One question I inserted into my consultations before working with new people bought a significant amount of insight.
“Is there anything you’re avoiding or being gentle with?”
Common answers included running, jumping, deadlifting and overhead work.
I’ve come to realise that not only does this question transcend exercise; it often spotlights what we wish we were able to do with our exercise, our bodies and our lives.
Understanding what we avoid, consciously or subconsciously can cut through numerous self assessments, road blocks (often artificially created, but still real to us) and for the most part, reveal the true purpose of our health and fitness goals.
If there is something we might be avoiding, it’s popular to create a reason as to why. This reason could be a protective mechanism, a personal belief, a lie or a blanket answer to cover any further inquiry. Many of these are valid, true and not appropriate to fully unpack when first meeting a person. Although they can be bookmarked for future reference.
Whether it’s back pain, fear of failure, previous trauma, loss or even the pain of starting something new, the path to progress appears to be forward, at a pace we can handle.
Confronting what we avoid is a tricky task. It requires an admission of habit and a deeper look at how we arrived to where we are. It is also helpful to recruit people around us that have better solutions to our pain than just merely ourselves.
Pain is a signal that we can either avoid until it turns into an alarm or we can lean into to better understand our bodies.