By Coach Carlos Castro
As strength coaches or personal trainers, we are normally givers, and in many cases, it becomes challenging to receive. As in any aspect of life, there must be a balance, and a good way to do it is to invest in yourself.
By investing in yourself I’m not talking about buying something you want or need, or going to a restaurant to enjoy a meal you really want to have. I’m talking about investing in your body and health.
Commonly our schedules are very busy having clients from early in the morning to late in the afternoon/evening, with some spaces in between that we normally use for our own training, writing training programs, replying to emails and messages, posting on social media, or simply do something that has to be done. Then the weekend comes and we spend time with family and friends, which is fantastic, doing groceries or other things for the house or simply catching up with work that has been piling up during the week, and this is all fine, but there is something missing in this equation, and that is your health.
If you are organized and fortunate enough to be able to devote time during your day to stretch or relax the structures that you trained that day or the day before, great for you, and please keep doing it! But what I have found is that a high percentage of people in our profession cannot accomplish that and excess tension, scar tissue, and even spasms start to accumulate in different parts of our bodies creating faulty mechanics, leading to eventual injuries, strength losses and even the inability to create hypertrophy.
Case in point, one day my wife hired a Thai Massage Therapist that was highly recommended by one of her clients. Her nickname is Dada. Incidentally, that day a good friend of mine was at home so I gave him the chance to enjoy the massage, because as usual, I was too busy and “I couldn’t afford to waste one hour” – very stupid, I know.
When his massage finished, he told me how Dada found different sports in his back that were causing issues and also that she found the origin of nerve entrapment, and that opened my eyes. Finding a nerve entrapment is not that easy.
That same day we booked Dada for next week and my first session with her was literally one-hour torture! She found so many spasms between my spine and my scapulae, including of course erector spinae, rhomboids, levator scapulae, and serratus posterior, that she spent the whole hour in that region. The soreness the next day was not normal and the training was very awkward because of the changes in the mechanics, which obviously were better. I also noticed that my posture improved and that my back felt lighter after the soreness disappeared, three days later. Since that day, we have been receiving massages from Dada every week, as a form to invest in ourselves.
You might be asking why you guys don’t do ART and/or GuaSha on each other since it’s something you actually teach? The answer is very simple. We did it for some time, and then we started postponing it and postponing it, to the point that several months passed without doing any treatment for each other. There was always something better to do. Having a person booked to receive a massage or therapy gives a “must do” connotation and in our case, if that’s what it takes to be healthier and receive for ourselves, we’ll do it!
When you do something for yourself, the reward center of the brain gets activated with the right message, and this is also something important to make emphasis, as normally that part of the brain gets activated by the wrong stimulus, like sugary foods or compulsive behaviors.
The message here is very simple. Find and hire one of our certified Instant Strength & Mobility practitionersto perform GuaSha on you, ART practitioners, or any other type of soft tissue therapist that can assess and treat the right structures in order to keep your body tuned up. Trust me, you’ll notice and feel the difference in your day-to-day life and your body and brain will appreciate it big time!
This is what I call investing in yourself!