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Less Is More. Be More Cat! - A Guest Blog By James White.

We live in a world where short term gratification is positively encouraged. You want it? Buy or get it now at a click of a button. Quick fixes, fast results are apparantly the desired effect. As a pesonal trainer who prides themself in putting people before profit I don't ascribe this ideal. I help my clients future proof their health and wellbeing. For me, the long term gains are far more important. I try hard to help my clients get a good balance of life, work and exercise in place. One thing I love about this job is the interesting people I get to work with. A while a go I asked my long term client and friend James to write a guest blog for me. I began training James around 2018 and I've enjoyed every minute of it. I left the blog topic open for him to choose and this is what he wrote for me. Nicola.


 


Exercise we are told is the key to eternal life. If you are to believe the plethora of advice from Healthcare, a multi billion pound fitness industry, and social media, all things would be better if you just did a bit more, got a Personal Best every time you went to the gym. We see it in fitness apps too, aside from a fairly mediocre performance at the gym, my other hobbies are mountain biking (I have delusions of grandeur with an overly expensive bike to match!). Each time I ride I get little notifications about being slower, or faster, getting little gold badges for personal bests or having done the most xyz that day...more…More….MORE!!




And yes, your 30 minutes of movement each day, and your 5 a day WILL keep you healthier for longer (and happier…as a mental health nurse I recommend exercise to most of my patients), but what about the times you cant exercise… something hurts, your mood is a bit crap, or the train ran late…or the litany of 10000 other things that stop us achieving the roman god-esque figure that instagram tells us we should all achieve with just this one secret!!! Or the times you feel pressured, driven to do more. How do you cope? Do you dig deep? (even though that digging is a finite resource), sneak in a bit of pre work out (and ride the wave of nausea and tachycardia..) or do you take a breather, stop and feel a somehow internalised crushing sense of failure.


In the wise words of master yoda, “balance to the force we must bring”



I once ascribed to the school of “just push through it” until one day I couldn’t. I broke my arm on my mountain bike, a long and ridiculous story summed up as over estimating my abilities and underestimating the braking distance required to not hit a tree at speed.

So I’m faced with an injury, a neck of radius fracture, one I am told can be complex and does have some consequence even when it heals well. As the days turn into weeks, the normal reaction I had of “fuck it just push through” didn’t work. It wasn’t healing as fast as I want, the issue wasn’t going away and the realisation was setting in that if I didn’t do EXACTLY as I was told by the professionals around me, I was going to be up shit creek with limited mobility for the remainder of my life. Suddenly, instead of more being more…less was more. Slow was fast.


Suddenly, the idea of long term disability focused the mind. It frightened me. Those exercises from the hospital I really didn’t want to do…because they were for old people…Yeah I did them, to the letter. If it was 10 movements, I did 10. Not 8 or 12…but exactly the number. The stretching, moving assessment thing from the physio that made me want to accidently shout my safe word…Yeah, I did them too…while shouting PINEAPPLE, PINEAPPLE!!! As I felt like my arm was being removed. Most of all, I learned to rest. I sought the wisdom of my cat. His furriness king Benson… who despite sleeping for 18 hours a day had a turn of speed and jumping ability that I could only stare at in awe. (as well as several human feeding slaves).




That injury was in 2019. Its now the start of 2024…and aside from a small difference in extension on my left arm I am mostly back to where I was, I dread to think where I would have been if I had not followed the majority of the rules that the professionals around me suggested.


So, how is this relevant to you? Pretty much every single one of us has something weird and funky going on,  be that long term illness or disability, or be that draws on our time…like the after effects of crashing into a tree…

 

Take time for yourself, don’t wait until you break yourself before you learn to find balance. And when in doubt channel your inner cat. 


James.


 

Nicola Poole personal trainer

Nicola Poole. Personal training.


Nicola Poole is the owner of Inspired Coaching. With 10 years Personal training and strength & conditioning coaching behind her. She is also a tutor/assessor for personal training qualifications. Competed in powerlifting at an elite level for many years plus 14 years as a PE teacher. She has extensive knowledge and experience in her field of work. Operating as an inclusive, HAES and body neutral coach helping people achieve the right balance between exercise, health and life. Nicola currently freelances for Performance Training Academy supporting them in their delivery of health and fitness courses and also works with The Different Travel Company providing online training and support to trekkers and adventurers alike.



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