physical body for cosmetics and even athletic ability is a mind-numbingly simple process. Your body is first-and-foremost highly adaptive; meaning that it will respond predictably to a set of given inputs. Even a whiff of experience in observing how the body responds to physical challenges tells you everything you need to know about how to proceed toward any given physical goal.
So, beyond the first month or so of getting the client acclimated to the scope of work that needs doing, and the small number of technical matters that will help him/her get the most from the movements, the success of the effort is always determined by what was happening between the client’s ears. Navigating through that strange and wonderful world of beliefs, egos, fears, expectations, and general misunderstandings becomes the job. In the context of a gym or any scenario that is about physical conditioning, all parties involved are only pretending that the work is about the body. To point out that the emperor has no clothes would amount to a change in the agreement. They didn’t come for a reality check, they came there strictly to have their expectations met.
Here’s what I desperately wanted to say: if you’re surrounding yourself with people who are just meeting your expectations, you not growing as a person. You’re just staying in the same old box you’ve always been in… we’re just changing the wrapping on the box. And, unless we actually find a way to eliminate the box completely, you’ll find a way to undo this work and put the old wrapper back on eventually.
I knew fairly early in that career that I was way more interested in the mental game of personal development than I was the physical. So, I thought, the only way I would ever have a receptive audience for that focus was to change the context. True, the gym was not the place for that message, and in fact, apart from a good therapist’s couch, I’m not sure our society has evolved enough for there to be a place for that message. I’d like to create that.
So, here we are at Sage Street, which is about all of those physical matters I’ve always been about, only here I won’t ignore what’s happening between the ears. One of the few reasons I market this place to people over 50 is not because it’s not important to everyone else, but rather because I’ve learned through experience that grown-ups are generally the only ones who aren’t so wrapped up in their identity that they will actually listen. I would love to find out that I’m wrong about that, and that these messages will be embraced by everyone old enough to read them because I honestly believe the point is universal. We shall see.
My only point in this post is to let my readers know that, while you will see much here on the subject of health and all of it’s underpinnings, I will always respect the power of the mind to shape the ultimate outcome of this experience we call life. Just as often I will return to the theme of beliefs, identities, fears, expectations and misunderstandings as the foundation for personal growth. Together, let’s create a space that respects that. Now you know why.