The Key…

Survival Of The Negotiator…

In a Max World, I like my odds. Not because I posses exceptional survival skills, grit, and physical resiliency, though I have enough of each to get me started.

I like my odds because I know how to get along with people – even with people whose values and my own might be at opposition. That skill-set goes a long way when things in the moment seem to be coming undone.

I speak one language, English, but I speak it differently as needed throughout the course of my days. I speak in the English people need to hear. With a Texas friend, I might speak a little more casually, extend my vowels a little more, and add in some lesser words that ain’t always proper.

When speaking to a friend with a math or science background, I find myself slower to respond, more linear in discussion, thinking through answers more clearly, and always concise.

I don’t just do this with language, but also with values and ideas. There’s not two sides to every story. There are infinite facets, angles, and sub-stories. Fractals apply to ideas as well.

When I sense conflict or even mutual distrust, I break the argument down, layer after layer, until I find a mutual talking point. When I reach that point, I push the pause button and try and build the conversation from there. This usually works – usually, and that’s the key.

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That ability might be the most useful, non-academic skill that I have cultivated through my conversations over crunches.

In a Mad Max world I like my odds. Not because I’m tough, but because I know even the toughest opposition usually has a mutual talking point… Jhciacb

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If you are not already a subscriber, please scroll up and do so.  Tell your friends about me — about what happens when I push the STOP button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there’s this from Herb Alpert; a part of my life since I was a child.  Coolest Jew, ever.  Enjoy…

Service With A Smile…

This week I sat down with the intention of writing a manifesto of sorts, on how new fitness trainers should conduct themselves.  Seems I got offtrack and ended up writing this.  Perhaps some of these can be superimposed on other career paths -or life paths…

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Pride And Circumstance…

I take pride in a handful of things in my life. Of them, I am most proud that as a trainer – as a businessman, I have kept a full schedule since the first week I opened here in Fallbrook in 2000. In 16 years, I have done almost no marketing or advertising. I drove into a small town, looked around, decided I wanted to stay, set up shop, and within days my business course was primarily set

A good part of that is accidentally landing in a great demographic. A fair portion of the population here have discretionary time and money. That doesn’t represent all of my clients though, as I have a more than few working people who have become puzzle masters to fit me into their budgets and schedules.

Social Circles And Demographics…

I say often of doing business in a small town, that if you do a good job for 1 person, 5 more people will know about in a week. If you do a bad job for someone, 10 more will know about in a day. That ideal is as much responsible for my consistent schedule as any.

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Gonna die in a small town, and that’s probably where they’ll bury me…

Though we don’t all live in small towns, most of us do live in small circles.  In the information and social media era, where business reviews can be published online in seconds, treating the customer right matters more than ever.  It may sound a bit simplistic, but doing a good job for the client is the most important part of my job.

Meet & Greet…

I do my best to greet every client at the door. This isn’t always possible on days when I have back-to-back sessions, or when sessions run late. I do though, attempt to greet every client before they enter the studio. Meeting a client at the door gives them a feeling of immediate security in what is too often an intimidating environment – the gym.

Meeting someone at the door shows them you are there for them, as much as you want them to be there for you.

Dings, Pings, And Echo Location…

Clients come with inherent aches and pains, some more severe than others. Through a written medical evaluation, I take inventory of any medical or physical issues prior to my first session with all client, and then I am sure to remember them.

Each time I meet a client at the door I ask them for a quick rundown of how they came off of our last workout in the form of soreness, stiffness, or aching. If I have done my job well, the answer should not influence the workout ahead. If they speak of any dings or pings, I adjust the workout accordingly.

Throughout the course of the workout I will ask frequently how they are feeling – if I am pushing too hard or not hard enough. Most often I don’t even listen to their answers. I learn all I need by looking into their eyes as they hear the question. This is like echolocation with dolphins; I send I signal to them, they send one back to me, and I know where we are in the course of a workout.

