Skepticism weighing heavy as I began my journey to the consultation with a personal trainer (PT) we will call Jim. My first time entering the world of PT, I did not know what to expect. I kept my mind open a crack.
Waiting to greet me at the door his head peeking around the corner with a common not often seen Minnesota smile and greet I entered his space. And what a space it was. Nearly the size of the gym I would frequent in Minneapolis. This was not Minneapolis it was Tokyo and I was impressed. This must cost a fortune in rent considering it was central Tokyo, a prime real estate area. That right there was my first piece of evidence, this guy must be the real deal.
After changing into gym clothes, we dove right in. He had me doing all kinds of what to the casual observer seemed like odd exercises – squatting with my heels on a bamboo pole. Oh so Japanese. Or sitting with my butt against the wall and legs askew stretching my arms in opposite directions. Put me on a bike, no problem. A weight room, piece of cake. Static stretches, I can do them in my sleep. That’s old school, 20th century old. We are well into the 21st and I was clearly out of my element.
I was dare I say, among what I can only say as genius. More on that later. I kept my mouth shut and let him prepare to work his magic. And magic it was. He broke the silence by explaining that what he was doing was testing my strength and mobility on a muscular and skeletal level. There were clearly weak areas that needed work, but not horribly so as in having to start over and rebuild me like Steve Austin had needed to become the bionic man. I’d rather not be him, but at the very least be able to get my body to a sustainable point that will take me into old age with little to no pain. Is this even possible?
Let the magic begin. After his explanations he put me on a massage table. He started moving my legs in directions they had never experienced, feeling the stretch in muscles I didn’t know I had. He told me to hold my breath and push against the force of his hands on my leg, then relax and then would move my leg around as if twisting a pretzel. I was hesitant to let go and let him work, but he moved it in such a confident way I knew he knew what he was doing and let go. He did the same with both legs and arms.
Then Jim had me stand up to assess what he had done. Then back down to askew my legs and arms in new directions. Then back up to assess. A few more tweaks here and there and I felt the pain in my knee go away and the lactic acid built up from the morning bike ride dissipate. Then he had me go back to the same initial squat-like exercises.
Here is where I knew I had tapped into the real deal, a genius. I squatted on the same bamboo pole he used initially to assess me. This time, the lowest squat I had ever done in years, maybe ever, with no knee pain whatsoever. “Wait, WHAT?” This is not possible in less than an hour!” I wanted to scream.
Calmly, he explained in detail what he had been doing, the problem areas and how it is all tied to breath and the nervous system. He was firing a different level of my nervous system and engaging it with my muscles and massaging and working out areas that were tight.
To say I was impressed was an understatement. The last person who blew me away like this was someone I ended up studying with for many years, and who also changed my life. This might be the next level only in a slightly different way.
We went on to discuss diet and he sent me on my way with a vitamin C recommendation, Olive Oil and two stretching exercises I do every night.
One would think that after one consultation session it would have minimal effect at best. Not the case. I am sold.
If Jim can do what he did to me in less than an hour, think what can be done in a matter of weeks or months.