To continue from the initial post I thought I would provide a little context as to why my balance was so far off at the time that I started training with Chris, and why the community and his methods have helped so much since. It remains a daily work in progress in my mind.
Three years ago my life changed. Sometimes you just know something is coming – and this was an interesting time of premonitions and instinctive reactions – which I now think was probably both a good and a bad thing.
After one week of knowing Chris I knew that he was going to be in my life for a long time. I didn’t know that he was going to become my partner and that we would be living together, working to combine a family of three children, but I knew that he and I had a connection. It was also a time when I had cut a lot of people out of my life and was living in a somewhat introverted world that I thought I loved.
The timing of Chris’ introduction at Healthstream Gardens Point was somewhat fateful. I had seen Chris around the gym and I had already decided I didn’t like him on the basis of appearances. This was strange because Chris is a very attractive man, and he seemed to work hard helping people in the gym. I guess my opinion of him improved a little when I could see he wasn’t training all the really fit people but rather helping some clients with some health issues who may not have been able to workout without his guidance. Looking back perhaps it was the confidence he seemed to have in himself that annoyed me – because it was a confidence that I clearly lacked at the time.
I arrived at our first training session expecting to be told to lift some heavy things, put them down and maybe try a few machines that looked like torture devices. I was a cardio junkie at the time, and weights were not in my comfort zone. Strangely enough I didn’t touch a weight the first session, but it was still one of the hardest sessions I had experienced for a while. Chris had me doing yoga poses, stretching and balance (this video shows you the basic idea – believe me – it was hard back then!). I now know that this is called Re.form and it is almost always where he begins with new people because he is a trainer who likes to know the nuances of his clients’ bodies – to really understand what they need to give them good balance, strength and overall wellness. What he found out about my body that day was that it had been neglected – despite exercising for upwards of 2 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Other than learning that my body was a mess from years of thrashing it in triathlon training we had a good time at our first session. We laughed a bit (I remember thinking that when he smiled his face changed – and an innocence appeared that made it impossible not to like him). We also talked about our addictive personalities a little and our tendency to throw ourselves into things. This was actually quite a significant conversation for us – and I now look back at it and realise that Chris was telling me a lot about himself when I thought we were talking about me.
I left our first session a little perplexed that I hadn’t burnt enough calories – (crazy) and quite concerned that I was incapable of basic stretching when I thought I was in excellent shape. Following his advice I started to attend Chris’ weekly Re.form classes. After the first class I joked with Chris that I felt incredibly uncoordinated, expecting a little bit of reassurance that I actually did incredibly well for my first time. However, in what I now know is Chris’ way he responded ‘you looked worse than you felt’. It was pretty funny – I had to laugh.
Two weeks passed of training happily with Chris – my flexibility improved (incredibly slowly) and I started to look forward to the fun we had in the gym. It was all completely innocent of course. I was in a relationship with the father of my two children (although things were not going well there) and Chris had a girlfriend. We were well aware of our connection, but there was not even a suggestion of anything further. Except in my head.
I mentioned that sometimes you know when something is going to happen, and I knew that my life was in for some changes. I was about to start a full time lecturing position at University and I had finished off my PhD which had consumed my life for many years. I was also a little concerned about rewriting my thesis into a book about Climate Change and World Trade when the original manuscript had taken me 3 years to create. I thought these were going to be my challenges for the next year or so. However, these events were insignificant compared to the changes that were about to happen in my personal life.
Things were not going well with the father of my children. One Friday night we decided that we would spend some time to figure things out a little and decide if the partnership was what we wanted. It was an easy conversation, we were both happy with the outcome and I was fully prepared in my own mind to work towards a better relationship or move on. Realistically, neither one of us had the intention of improving the relationship that we had let fall apart. I couldn’t ignore the fact that I had feelings for my trainer (yes, I admit it) even though I had only known him 3 weeks. I thought that these feelings (although I had zero intention of acting on them) was an indication that perhaps I should exit my existing relationship and explore the outside world, for whatever that held.
This was not a dramatic time until the next week when I discovered something that I didn’t think was possible – and it pretty much destroyed my previously healthy ego (or should we call it self esteem?). The father of my children, who had been my trusted friend, emotional rock and financial security for 11 years, had fallen in love with someone else. To be fair, he was also the regular recipient of my terrible moods, tiredness and selfish pursuit of goals that would not have been fun. Regardless, this discovery meant that all of a sudden my choices were taken away and I needed to adapt to what was going to be a new life.