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When echolocation goes bad…

Before starting a session, I also ask them the last food they ate and how long ago they ate it. This information can also influence the direction and the result of a workout.

Don’t Eat In Front Of Clients…

If one’s job is to instruct and motivate, it’s hard to accept that this can be done with a mouthful of cold oatmeal or sipping from a shaker cup as many trainers do. Eating and talking lacks professionalism.

I can’t say I have been perfect here. There are those days when sessions run back-to-back and I have said excuse me to the client, and then asked permission to grab a bite as we begin the session. I can honestly say that in 16 years in Fallbrook, I have done this less than 16 times.

I also keep my phoned turned off during sessions. That hour belongs to my clients, not to me.
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Business Cards…

Former Levis Strauss executive and Bit-by-Bit Computer Rentals founder, Tim Cling once told me,

“Business cards aren’t what you give to people, they are what you take from people! You take the card, you call the number on the card, you introduce yourself, and explain concisely how and why you can help them.”

That is the best business advice ever extended to me. Too many fitness trainers put enormous stock on designing and handing out business cards – cards which get tucked away, thrown away, or otherwise used to stabilize the lose air conditioning vent in their car.

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Great for helping balance uneven table legs.  As a form of marketing…?  Not so much…

In the year 2000 I had 1,000 business cards printed up. In 2015 I still had 950 of them. What few I handed out were used as appointment reminders, or scratch paper for my personal notes.

On Form, Focus, And Conversation…

Overstating the obvious; a trainer should never turn his back on their client. A trainer’s eyes should always be fixed to the client’s exercise form – period.

Only when I am sure a client’s form is correct, does any conversation take place. I have no issues with a client talking during the course of their exercise, so long as they are moving and breathing properly.image76-e1422567572804

One of the better aspects of life as a fitness trainer is the conversations which have taken place in my studio through the years. In a sense, those conversations have given me a master’s degree in life. My older clients offer me wisdom. My younger ones offer me context from which I can better appreciate that wisdom.

There is much to learn from listening to the experiences of others. I get to do this all day long. I won’t hear the wisdom though, if I’m not listening, so my ears and my mind remain open at all times.

Relationships And Progress…

Making my living as a fitness trainer is about progress, of course, but it is also about relationships. It took me far too long to learn this. Cultivating and nurturing those relationships is paramount to any level of progress a client might experience, progress being a relative term.  Only if there is trust with the client, can I add a little more, push a little harder, and ask a little more of them over time – always in small doses. That is where progress comes from. They progress as the student. I progress as the teacher.

From this I am also reminded, living on this earth is also about relationships. Cultivating and nurturing those relationships is paramount to any level of progress we might experience as a species. If there is trust with one another, only then can we ask a little more of each other, and push a little more over time – always in small doses. Be well…

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Please check back in a few weeks to see what happens when I push the STOP button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there’s this from The Ozark Mountain Daredevils. Enjoy…

Hear Here: A Tale Of Jaw Cardio

Work-out Kryptonite…

For the better part of 20 years I have been able to work-out alone in my basement gyms, garage gym, or in the fitness studios I have owned. Occasionally I have had partners, but for the most part it has been me. Alone. Solo. Smile.

One of the better garages  have had...

Royland, 2003:  One of the better garages have had…

Through the years I have been able to avoid intermingling with lunks throwing weights, unnecessarily grunting, and messing up the place with traces of blood after prying their acne covered simian roid-backs off of the bench press.

I have also been able to avoid clueless cardio bunnies dressed like porn stars, with their ponytails fishing lures swinging back and forth as they stare aimlessly at CNN in front of them, all the while not really knowing where Libya is – and such.

"Like, I know how to make toast..." "Shut up!  I know how to make toast too...!"

Girl on right:  “Like, I know how to make toast…”
Girl on left:  “Shut up! I know how to make toast too…!”

And best of all, I have not had to navigate through the sea of old men in striped warmup suits taking up space as they read the Sunday Times in-between sets of the only exercise they know, triceps pushdown, as they loudly exchange ideas amongst and between them about how to save the world.

