A client came in recently, glowing with excitement. “Jennifer, you know that exercise where you have me step sideways over imaginary curbs of different heights? There was a curb outside the movie theater I didn’t see. I found myself tripping sideways over it, but I caught my balance like it was no big deal and kept walking. My wife didn’t even see it happen. It was all because of you that I didn’t fall!” (This client is 80 and has been training with me for 12 years. Whether or not the practice in the gym is what saved him, I don’t know. The important thing is that he felt empowered in a potentially precarious situation).
Working with clients for many years has taught me about the importance of re-evaluating goals periodically and adjusting an individual’s exercise routine to fit those goals. It is easy to get burned out on anything if you do it twice a week for over a decade, especially if that thing doesn’t change to suit your needs. This client had shared with me earlier this fall that he wanted to continue working on balance and strength. I incorporated dynamic balance drills into his routine because they are fun, which leads to greater mental engagement, and life requires dynamic balance in several different ways. He enjoys the challenge, and has progressively improved. About four months ago, I found myself getting a little burned out on my own fitness routine. It wasn’t serving me the way it once had. After some evaluation, I began a program that is challenging enough to keep me mentally and physically stimulated, yet approachable enough that I don’t feel discouraged. When you find yourself burned out with exercise or fitness, take a moment to re-assess your current life goals and priorities. Ask yourself how your exercise program can enhance those things. With many different exercise programs and systems out there, there is something that will serve you. It might look differently than it did three years ago, and that’s okay. We change and our training interests and goals should reflect that.