Embrace the Pace: Celebrating Individual Progress in Your Fitness Journey
As a personal trainer, I believe it’s essential to connect with your client during a one-on-one consultation and gather all the information needed to build a program that will help them reach their set goals. But, this is a topic for another blog I’m writing.
After working with many individuals over many years, an observation I find interesting is that each individual’s rate of progress can be completely different. But remember, progress is progress. It can manifest in different ways from person to person and should always be recognized.
First and foremost, we are all unique individuals with unique qualities and abilities that make us who we are. You should never be ashamed of the things that make you, you, for being yourself, or where you come from. We are not all dealt the same cards in life. Sometimes we have no control over some of the things in our life that make us special. Second of all, progress is never a linear progression. We are humans, we have setbacks sometimes, and that’s okay too.
Some people have physical or mental limitations or illnesses, both of which should be taken into consideration while working with clients on their fitness journey. Sometimes people have trouble sleeping or eating, some people are pregnant, some are postpartum, some people can commit to 1 day per week, others 6. Some people follow a strict nutrition plan, others are more relaxed. I think you get the point, we are all different and we all have different circumstances in our lives that can affect the rate at which we progress and that’s all okay.
I like to use myself as an example here, in hopes of getting my point across without offending anyone personally. I struggle with mental illness and addiction issues. I am medicated for Anxiety, Clinical Depression, and PTSD. One of the medications I take has serious side effects, like overeating at night, others cause slow digestion which can cause symptoms like bloating, constipation. Long story short, because of these factors, sometimes I see fluctuations both physically and mentally that can affect my journey…AND THAT’S OK!!!! I am human, I am not perfect. (Sidebar: this can be easier said than done to accept sometimes as a lot of mainstream media and society has made it difficult, but that’s a rant for another day). Regardless of all this, we do see progress with overall strength, health, and wellness as long as movement patterns are repeated weekly and proper support and coaching are provided.
Having said that, it is up to us to ask for help and to figure out what is going to work best for us. It is up to us to be realistic, consistent, and patient with our goals and journey. Take it from me, there is NO magic pill that will increase your rate of progress significantly without some sort of crazy side effect, so my personal advice is don’t waste your money.
Consistent training schedules, sleep, a healthy, balanced nutrition plan, and lifestyle are what we need to stay focused on to see honest, healthy, long-lasting progress. Easy, right?! … haha, totally kidding, it takes work, and you have to keep in mind we are shooting for progress over perfection and it is also very important to remember to reward your small wins.
Whichever road you choose to go down, we need to move our bodies and do some sort of strength training that will allow our bodies to grow stronger physically and mentally. Finding a small or large community and an environment that you enjoy will also boost your success and keep you coming back. So go out there and find some sort of activity with like-minded people! Don’t forget to try new things and to have some FUN!