Yup, for 20 years I trained in my underwear if I wanted to, listened to audio books, lectures on physics or religion, and only occasionally loud music. My best training partner was the clock on the wall, there was no monthly auto-draft, and the gym was always open – to me.

I have though, maintained memberships pubic gyms – just in case. I have used them sparingly, only on those days when I needed to get out of my own studio for reasons of sanity, or to join my friend Marshal for our lunch time pre-burrito StepMill sessions.

When have ventured into public gyms, I have always aimed my head at the ground, kept earbuds plugged in, and I made eye contact with nobody. All of this to avoid the one person I knew could ruin my work-out, and subsequently my day; Jaw Cardio Guy. You know, that one guy who could carry on a 20 minute conversation about nothing, all by himself, and still hold me captive, all the while keeping me away from my precious deadlifts. I hate that guy.

A face I hope to never see again; Jaw Cardio Guy...

A face I hope to never see again; Jaw Cardio Guy…

On those occasions when Jaw Cardio Guy would be so insistent that we speak, that he could break me from my trance and get me to take out my earbuds just to appease him I would, in very clear terms, make him aware that my time is precious, my work-out is necessary, and his conversation was kryptonite. I’m just not nice in those scenarios.

He-man Of The People…

I’m now working out in a public gym regularly for the first time since 1995. This gym is also where I have the proprietary interest for my fitness training business. Since each person working out there is a potential student, being a dick is not an option. Each conversation I have may augment my livelihood. Notwithstanding, this is my community now and being philanthropic with my time and my expertise is the right way to be.

Still, there remains my desire to be deep in focus, lost in my meat during my sets since strength training is the methadone of my existence. Despite this, if I am going to be the man in this town, I must be a man of the people and find middle ground.

For about a month now I have been assimilating myself into the local gym. I have already met some nice people and a few of them have become students. I have also been dragged into conversations that two years ago I would want or have no part of. Now I see these conversations as human, and am learning how to appreciate them and engage in them without losing the rhythm of my work-out.

This I Have Already Learned…

To let go a bar after a completed set and take a few minutes to answer a gentleman’s question about which exercises might help offset his sciatica, is not the end of the world. He will probably never be a student, but I enjoy watching him fulfill my suggestions, and can see that it’s already helping him.

Telling someone, “no, I’m not using that bench – go ahead” while I’m mid-set of a fairly heavy squat did not cause me to drop the bar, stop the set, cause my legs to shrink, or cause me to get fat. It simply caused me to smile and take an extra breath.

Where I once wouldn't be caught dead talking in the gym, I'm now likely to be found dead-talking...

Where I once wouldn’t be caught dead talking in the gym, I’m now likely to be found dead-talking…

If a political discussion comes my way while I’m doing dumbbell flies it won’t deter from completing my set, any more than it will persuade me to change my world view mid-rep, though it might help me better read the pulse of my community. I will eternally though, label an asshole an asshole if he or she uses the term, “nigger president” as happened so frequently in my last community.

Mostly, I have learned that talking, being friendly – being outright social in the gym can be a very human experience, enrich my day, and will not cause me to lose my gains. Along with work, human relationships are what we are here for. How blessed am I that I get to combine both on a daily basis… Be well… rc

If you enjoyed this, please scroll back to the top and rate it. 

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Please check back in a few weeks to see what happens when I push the STOP button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there’s this from Reunion.  Forty years later I still nailed it word for word.  Enjoy…

Of dogs, and immigrants…

Broad brush strokes…

When we refer to any group, or reference their actions as a collective, we are often making a mistake. My favorite example of this is when people refer to the American founding fathers. This is often done in the context of, The founding fathers would have…

News flash; there was no such thing as the founding fathers as a collective. Similarly, there is no such things as in nature, Hollywood, or the sports world as collective entities.  Still, there are times when it’s useful, and even appropriate to paint with these broad brush strokes. I’m about to do that – twice.

