Athletic Therapy, Biomechanics, Chronic Pain, Equestrian, Motor Learning, Posture

Finding the Right Client: Monday Musing

If you’re reading this, I want you to get up and do 10 squats (if you can’t squat, do 10 push-ups (from your knees or even on the wall)) before you continue reading.

Done? Good- now don’t you feel better?

I run into a economical issue every once in a while. My business is young, and I’m selling lifestyle change. Those things combined mean that I sometimes get clientele that aren’t ready for what I’m selling yet. Being ready to commit to changing your habits isn’t a place everyone is at, and while my services would benefit pretty much anyone- not just anyone will do the work to get the benefits.

The health and fitness industry is fraught with “quick fix” pitches. Everyone wants to find that cure-all for their aches and pains, medical conditions, or extra pounds. They’ll buy into anything- from fad diet programs, fitness dvds and equipment, pills, magic bean extracts, and cleanses. Sometimes they’ll see results, but then months later their buying into another quick fix program. The thing about those quick fixes is the benefits are just as quick to disappear. I won’t get into the pharmaceutical side of things for chronic health conditions right now, but I will say that often the side effects outweigh the prescribed benefits. I’ve been approached by some of those quick fix programs to become a rep, and every time I’m blown away by the psyche of both the people selling it and the people buying it.

I often run into potential clients who are in the mind set that they are going to get a quick fix from me. Unfortunately, this is a huge sign for me that they may not be ready for my services.

You see, I don’t sell quick fixes. I offer guidance and research backed education to aid in habit change and lifestyle shifting. I spend a small amount of time with a client teaching them how to be better the rest of the week. When someone comes to me, usually they’ve realized that if they continue down the path their on- they will not maintain the quality of life they would like to have for much longer. Unfortunately, it often takes hitting a wall or the body finally putting up many red flags for people to get to this point.

Why? The human psyche, I suppose.

I’ve been through it. As a young athlete I was constantly injured, plagued with chronic pain, and ignorant to changing any of my habits. It took me close to 4 years to get rid of my chronic back problems, an injury that could have likely been solved in months if I’d been ready to accept and work towards the changes. But that’s the thing, I wasn’t ready to work for it. To me- being injured was almost a chip on my shoulder (my always sore shoulder, that is). As a young athlete I took pride in the pain, in some ways. It was a sign I was working hard. It was a sign I was “succeeding”, it was part of my story.

But then, I got sick of the pain. I got sick of always being the one who was injured. I got sick of not being able to perform without the weight of those injuries on my mind. For me, the problem was less physical and more mental- but it took years to admit that to myself.

Once I did- I recovered quickly and my whole world view changed.

I’ve met many young athletes in the same state I was a few years ago. I meet them with a knowing compassion, and an offer of help- but a realization that any sales pitch will be greeted with defensiveness. I often laugh to myself and say “see you in two years”.

Each person’s perspective is uniquely different from the next. I may be able to put myself in your shoes, but they will never feel the same to me as they do to you. I do my best to treat each client with the same amount of understanding and give them the guidance I thing best suits where they’re at- but in the end, it’s up to them.

Movement can be medicine, but not all medicine goes down easy at first. When you’re ready for that change, you’ll understand that it will be work. You will have to discipline yourself and often do things differently then those around you. You will have to reevaluate your choices, and your thoughts. It’s only when you’re ready to reflect that you can grow.

My words to you all- whether you’re ready for change, or not: It’s all up to you. You decide your path, and take the steps one way or another. There is no wrong path, only different routes. Do your research, reflect on your choices and your goals, and ask questions. Always ask questions.

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Now, go for a walk and be happy Monday is over!

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