How I transformed my body and mind with the help of Coach G
I started working with Coach G a little over a year ago after a good friend of mine
suggested that I give it a try. In that time, I’ve learned a great deal about myself,
both physically, and mentally, and with Giulia‘s guidance about the importance of
nutrition, as well as the spiritual journey that we are all on to be the best version
of ourselves. I will admit, when I first started, I expected to get ripped in 4 to 6
weeks and then go on my merry way, indulging in the bad habits that I had
settled into after many years.
Drinking, eating indiscriminately, ignoring sleep, all while competing, started to break me down. I was exhausted, and my body hurt all over– my back, achilles, and shoulders. I had tendinitis seemingly everywhere. I had actually convinced myself that this is the only way forward, the playing my sport requires playing through pain, I just need to tough it out.
My sport wasn’t making me stronger. It was breaking me down along with my list of bad habits. My “warrior“ mentality was leading me down a path of attrition.
Giulia quickly made me understand that my body was screaming at me “I’m hurting for a reason, do something about it or else I’ll just keep hurting.“ She taught me how to observe my pain and be with it versus ignoring pain and prolonging it. Big difference! Step one consisted of understanding nutrition and how that affects performance. Simple things like macros, drinking enough water, salt balance, protein intake, etc. is really the platform from which to build on. I noticed the days that were out of balance on the nutritional side were always harder lifting days. The more I paid attention to what I put in my body, the better I could perform. She helped break nutrition down so it makes sense to me.
Step two for me has been reforming my self image to one based on self-respect. This body is the only possession we have that will carry us through life. Giulia helped me realize there’s no limit to the amount of strength you need to get
through it. It’s all good. She’s helped break down the many myths about lifting weights and is helping me see the simplicity, elegance, and efficiency of Olympic weightlifting and free weights. Only I can be my own protector and I must respect
my own body to do that. I’m starting to form a self image based on self-respect. Step three has been understanding the nexus between spiritual growth and its physical manifestations. Giulia is an ardent believer that our physical selves are
just an extension of our spiritual existence. It’s hard to argue that when you boil it all down. This has caused me to question what is really going on inside that leads to destructive behaviors. I’m actually OK with having some fun, I’m no monk, nor do I really want to be, but it’s been more important for me to see why I take it too far and kind of just sit with it, now.
The last step is the physical one. The actual lifting of weights, the strain and exhaustive process of building muscle. At 46 it takes me longer to build muscle and faster to lose it. I’ve really had to learn about this process from scratch. When she first had me get into a front rack position, I was like “WTF, I can’t do this.“ And I really couldn’t! G has a penchant for quickly understanding where someone is, physically. I’ve never seen anyone with her level of understanding of strength, conditioning, and
performance. It’s not academic but experience.
It sets her apart.
There’s so much for me to learn, and I’m humbled by how much there is to it. Like perfecting my stroke in my sport, the Olympic lifts have their own “strokes“ and I’m having fun learning a new thing. I feel like a student, and that super charges me. All of this is to say, sure my body is stronger, (much more so!), and my kids and my wife feel up my muscles (I make them! :), but in some way, it all feels like a fringe benefit of this journey I am on. Maybe it’s my “midlife crisis“ but if that crisis is simply showing me the importance of taking care of myself, so be it.
Gone are the daily aches and pains and the dread of competing through it. I’m grateful to G for believing in me and grateful to my family for encouraging me.
I’ll be better for it.