Reflections from a sidewalk…

One year ago next month a conversation took place between a dear friend and I – she and I share a daughter. We were enjoying lunch at a sidewalk café on a Chicago afternoon. The following day our daughter was to graduate from college, so the conversation was reflective on our child’s life. The slow pace of the lunch provided a relaxed dialogue, and gave us a chance to talk without hurrying our girl’s future into place.

As the conversation flitted back and forth through time, the talk was peppered with thoughts of how we humans believe we should live our lives versus we how actually choose to. The two sides of that same coin are often left unreconciled by many. In a serene moment my daughter’s mother and I distilled all we really need to know about how to live our lives into just two words; dogs, and immigrants.

On dogs…

She explained that we should all live more like dogs. Dogs, she said, live in the moment. She suggested that so long as dogs are in a safe environment, they live relatively stress free lives, and are appreciative of whatever it is they are doing at a given time. Be it feeling the warmth of the sunshine on their body, enjoying a piece of food or a human touch, dogs, she suggested, don’t look back or beyond.

Dogs love unconditionally she continued, and humans would be wise to do the same. She explained that dogs are loving creatures with forgiving hearts. Dogs hold no resentment, and when given love, they tend to pay love back – with interest.

Lastly, she stated, that dogs are humble. Though each has a unique personality, dogs tend to understand that they are here to follow, not to advise, and that humans would be wise to live the same way. A dog, she said, has no ego.

Though I could not disagree with any of her points, I explained that I feel people need more than those qualities to prosper as a society.

She may have her roaring moments, but Peachy is the most humble dog I have ever known...

She may have her roaring moments, but Peachy is the most humble dog I have ever known…

On immigrants…

I explained to her that I feel we should live more like immigrants. That immigrants, like dogs, tend to be humble, but hard working. Work, I reminded her, is what we humans are here for.

I live in a town with a large immigrant culture. Many come from Central America, and Mexico. Most of the immigrants I have come to know here are among the hardest working, and most humble people I know. I find them more inspiring than I do professional athletes or even astronauts. They also tend to be reverent, and respectful.

When I cross paths with, or interact with the local immigrant culture, they are often on bicycle or on foot en-route to their long days of picking fruit or working elsewhere in agriculture. I have employed several through the years for both short, and long-term work. There are many commonalities I have observed with them as a collective, chief among them is that I am almost always met with a smile, and a greeting.  Most often their shirts are tucked in, they say please and thank you to everything that moves, and they value a dollar – not covet it. From most of them, I sense something genuine.

Let the work day begin...

Let the work day begin…

Among the immigrant population here, there seems to be no real sense of resentment that they are on foot or on bike rather than a Lexus. I feel a genuine sense of gratitude from the immigrant culture that a dog might also have, but a wealthy neighbor probably doesn’t. Immigrants, I believe, sense and appreciate opportunity far better than most of us, having often sprung from more stark beginnings. Many I have known see little use for even a lunch break.

I believe living in this community, with its high concentration of immigrants, has inspired me to live a more humble, and harder working life. I am grateful that I have a chance to interface with these inspirational people most every day of my life.

Inspired from eye level, not from above…

I watched an inspirational video this morning of athletes who all looked like action figures. They were covered with sweat, and performing brave exercises while voices in the background increased in volume as they repeatedly offered motivational clichés espousing the merits of gut busting work as a means of pursuing achievement. I admit I felt largely inspired by the video – at first.

As I watched this video though, I could not help but think that if that same music, and those same motivational voices were superimposed of over scenes of immigrant workers picking fruit, or of stay at home moms juggling laundry, cooking, and children, they would have inspired me as much. I was taken back to that conversation I had nearly a year ago, of dogs and immigrants.

Meme picking…

Barring an advancement in genetic engineering which might enable us to splice the highest traits of immigrants with those of dogs and implant them into the psyche of the average American, I can only hope that for inspiration, we begin looking around at some point, and not up.

