I had a really great day.  I was able to do 50 squats pain-free (I pissed off one of my knees last week trying a one-legged squat variation and have had to give myself some time to heal and hooray it is working!), I spent time working out details for the nutrition coaching program I’m going to be making available very soon, I got to meet with a strength coach I really admire, I spent time at the home of my friend John of Movement and Culture  (stay tuned for an upcoming guest post I’ll be writing for him on the role of chairs in a culture of passivity and Henry Rollins, no I’m not joking) and now I’m writing a blog post while eating a pile of pastrami.  Seriously, great day.

Initially I started writing a very lengthy post about meditation and what it’s taught me for this week, but something got me stuck half-way through.  I wasn’t sure what was holding me back until I was over at John’s with a few other folks messing around in his backyard.  John just built his monkey bars, so we had those to play on (and the sweet swings he also just installed) and he also had out his weight vest, some sandbags, a few kettlebells, etc.  Basically a fitness nerd party.

John’s wife Shelly (who if she will finally start that blog that I know she will be amazing at I will plug here! hint hint!) told me she’d been working on her kettlebell swings and asked me if I’d give her some pointers.  I spent some time with her and she saw some technique improvements and got a little sweatier, smiles all around.  Next, Shelly’s friend Caroline stopped by and told me she’d been wanting to learn how to swing, so I took her through some drills as well and now she is ready to buy her own starter bell.  She thanked me for my help and then asked me several more fitness related questions from how she could get her first pull-up to some form questions for overhead pressing.  And because I am a true fitness nerd this was all a pleasure for me, I could talk fitness all day but I especially love to see someone go from curious to the beginnings of competency with a new skill; it’s like getting to see your friend go on their first date with a crush and then see it turn into a beautiful relationship.

Although I am a personal trainer and a coach I really think the heart of my job is in problem solving:  I help my clients solve their problems by teaching them how to do it themselves while always being available to lend a hand if they get stuck.  I love this more than anything because it fits so well with my core values which center around this belief:  if you supply people with simple tools they can use and an encouraging environment to work in they will build themselves up into who they want to be.

It’s as simple as that:  we all have exactly what we need to become who we are supposed to be.  And sometimes you need a buddy to teach you the techniques to use what you’ve got or to help you navigate through a rough patch.  And that’s what I do, what I’m good at, what I love and what lights me up inside like nothing else.

And, to me, my job is easy because all I have to do is ask questions.  I ask questions like, “what will make this person hinge properly?” when I am teaching the swing.  I ask questions like, “what is the main limiting factor keeping this client from hitting their nutrition goals and how do I have them find the best solution for it?” when coaching nutrition.  This week I used this questioning on myself while I was healing and couldn’t squat:  how can I best work my legs without exacerbating this injury?  The answer, as always:  deadlifts.

I started this life as a nerd, and I have morphed into a meathead and now I get to be a nerdy meathead.  I get to teach people how to lift and how to move and how to lose weight and gain muscle in healthy, sustainable ways.  And I also write this blog so I can explore the philosophical side to self-transformation and growth.  And I really enjoy that, but, like I said, this week I got stuck.  But then I started to think, maybe I’m not asking the right questions … or maybe … I need someone else to ask me the questions.

And here’s where I need your help!  I started this blog because I wanted to get better at communicating my ideas to others, but those ideas have to be of value to others.  I need to know what questions you have that you want answered.  Ask me anything (well, anything I might know something about) and I will write a post answering that question for you!

What do I know about?  Well, I’m a personal trainer, a nutrition and wellness coach and a total geek for personal growth.*  So, if you have a question about exercise, food, fat loss, muscle gain, strength gain, injuries, proper form, self-maintenance, fear, confidence, techniques for positive change or anything else you can think of that might be related I want to hear your question!

Please ask your question below in the comments or on my Facebook page (which is where you might have found this blog article) and I will do my best to answer it.  If I don’t know the answer I will do my best to direct you to resources where you can find the answer.

Seriously, ask me anything, it would make my day!

*That could mean anything, right?  Ok, I have 7 years experience in the health and wellness field, 4 as a yoga teacher and 3 as a personal trainer.  I didn’t just do a weekend cert. for training either, I went to school for a full year (840 hours of classroom time).  And, like I said, total nerd here so my continuing education is my part-time job.  I read books about nutrition science, coaching techniques and change psychology for fun (and a fair amount of sci fi/fantasy, too).  I’ve taken an average of four courses and workshops in various movement arts, modalities and techniques every year since I certified.  I also have personal experience in that I have lost 65 lbs of fat and gained 30 lbs of muscle so far through sustainable fitness and nutrition.  And I can barely begin to express the passion I have to see people chase their potential and become the superheroes they were born to be.

Elias Gross