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It feels like the first day of school. Do you remember that feeling? Half excited for the start of something new and fresh; the other half is that sense of dread, because you have to get up and actually accomplish a goal. “Can’t I just stay in bed another five minutes? I was having such a great summer!” I had this similar feeling the other morning before my first one-on-one session at Foundation Fitness. Just like the first day of school, I had a lot to learn.

One of my best friends has been going to Foundation Fitness for nearly two years now. He swears that the one-on-one sessions he has with his trainer Suzanne has made all the difference in the world. Three years ago he suffered a devastating ACL tear, but since then he’s been living pain free in that knee and back to exercising normally. But I woke up the morning before my session thinking: “Great for him. But that’s not me. No serious injuries to worry about over here. Why am I doing this again?”

I’ve been playing organized and recreational basketball for over thirty-years now. I’ve been lucky enough to say that the most “serious” injuries have been the occasional sprained ankle and scrapped knee. Sure, I’m at an age now were every now and then I wake up with minor lingering body issues in the usual areas. Neck, shoulder, lower back, yada yada yada. No big deal right? Maybe this one-on-one with Suzanne would open my eyes to what is going on with my body. Okay, eyes wide open. My body is ready.

Suzanne started off by learning about my physical history. Everything from sports injuries, to asking if I had ever been in a car accident. I’ve been to quite a few gyms in my life and I have never had a trainer try to get to know my body’s history. This was a refreshing surprise. Before our session began she took everything into account: my age, my sports-playing past/present, my minor body aches, etc. I felt like a car going in for a tuneup. Suzanne then made a valid point. When your car goes over a large pothole, and you can feel something wrong with it, you don’t ignore it and rely on the rest of the car to pick up the slack. This is how you screw up your entire car and in this case, the human body.

We went over terms like “motor patterns” rather than the frequently overused “muscle memory”. Suzanne explained to me how my stretching before playing basketball wasn’t making me more flexible or prepared to play. Just by watching me walk she could tell the right side of my body was making up for any deficiencies on the left. And all this time I thought I just had an arrogant swagger! She taught me simple leg and hip movements that I’d never focused on before at a gym. We spent time working out the kinks in my left hip, to the point that when I went to walk again I could feel a balance that I never realized I had been missing.

Most gyms are jam-packed with customers who already look like they came straight out of a commercial, and most trainers look like they are entering a body fitness contest as soon as they’re done with your gym needs. What I learned was that Foundation Fitness wasn’t about this. It’s really about your trainer asking “why do you have that pain?” no matter how minor you perceive it to be, and pinpointing the root of the problem. Not all of us are just looking to get “swole”, some of us just want to feel right. This is why we go to school.

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