In the end I can’t really say we should live more like dogs, or immigrants. I will suggest though, that we should seek out qualities to improve our lives from the collectives which may seem to be beneath or beside us, and draw less those from those who appear to be above us – professional athletes in particular.

Now I know there are lazy immigrants, mean dogs, and mindful professional athletes. However, it’s my firm belief that if our founding fathers were alive today, they all would “like” this essay on their Facebook pages. Be well… rc

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Please check back in 2 weeks to see what happens when I push the STOP button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there’s this from Jill Andrews. Enjoy…

A Room Full Of Words…

The Mix

As a fitness trainer I’m fortunate to have such a variety of clients in my current rotation.  On a given week I will work on balance and flexibility with some silver haired folks.   I will aid clients my age who are interested in maximizing their functional fitness, that they live more active and more productive lives.  I will work with weight-loss clients who are trying to improve their overall health, appearance and confidence.  I will also work with a few prep athletes helping them with their strength and conditioning, and enabling them to perform better and stay injury free in their respective sports.

With such a variety in clients in a week’s time, my studio walls will also be witness to a variety of personalities and conversations.  The personalities are often strong, the conversations rarely dull, and I am richer for the discourse.  It works best when the client can talk and exercise at the same time, or restrict the conversation to the short breaks I allow in-between sets.  If the workout begins to take a back seat to the conversation, I just tap a bench with my finger tip, point to a weight, or look in the direction of a yoga mat and without interrupting the client, they will know to continue the workout.  They are all well-oiled machines.

Different Genders, Different Subjects

There are many subjects which get discussed in my studio each day.  Most men like to talk about seasonal sports.  As a sports fan I enjoy and look forward to these conversations.  I can actively contribute to them, even if I might disagree with the client’s stance or allegiance to a player or team.  Of all the sports conversations, football and golf tend to dominate.  That works for me since they are my two favorite sports.  Once football season is over, some sessions go completely silent for a while.  It’s like a black hole exists, post-football, where there is just nothing to talk about.  Then, a mass killing will take place somewhere, a tornado will toss a mid-western town down the highway a bit, or some senator will bag a 19 year old girl while his wife is in the next room, and the conversations start up again.

When football season is over Bill, age 69, and I have less to talk about. Then, I just mention Obama, and he pushes 135 pounds around in perfect form like it’s nothing…

Most women like to discuss shopping.  When the subject of shopping comes up, I’m more an active listener than participant.  Often times when shopping is discussed, I make lots of mental notes.  However, if the subject of shopping goes on too long, I listen to my client like my dog listens to me; I pretend to pay attention, but am more interested in the fly orbiting the half eaten orange on the other side of the room.  Still, I learn a lot during shopping discussions with my female clients, in a getting to know the enemy kind of way.

Food And Cancer

Of all the subjects which get discussed each week in my studio, two lead the way; food and cancer.

Cancer is discussed because it’s everywhere, all the time, and directly or indirectly affects everybody.  These are rarely bright conversations.  Discussing the cancer of friends, loved ones, and even the clients themselves can be heavy and a bit draining.  The positive aspect I try to retrieve from such conversations is to just be grateful for my own health and abilities on a given day.

Countless conversations of cancer have laid a solid groundwork in my psyche to help me prepare me for some variation of cancer which might afflict me some day.  Maybe it’s wrong to go through life with a it’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when attitude.  However, daily discussions of cancer with clients through the years have placed me well into that state of thinking.

I find it interesting that whether they are 15 years old, or 89, all of my clients have brought up the subject of cancer at one time or another – all of them.

Food is the other topic which serves to nourish my day in conversation.  Though I make my living touting a healthy lifestyle, not all food discussions in my studio are about broccoli, grass-fed beef, and keeping processed foods minimal.  Yes, there is much discussed about healthy recipes, resources, tools, and motivation to eat well, and my studio is a great redistribution center for all healthy eating information.  There is much also much spoken of cheat days, where the best pizza places are, decadent desserts, and beyond.

