Chris is not my first.
By Chris, of course, I am referring to our fitness lord and savior, Christopher M. Collins. The MSc, CSCS, strength coach, gym founder and all-around guru-dude cracking the whip here at Okanagan Peak Performance Inc. Now you have to know that I’m not bragging about this. To have gone through seven or perhaps even eight different trainers in the last twenty years or so is not exactly a badge of honour. I want nothing more than for Chris to finally be my last.
It’s been a solid two decades since I first went to war with my body. And throughout that time I have enjoyed my share of victories and defeats, along with more general frustration and base-line annoyance than I could ever shake a foam roller at. (and if you don’t know what that analogy means then I guess you gotta join OPP…) Sure I can get motivated but I can also give up. I can get happy and excited but slip just as fast to angry and frustrated. The battle is never-ending, for me at least.
Now I recognize tagging this intensely personal struggle as a “war” may not be a particularly healthy way to view such things, but in all honesty that is exactly how it’s progressed. I fight my way down the weight ladder (or up the fitness one) only to lose focus or somehow self-sabotage and muck things up anew. I’m petulant, impatient and easily distracted. I’m also slow-moving and easy, until I get annoyed and flip out in an instant. I am as active and as diligent as I can be lazy like a sloth. Add in decades of marinating my over-stimulated consciousness within a brew of media-perfected imagery crossed with Hollywood outcomes and you’re left with a forty-two year old man-child thinking he can eat like a ten year-old boy and somehow have the body of a Greek god. Can you say unrealistic and unattainable? I should think so.
For most, even coming to the gym is pretty damn hard. Not the work so much as the necessary admission (or recognition) that we somehow managed to screw up whatever comparatively amazing body God, Gaia or whoever gave us way back when…..and that now we have to do the hard work of fixing what we should have never let go.
There is nothing easy about this journey – at least not for me. But I won’t quit, ‘cause among other traits I’m also stubborn as a rock. At any rate, Chris had asked if I would write a sort of weekly insight/breakdown/rant/whatever as to life from the point of view of the trained. Websites like these usually have more than enough trainer-talk to go around, or those syrupy-sweet success stories meant to inspire but this may be the first time you’ll read a column written by an actual sneakered soldier slogging his way through the trenches of fitness. And I can assure you, it ain’t always gonna be pretty.
Each week my hope is to offer an insight or a look into what’s going on with me, my training here at OPP and how it all fits into my larger life. I’ll tell you when I’m pleased and I’ll tell you when I’m downright ticked – No filter, except for maybe language. Maybe….
And as far as the title goes, I wanted something that would make you look at it. Using “ugly” and “naked” ought to have that covered. But in a larger sense the point I’m looking to make is the let down most of us feel when we step out of the shower and catch a shot of ourselves in the mirror. We either sigh and look away, or drop our heads and pretend not to see. And it’s not because we hate ourselves or that we wish we were someone else. In my heart I know I’ve let myself down by not holding things together. In truth, no one should ever feel ugly when they’re naked – not because they found a way to give everyone a body like Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt – but because we know we’re doing all we can to get better. So what comes next? Check back next week and we’ll both see.