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WHY YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO SKIP TRAINING! – Nimble Fitness: New York City Personal Trainer

WHY YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO SKIP TRAINING! – Nimble Fitness: New York City Personal Trainer

Now that I’m in my 50’s…Pause. I can’t believe I just wrote that line. Not because I can’t believe I’m fifty, but because, I feel so energetic, strong, functional, and young!

Granted, I have shaped my life around fitness, and I can partially thank my father’s struggles with his health and his early exit at the age of 46 for that.

When I was just beginning my fitness career, I was driven by the thought of not wanting to live the way my father did his last ten years of life.  I was also sparked by a challenging life experience that left me wanting to be strong. I’m now inspired from a different place inside my heart. From a love of self that, if being honest, didn’t present itself until the last couple of years. I think there was a strong energy inside me to just get past 46.

This is one reason I’m so patient and compassionate with my clients, friends, family, and every other person striving to better their health and fitness.  It’s no simple task to look at taking good care of ourselves mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually as the most important class in life we will ever take. A class that never ends until the last minute of our time in our bodies. We are not taught in school that over our lifetime we can tap into areas of ourselves that we are blind to, through breath, movement, nutrition, sleep, nature and taking on a “training for life” mindset. The fact that at any age we can better our health and fitness is fascinating to me. How magnificent is the human body that it can heal itself under the right circumstances and environment!

My mother recently had brain surgery to remove a part of a tumor that may or may not have caused issues in function in the approaching years. She made the tough decision to have surgery after several months of getting opinions all of which had a different strategy and approach to her care.  She trained for months physically and prepared mentally leading up to the surgery the best she could.  My guess is, we will all experience something like this with a friend or family member over our lifetime and if you have already, you know how challenging it is. If you have not, I will share that it’s our training that prepares us to be the best care giver we can be, when called upon.  I was so impressed with my mother’s courage, strength, and a healthy dose of naivety to take this surgery head on.  The naivety was one hundred percent around what the recovery would be like, and I think that was a good thing. She might not have made the decision to have surgery if she knew how tough those first two weeks post-surgery would be and then the next several months to full recovery.

Sitting bedside with her directly after the surgery I was very emotional. It’s so hard seeing someone you love in such pain. I focused my heart on sharing every ounce of energy in me and directed it towards her healing. I do this with all friends and family that need healing. It gives me an action, something I can do in a moment of feeling helpless. Those first couple of days she didn’t make it out of bed. They had to remove muscles around her jaw to open her skull to remove the tumor. Her right eye on the side of the tumor had major swelling and pressure from the surgery and looked like Mike Tyson hit her in the eye with all his power. Thankfully, for her and everyone that loves her, she took the punch and got back up on her feet.

Those first couple days she was doing the standing eight count and needed assistance to walk. If you don’t know this boxing reference, it’s when a boxer gets knocked down and then makes it back to standing but is wobbly with unsteady legs.  By day three, the hospital PT walked her to the bathroom.  I walked her down the hall. Day four, the PT walked her down the hall. I walked her down the hall and then down the next hall. Every time she wanted to turn around, I asked, can you do a little more Mom? When day five rolled around the PT took her down the hall and the next hall. I took her around the floor.  Hospitals are amazing and the teams that work there are great but there is a major gap in care, from surgery to full function.

When in the hospital they are just trying to get you good enough to be able to leave. Which is a good thing overall, but if you don’t have the support and strategy to accelerate functional performance, progress can be slowed immensely or stalled altogether. This is especially true for older adults. My mother, still heavily medicated, thought she was going to be heading to a hotel and back home on the train the day after being discharged from the hospital.

In no way did I, my wife, Celene, or the rest of the family think that was a good idea. In our home, in Brooklyn, we could keep a close eye on her and support her husband Ken with her care. I knew how important those first two weeks were to the entire trajectory of her recovery, and I wanted to put my twenty five years of being a strength and conditioning coach to work on my one and only mother.

Those two weeks were some of the toughest and most rewarding two weeks of my life. Our entire family stepped up and together we helped my mother have what we think was a very strategic recovery program.  That plan is as follows.

First, we had to manage all the drugs and the timing of those drugs which was assigned to Ken and was his primary task. I oversaw helping Mom get around but mainly with being a pain in the ass and making her walk, even though she didn’t want to at times. She had a nasty strained piriformis and sciatica from only being able to lay on her left side for six days in the hospital. That didn’t stop her from getting her walks in. Each walk was longer than the next. No walker needed and I attribute that to the months of training leading up to her surgery. There is no substitute for training! We are an electrical organism that responds to movement. We are a pump that needs pressure to maintain charge and detoxify the body. This happens when we move and strengthen our bodies.

Training neuromuscular patterns helps us maintain a functional gait that lends itself to better balance. We feel more confident, strong, and powerful from challenging these aspects of our fitness through smart training. The result is, we recover faster from bed rest or an injury, like my mother did.

Which brings me back to the title of this article, we can’t afford to not train!

Does this mean you need a trainer? No! It means you must become the trainer! If you don’t hire one to learn from, you read books, take courses, and educate yourself on how to get fit, eat healthy, sleep better, connect with nature, and cultivate an environment for a healthy mind. So much of how we live in this very moment and just as importantly, the same present moment when we are 80 or 100 years old, will be dictated on the curiosity, dedication, consistency and play that you act on now. What you say to yourself, how you walk and the rate in which you are breathing at this very moment is either up regulating or down regulating your automatic nervous system. What are you communicating to your cells and self?

Let’s hope none of us needs to call upon the depth of courage and resilience my mother did but if we do, let’s know we trained our minds, body, and spirit to get through it the best we can and the most expedited way.

Class is in session, all day, every day.



Daniel Lucas

Co-Founder, Owner

Nimble Fitness

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