In conversations of eating, I am a contributor to the healthy as well as the not-so-healthy of it all.  I sometimes feel myself cringe when I recommend Bronx Pizza to a weight-loss client, but that doesn’t stop me from doing it – Bronx Pizza is the bomb!  Moderation, I remind them, moderation.   Whether it’s on healthy eating, or the best dessert and martini combination in San Diego, food gets discussed literally ever hour in my studio.

I find it interesting that whether they are 15 years old, or 89, all of my clients have brought up the subject of food at one time or another – both healthy foods, and the not-so-healthy.

Though they gather more attention than all other topics combined, food and cancer are rarely spoken of together, or from the same root.  There is probably a connection there somewhere, and I may explore that connection in a future essay.

Conversations Over Crunches Redux

I once had a rule that no words be spoken in my gym unless they related to the workout itself; that if one is speaking, one can’t give supreme effort in an exercise, and I was all about supreme effort by my clients. I also had a rule about friendship with clients, or a lack thereof. As my client base has changed through the years, those rules have also changed, and conversation has become central to the experience.

I am blessed and wiser for these conversations over crunches. Since I still like to see strong effort by my clients, if the talking ever does get out of hand, I just increase the weights they are using and render them unable to speak. It’s good to be king.  Be well. rc

 

Conversations Over Crunches…

Exercising The Voice

As an exercise in creative dialogue, I have a question I sometimes put to friends or acquaintances as a means of generating intelligent discourse.  I most often use this question at the dinner table, or as an icebreaker at social gatherings.  However, this question generates the best results in dialogue, as something to expand on while running or hiking with others.  The question is this;

“Would you rather lose your vision, or lose your ability to speak and to hear?”

With few exceptions, the answers to this question confirm that most would rather lose their voice and hearing than their vision.  For all the times I have asked the question, I can only recall one person who would rather have their voice and hearing spared than their sight.  I will never understand this.

Though I do find my sight to be useful, I can’t imagine not having another audible conversation.  It is speaking with and hearing others that better connects me to them, and reminds me I’m not emotionally alone in the world.  To miss the inflection or the emotion in the voice of another, or to not be able to offer mine, lost only to sign language or some kind of an electronic medium, I would feel detached from the soul of others.

Nonzero Wisdom

One of the best aspects of being a fitness trainer is that I get to share the human experience via the spoken word.  I’m able to listen and learn from the wisdom and experiences of others.  I can also share my own experiences and perspective on things with people who might benefit from it – and I do throw it out there whether it sticks or not.  This exchange over the years, has been like getting a master’s degree in the subject of life.  These conversations have helped shape my adult conscience and consciousness, and have enhanced my life immeasurably.

Not all conversations are deep, though some are.  Nor are they all superficial, though some are.  In a given week, a majority of conversations in my studio will be roughly in the middle, and might include thoughts on entertainment, sports, current events, and local happenings.  Most often, the exchange will be equal.

Other conversations though, are true discourse.  These can be about politics, government, faith, philosophy, history, or the future.  I relish these because they give my day meaning as they give my brain food.  These conversations can be more intense.  They might include a laugh, a stare, an apology, a tear or two, and on occasion, even a raised voice.  I do not always agree with what my clients have to say.  Though they are foolish for it, they don’t always agree with me either.

On The Lighter Side; Food For Thought

In a twisted irony, food is probably the most discussed topic from week to week.  Not all of the food discussion is driven by fitness, though there is some talk of healthy eating by some clients.  Most often the food conversations center around meals had in restaurants, or what was prepared for the family the night before.  I often find myself shaking my head in disbelief as I watch someone do a lunge, a crunch, or peddle a stationary bike as they discuss which Cabernet they had with their beef bourguignon.   I am not judgmental about this, and often share my own eating indiscretions – such as the Domino’s pizza I had delivered right here to my studio several weeks ago – at 10:30am no less.

