What are you trying to change I asked her during the consultation.
“Aisha” looked directly into my eyes and with completely raw sincerity and without hesitation said, “Everything.”
That was the first time I had ever felt the power of a simple and direct response uttered with such an incredible honesty and calm.
Her emotional pain flowing from that single word washed through me. I marveled at her strength and thought to myself, not everything.
Every individual is unique and should be cared for and respected for that.
After a lifetime spent in various aspects of human performance, I still cannot understand much of the claims that media and marketing have made for decades.
How can plans provide solutions for entire populations and give them names like workout plans for women, exercise programs for pregnancy, quick and easy workout programs for weight loss?
Even in identical twins there are so many variations that require personalized approach.
A personalized approach by definition requires the input and feedback of the person. A follow along approach in a group setting even when that group setting is video instructions you can watch on TV, disregards input and feedback.
That day, I began Aisha’s workout plan by sharing my thoughts.
“Aisha, you seem to be in pain. I have been working with fitness for decades, and I have never seen someone who can demonstrate the strength to contain her pain with such calm.”
“It is not calm that you feel; I have given up.”
I did not push the conversation that day. Had she given up, she would not be sitting in front of me.
“I see. Where do you think we should start?” I asked.
“I am not sure, what do you suggest?” She responded.
“With a dream,” I said. “Imagine for a minute, just for a minute, that you have changed everything. Could you describe to me how you feel?”
Over the next few months, Aisha worked out with me, provided input and feedback and kept a record of her activities. I helped her with the logistics of keeping a journal, unique needs of a female body, workout plan structures and exercise form, duration, timing, intensity, and function. We didn’t design a workout plan for women; we put together a workout program for Aisha.
One of the changes that she made came through in her response a few months later.
Aisha was cooling down after an intense kettlebell workout.
“So Aisha, tell me, do you still wish to change everything?” I teased her.
She smiled back and said, “Not everything!”