Ready for something different?
We’ve been at this for almost a year (it’s time to start planning Find Where You Fit’s birthday 😉 ) and you’ve read tons of spotlights. I’ve spend 2017 taking classes, meeting instructors and business owners, doing yoga in weird places, and trying on all kinds of fitness apparel for your reading pleasure.
There’s plenty more of that to come, but right now I have something new and different to share with you. We are going to get to know a training center in Grandview called The Human Form. Instead of trying a new class once or twice, or hearing from me about a place I’ve been going for years, we are going to take journey through the at The Human Form. It is totally brand new to me, and I will be sticking around for a whole 2 months. I am going into this with word from a friend that it is awesome and one-of-a-kind and I will most definitely like it. Still, every time he tells me it’s unlike anywhere else, I can’t help but be a little nervous.
The Human Form offers a holistic approach to personalized fitness assessment and training, focusing on small group personal training. Heard that before? Yeah, me too. I though I knew what to expect.
A trainer with a certification and some variable amount of experience will take a brief history of my experience with exercise, maybe watch me do a few exercises to see about how much weight I lift, check for any major health concerns or injuries, and then kick my butt in a small group setting where about 4-6 of us go through a battery of exercises while a trainer hollers about working harder or moving faster. Do you agree?
Day 1, I walked into The Human Form for my assessment and met Michelle and Stephen Ladd, the husband and wife owners, trainers, and coaches. Their warm welcome made me feel comfortable, which a good thing, considering that being assessed isn’t exactly everyone’s favorite activity. Personally, I think it’s great to have another health professional take a look at what I have going on and advise me. Heaven knows I have plenty of weaknesses to work on. But then again, who really wants to hear about their flaws, even if objectively we know it’s the for purpose of self-improvement? At any rate, I was committed to this, so in I went.
There is a private room set aside for assessments and it provides privacy and all of the tools and client education materials you’d ever want. First of all, there’s the “human form form” as I keep calling it. I leafed through the history form expecting the usual (even though my friend had tried to prepare me they do things differently) and I found everything from what type of music I listen to when I work out, to dietary habits, to medical history. Asking about one’s alcohol intake in December is a little eye opening, but hey, nobody’s perfect. They clearly take the whole person into account. Michelle grabbed a bin of postural assessment tools I’ve rarely seen used outside of a physical therapy clinic or kinesiology lab and I knew she was going to soon learn about my terrible blogger posture. I fear Instagramming is undoing my ballet training. She wrote down numbers and passed zero judgment. On the exam table, she measured joint angles and tested my strength in all major muscle groups, assessing for symmetry and balance. Functionally, she asked me to do a few basic but oh-so-telling moves like a squat with a light bar overhead. With my permission, she checked for alignment in my hips and spine. We chatted about my current habits, preferences, and goals. I am all over the place due to the nature of Find Where You Fit. It keeps things interesting, and I plan to keep it that way for the most part, but I can tell it’s taking a toll on me.
You may or may not know I have been seeing a PT recently. Even though I hold a DPT myself, I needed a hip specialist at Jameson Crane for this one. (I’ve been having trouble ever since Cavalier Girls at BalletMet. Yep, I tried to dance like a Cavalier Girl and now my hip hurts. I’m old. That’s just the kind of honesty you get here.) Dr. Sarah Miller is great and she’s helping me make improvements, but I know I need to incorporate my PT plan of care with my fitness regimen way better. Michelle asked me lots of questions about what we think is going on and how it is being treated. I appreciate the way she really cared, not just about avoiding what would cause harm, but what my workouts at The Human Form could do to help me progress to being stronger and pain-free. Furthermore, she asked permission to reach out to Sarah and coordinate with her plan for me. Both ladies took the time to discuss my case, and then Michelle met with James, who would be working with me next, to make sure he was on the same page and added his input. I left feeling very cared for, with no stone unturned.
Later that week, I came in for my private training appointment. Again, lets talk expectations and reality. Tell me I am not the only one who, even after everything that went on at the assessment, isn’t picturing a trainer leading me around the gym, taking me through a regimen of weights and intervals, leaving me sweaty, tired, and sore. Of course by this point, I had come to expect it to be an informed workout, with attention to detail, but even so, this was something totally new and different. James led me through a series of exercises meant to prepare me for the small group training sessions. He explained that each person is expected to arrive 10 minutes early and go through their set of warm ups. I am not talking stretching. For example, I was given a practice lacrosse ball (Ooo! Door prize!) and James showed me how to use it, and 2 others, to loosen up my feet so they would be able to support me better during my workout. He taught me breathing in a way that was totally new and challenging to me, but meant to recruit the proper muscles when used during weight training. He had me practice it in a position on the floor with my shoulder externally rotated and hips lifted and I kid you not, afterward, I could rotate my right shoulder and neck symmetrically and pain-free, which has been an issue for a while. I mentioned I’m falling apart, right? I want to spend a whole post talking you through the warm-up, so lets step away from that for a moment. What you need to know for now is that I left my hour with James re-thinking my whole approach to warming up and my technique on basically every exercise.
I always feel challenged, as a optimist who believes people intend to do good and a skeptic with a scientific mind who likes to question the evidence behind each choice. I get nervous around the word “holistic” that it’s going to be a lot of phony bologna. I am biting my tongue, because this is getting long-winded, so I’m saving that for another post coming soon. At this point, any worries that I had going in have been 80% wiped away by the expanse of knowledge the staff at Human Form has, the tools they used, their pursuit of interdisciplinary care, their respect for my preferences, their experience, and desire to learn. Stay tuned for the other 20%, which I am hoping will gradually melt away as I begin the training sessions. Trust takes time when it comes to your body, and that’s ok.
One thing I found challenging was the way the assessment process caused me to have to slow down. I am so accustomed to getting in a serious workout 5-6 days per week. I would say I am paying for that, but it’s not easy to stop and take stock. Both of these sessions took up the time I set aside for working out that week, and the calorie counter on my watch has nil to show of it. I am looking at the big picture. I am challenging myself to reshape my approach and to be patient as this process takes shape. I am certain that it won’t be long before I am kicking butt again, but smarter and healthier before! I hope you’ll come back and read the follow up in a month!