Deeper Thoughts; Tom, Bill, And I Save The World

Tom and Bill are 67 and 87 years old respectively.  They are business partners with multiple interests in real-estate.  They are both fit beyond their years – Bill just completed a 100 mile bike ride in the desert, and Tom works out 3 days per week and plays golf every Tuesday.  I’m sure either one of them could kick my ass in a cage match.

Bill is still quite active in business, and an spends a great deal of time studying and contemplating  economics.  I have learned much by listening to him during his workouts.  On issues of economics I mostly just listen since I can’t contribute the conversation on his level.  When we get into politics, government, and especially philosophy, we both tend to get pretty charged up, and on a given day feel strongly that the world would be better off in our hands.  If I want to push Bill harder in the workout, I simply mention the name, Barack Obama, and the weights get thrown.

Tom doesn’t like to talk much but when he does, I LISTEN.  Walking off a landing craft onto the island of Saipan during World War II, his group was ambushed.  The two men on either side of Tom were picked off by Japanese machine guns, as were many others.  We talk about that occasionally.  Tom still can’t reconcile why he wasn’t also hit by the flying bullets.  For my part, I stand humbled by this and similar stories, and make no attempt to hide the tears which form in my eyes whenever he discusses this.  Tom once spent an entire night in a foxhole – with a bleeding wounded “brother” on top of him. 

After the war, Tom parlayed a Christmas tree lot in Long Beach into a furniture store – which became many furniture stores, which became one large furniture store, which became a boat dealership, which became a development company, which still provides him dividends each month.  This, I learned from our conversations.  Tom’s capacity for recall is off the charts.  He can name nearly everyone on his high school football team, as well as the soldiers he served with in the war.

I make no decisions with my own business prior to consulting with Tom – none.

Silence Equals Success In The Gym

I once had a rule that no words be spoken in my gym unless they related to the workout itself; that if one is speaking, one can’t give supreme effort in an exercise, and I was all about supreme effort by my clients.  I also had a rule about friendship with clients, or a lack thereof.  As my client base has changed through the years, those rules have also changed, and conversation has become central to the experience.   

I am blessed and wiser for these conversations over crunches.  Since I still like to see strong effort by my clients, if the talking ever does get out of hand, I just increase the weights they are using and render them unable to speak.  It’s good to be king  🙂 .  Be well.  rc

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Please check back next week for Part III of my ongoing series on life as a fitness trainer.  Next week’s topic; Why Owning A Gym Does Not Guarantee Fitness For The Owner.  Please check back. 

Oh, and there is this by X; See How We Are.  Enjoy…

Conversations And Connections…

Here is a mid-week tease for my upcoming column, Part II of my ongoing series on life as a fitness trainer.  This week’s column, Conversations Over Crunches, should be up by Saturday, January 29th.  Please check back then.  In the mean time, below is an excerpt:

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 As an exercise in creative dialogue, I have a question I sometimes put to friends or acquaintances as a means of generating intelligent discourse.  I most often use this question at the dinner table, or as an icebreaker at parties.  However, it generates the best results in dialogue, as something to expand on while running or hiking with others.  The question is this;

“Would you rather lose your vision, or lose your ability to speak and to hear?”

With few exceptions, the answer to this question confirms that most would rather lose their voice and hearing than their vision.  For all the times I have asked the question, I can only recall one person who would rather have their voice and hearing spared than their sight.  I will never understand this.

Though I do find my sight to be useful, I can’t imagine not having another audible conversation.  It is speaking with and hearing others that better connects me to them, and reminds me I’m not emotionally alone in the world.  To miss the inflection or the emotion in the voice of another, or to not be able to offer mine, lost only to sign language or some kind of an electronic medium, I would feel detached from the soul of others.

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Please check back this Saturday for, Conversations Over Crunches.  Oh, and there is this by Big Country; Winter Sky.  Enjoy…