The main problem I was having, that lead me to individual coaching, was issues with my lower back. Standing or sitting for any length of time caused lower back pain – and given I sit in front of a computer (or on an airplane) most of the day for work, it was near constant! I’d had several instances where I pulled a muscle in my lower back which prevented me from participating in planned activities. Also, walking or standing for any length of time put a lot of strain on my back, and made even simple family outings difficult and painful.
Nothing was working! My PCP prescribed pain patches and rest, but these 1) only masked the problem and 2) did nothing to prevent it from recurring, not to mention limiting my activity! It was SO frustrating not being able to do the things I wanted to be doing, especially with my family. I knew I had to take a different approach if I was going to break the cycle. I’ve worked with coaches before, at other gyms, but it never felt I was getting programming that was individualized to me or the issues that I was having.
I started with individual coaching right when I joined Pennant. For me it was essential to have some accountability, to ensure I would stick with what I started. Also, having a program tailored to me and my needs/schedule, and is completely flexible, was important. This is the first time I’ve worked with a coach who would program workouts for me to do outside the gym – either at home or in hotel gyms. This means I can be consistent and not go long periods without working out when my work schedule gets hectic (as it often does).
One unique think about the individual programming at Pennant is that, to me, it has felt like a layered approach. My coach initially took the time to understand the issues I was experiencing, and also my long term goals. Step one was to alleviate my back pain to strengthen my core to ensure I had a strong foundation to build on. A few months in, with my back no longer giving me trouble, we were able to quickly shift the focus back to my overall goals. Then again, when my knee started bothering me, one conversation is all it took for my coach to start working modifications and targeted exercises into my workouts – I don’t have to think about it; he does that for me!
Above all, my coach is constantly checking in with me to ensure I’m feeling good with the programming and that we’re aligned on my goals. He pushes me a little so that I continue to get stronger, and I feel like he takes my feedback into consideration. He is patient and encouraging with me as I get comfortable with new movements. I also really appreciate the flexibility around my travel and work schedule.
I don’t know that there was one moment when I realized the coaching was working, but I can certainly testify that I felt the difference in only a few weeks! More accurately, I was NOT feeling pain, and was able to get back to living my life without having to worry about pain and discomfort, or hurting my back doing every-day activities. I’m now able to walk and stand, sit, lift and move – for any length of time – without giving my lower back a second thought!
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