start, pause, progress, regress, learn, and lose (inches and pounds!)

I finally bit the bullet. I knew it was time to take matters into my own hands. I decided to join a real gym, with really smart instructors who could be honest with me about my abilities, my projected goals, and how long it would take. I needed a team of professionals who would welcome me and help me complete my sessions with ease.
I met Fitness on the Run.

Last August, I first came to FOR and took my two required sessions before participating in a class. Their classes max out at six people so each of us can have a semi-private experience with a lot of attention. However, after a few classes, I realized I needed to step back. I was in class with others who had been practicing some pretty complicated movements for at least a year or more.

I learned to “regress.” Instructors like Ryan and Julie taught me we all “regress to progress” before real change and serious strength can be achieved.

The first time is so clear: Adrien was leading a class and had us simply hold a Kettlebell (iconic ball with a handle) in front of our chest (Goblet style) and squeeze every ounce of muscle we had. I was drenched. I really didn’t need any weight to hold, she explained. Using my body weight alone is sufficient for real tension to build, for muscle to grow and for fat to burn.

They talk at FOR about the addiction to movement and our inability to resist it. What does that mean? To truly gain strength, tension is needed. To hold in these tension drills for a variety of intervals I learned I had never sweat as much as I did then. Wow. And all the while I learned where certain muscles were: my glutes, my lats, and my core had never before felt as tight as they did during those drills.


Again, on the movement for movement’s sake: I get it. How many times have you been to the gym or a class and just moved without much thought on how your muscles are contracting and what area of your body is working?

In my one-on-one sessions with an instructor, we practiced a small number of movements so that my class performance would prove more effective. After all, I was learning a whole new language and way to move. I needed help.

I’m an intellectual. I pride myself on educating myself. Well, I have come to the right place. I travel internationally, and heard from FOR about a week after I’d left telling me they missed me. What gym does that?

FOR wants us to focus on the journey, not the outcome. They subscribe to the belief that during our process for what we aim to achieve, we learn so much and tend to alter our goals. There’s always something for which we need to work. Yet over time, it just gets easier because I am more informed.

But really? I still wanted to feel and look better. Well, I do. Through an informed process of moving correctly, learning about the impact of mobility and flexibility on my daily patterns, I got stronger.

What happened to those goals? I lost 30 pounds without stressing about the scale. My job was cut out for me: get the movements right, practice them inside and outside the gym and guess what…the fat melts off. Why because I moved my body the way it was built. And with relative ease.

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