In 1995, I was three years into my personal training career and was attending a fitness conference in New Orleans with a roommate. I sat in a lecture I was not planning to attend (it was my roommate’s turn to choose the lecture). As it turned out the subject was all about the importance of posture and muscular balance. How choosing exercises based on a person’s structure could help give them better posture and function and remove pain. How choosing the wrong exercises could create distorted posture and more pain. The speaker became our mentor for the next five years and changed my views on exercise and ultimately my life’s direction. Although I continued to study posture and movement, I could not help feeling that I was missing something. I gathered little breadcrumbs of information but seeing the whole picture was eluding me.
In the fall of 2013, I returned from a three-day seminar in San Diego about anatomy and bio-mechanics. The information shared was educational and eye-opening as to how the body truly moves compared to what most anatomy books and personal training certifications describe. This reignited the fire within that compelled me to learn more. A week or two later I happened to be scrolling through Facebook posts and came upon an excerpt from a book a colleague had posted. It further explained human motion and was so intriguing I decided to search for a copy of the book to purchase. The search led me directly to the author’s website in London, England.
When my copy arrived, I poured through the simple explanations, observations and information with heightened attention and fervor. Fortunately, the author had included a small insert with the book that a had a handwritten note: “Thank you for buying my book. If you would like to learn more about Anatomy in Motion, please check out our workshops.” This, at first, made me a little sad because I imagined this British author offering workshops farther away than I might be able to travel. What was the chance that a workshop would be nearby? It seemed my chances were very good. He was coming to the states for the very first time and would be teaching in San Francisco in three months! Needless to say, I enrolled in the course and have been under his tutelage ever since. Next week I travel to Vancouver to sit in on the same 6-day immersion course but this time in the role of assistant.
When I think back to all of the little things that needed to occur to allow me to be where I am today I am left without too many words. It was not my original intention to be a professional in this field. During my college years, I had no idea what I wanted to be. Because of this uncertainty, I just let myself go with the flow and let opportunities guide me. What was the chance that my roommate would choose that particular conference lecture? What were the odds that I would be looking at Facebook that one moment when my colleague posted the book excerpt? What was the likelihood that a course offered for the very first time in the states be happening within driving distance from where I live? The common elements in these events were that I maintained an openness and willingness to learn and put aside my fears of the unknown. This was not a natural behavior but something that had to be learned.
I have spoken to many people who find themselves in careers they do not like and in places they do not want to be. Was it because their breadcrumbs led them down a different path or did they fight the willingness to learn and be open to opportunity? I am sure there are some issues which potentially contribute to where we find ourselves. I am just grateful that the trail I am on is one that gives me hope, strength, and one which I can be of service to those around me.