Permission to Transform
I leave taking care of certain aspects of my life to the professionals. When I want a good haircut, I make an appointment with Maurice Fiorio, who was been cutting my hair for 15 years. When I want my colour done, I visit Stephen at the same salon. For my health care, I make regular appointments with my naturopath. My teeth are scaled and polished by my dentist and broken toilets and plumbing matters are handled by my plumber, fondly named, “Peter the Plumber.” In short, pros solve my problems.
Last week I began a new training regimen with a professional fitness trainer. I know! I know! I can hear you saying it! “But Tosca you are a certified personal trainer. Why do you need the help of a PT when you can do it yourself?” And truthfully, I can and have, handled my own training, for the most part, since Robert’s passing. I have also handled training countless thousands, if not millions. I care deeply about helping everyone reach their potential for wellness, so I pour every ounce of energy I have into building my programs, answering your questions and connecting in a raw and approachable manner to you, my audience. I am blessed. But when the day is done, I am often so depleted of energy that I must find a way to replenish.
When it comes to training, I have been seeking an edge, an edge from someone who knows. As soon as that question arose in my brain, it wouldn’t go away. At that point I decided to contract the help of a professional. I wanted someone who was young and pushy, informed and discrete. I wanted to rely on this professional to push me and I wanted to be pushed hard because I am very competitive. I have new goals, you see. I have new ideas about what I want to accomplish with my physique.
I think, when you come to this site, you too want to be touched by me in some way. I am your pro.
How we change and achieve our goals must ring true to our nature and to our relevance, wherever we are at the time. My debut in the fitness industry occurred in and on the pages of Oxygen magazine, in bodybuilding and bikini contests, running a half marathon and performing triathlon. At 56 years of age, what does it mean to be fit for me? For you? At 56 years of age, are we shaping a physique based solely on an ideal - beautiful glutes, bulging biceps, carved triceps, a six pack and popping delts? I challenge our thinking here.
I believe it is no longer enough to create that kind of aesthetic, particularly because it is often true that those physiques are unhealthy. Many of yesterday’s bodybuilders are today dying, thanks to their all too enthusiastic use of steroids and other recreational drugs. At what price, this fit physique?
Here is where we step into a different conversation. Rather than long for someone else’s ideal, create your own for you. Give yourself permission to transform on your terms. Why would you want Jay Cutler’s freaky biceps? You may admire Lenda Murray’s perfect posterior, but yours is good too. Just make it better. It is in these fragile moments when the idea to transform yourself is born, it is essential to give yourself permission to be YOU first. Trying to be someone else is an exercise in frustration. It won’t help you and it won’t happen. You aren’t them. You are you. When you look in the mirror, it is YOU you see. Love your bum. Lift it but love it. Love your delts. Tone them but love them. Carve out your abs but love them, even if you have more to love below your belly button. Give yourself permission to love that self. Then take a good hard run at turning up the intensity on caring for you. Go all out on this!
How do you go all out? That seed of an idea, the will to transform, will be fertilized with supporting practices - reading, thinking, training, failing, winning, sweating, Eating Clean - the numerous factors that nourish the fledgling seed. As the idea grows in your mind, getting bigger and more evolved, living in your neurons, speeding through your synapses, it begins to take up permanent residence in your actions. The brain computes, carving grooves and pathways into your cellular matter up there, the more you repeat the action. Do it. Do it again. And do it again. This is the place where you “find” your rhythm. And let’s get real! You don’t find it, you build it. Day after day.
That repetition of habit and desire is what builds your seed of an idea - the idea that you want to transform yourself to the highest, energetic expression of yourself - into a full grown result.
I take that kind of energy everywhere I go and into everything I do.
I took that energy into the gym for my first session with my trainer. One hour later, I was asked what the hardest part of the session was for me. My response? “My head!” The physical aspect of training isn’t the hardest part for me. Oh sure, there is plenty of effort and grit but I don’t find that the hard part. When I am doing what I do in the gym, giving it everything, I get lost up there in my head. It’s all about what demons I am chasing. How I am going conquer challenges. What problems do I have to fix? Where do I need to be? How high to set the bar. What to create next. If I want to go harder while rowing, I don’t think about the speed so much as the thought “No one is ever going to physically hurt me again!” Or “I’m going all out because someone I love can’t.” Or, “I have had the $h!+ kicked out of me, and it’s not happening again.” With that kind of mental headspace locked in on my target, I train harder and become stronger as the sets and reps progress.
After that question, so easily put to me, I had a moment. With tears in my eyes, I realized, not for the first time, how deeply I need permission to change and that it is achieved through my physicality and nutrition, determination and courage.
I only want the best for you. If I could train with you personally, I would. I will make you cry too, but not for the reasons you think.
Remember, I am always listening.
P.S. I need a favor from you. Please tell me, in the comments section below, what it is that you experience through working with me. I welcome your words.