Monday, September 10, 2012

Nobody likes homework but...

I see many clients who suffer from chronic back pain, joint pain or have other injuries that require a lot of TLC. The funny thing is that most people would rather find a way to pay someone else take care of their issues through passive treatment AKA chiropractor, massage therapist, whomever instead of realizing that to see benefit from said treatment, they need to do lots of their own homework.

It never fails to frustrate me when someone comes in for a session and almost every time complains about the same thing over and over and over again without actually taking my advice or doing something about it. Plus it's totally unrealistic to expect 1 to 2 hours per week of strength training and mobility work to 'cure' long festering issues.

Sometimes, it is clear to me that someone's core is imbalanced and their posture all off. When I'm unsure, I always send clients to someone qualified to tell me what's up exactly. The homework I give people is very simple and can do no harm to them. Perhaps of set of 3 core training exercises to start coupled with a couple stretches and maybe a bit of self massage on a physio roller. I'm not unrealistic about what is doable in terms of fitting fitness in. I get it. I'm not expecting people restructure their day in order to take care of themselves. Thus the KISS principle.

Recently, I had to stop working with a client because her pain was getting worse and she wasn't going to get a diagnosis or treatment and not doing any regular and sound core training homework. It saddened me greatly because I get too invested in affecting change in people. It's like a reflex I can't seem to shut off even in my private life. This impulse to help. Sometimes I just can't help my clients either perhaps because they don't buy into my advice or because they don't have the will to help themselves. Because if people really believe something is going to make their lives better, they will generally tend to do it (there are exceptions to the rule I know). So my personal work is to stop trying so hard all the time and let people go on their own journeys.

Sometimes the really shitty part is that people will blame me for repetitive strain injuries even when I've warned them they need to get a diagnosis, treatment or do simple things to prevent issues from getting worse. But somehow the 1 hour a week or maybe two they spend with me has been the cause of their repetitive strain injury.

So sometimes I have to cut people loose when I realize I might be the fall guy. And it sucks because it's my reputation. But at the very least, us personal trainers can't do harm to our clients. As a basic principle in life, we should aim to not do harm to others.

So next time something goes awry in your life, including something with your body, maybe it's time to look in the mirror and see who needs to take responsibility.

Now for a little workout to pick up my dampened spirits.


1 comment:

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