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Am I The Problem Or The Solution? - Tucson Personal Trainer Blog

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Am I The Problem Or The Solution? - Tucson Personal Trainer Blog

By: Jerry Trubman, Owner and Founder

Today’s post is a bit out of character for me. My intention is twofold: First, I’d like to share my resolution for 2021. Second, I’d like to take an opportunity to put myself out there and be vulnerable. Some may see coaches/online influencers/thought leaders/etc. as people who have it all together. This is simply not the case. The culmination of things from 2020 has left many of us in a bad head space (I’m sure you can relate). Sometimes the best way ‘out’ is ‘through’. 

In late March of last year this business was shut down. We made the decision to pivot: We gave out almost all of our equipment to our loyal patrons and moved coaching to Zoom and YouTube. We were told it would just be for a couple weeks in an effort to, “Flatten the curve.”

At that point, COVID seemed serious and uncertain. We could be dealing with something of biblical proportions. Most reasonable people understood the idea of laying low for a couple weeks and letting the experts get organized. As we were teaching our online classes, we were simultaneously coming up with policies and procedures to keep people safe for when we did return to live classes.

Two weeks became two months. Two months became, “You may be able to open soon, but you’ll need to follow strict rules. Here is a 30-page document of those rules.” I thought to myself, “Ok… a little extreme… but whatever… at least I get to reopen!”

But then, despite careful execution of the guidelines, and a total COVID case-count in our facility of zero, we were shut down again. I thought if we did these things, we could stay open? Remember, we are a private training facility, not a big-box gym. Even pre-COVID, our facility never exceeded 25% of our actual max occupancy unless we were holding a special event (and obviously those events were all cancelled).

I’ve found myself spending most of the year running with my head down. Most of the time, major business-altering changes from local government were handed down to us with just a few hours of notice of the time they needed to be executed. I became somewhat numb to the things going on around me. Is this what they mean by ‘the new normal’? If so, the new normal sucks.

I was having a conversation with a client that helped snap things into place. They approached me because they felt like they were just going through the motions of exercise with no purpose other than knowing it was good for them. They were thinking about quitting the gym. I realized they were totally right! This is basically where all of us are! Why should we spend all this money for a coach just to go through the motions? Most of us train for a purpose: An upcoming event, a new PR, hitting a weight loss goal, etc. Right now, we’re just training because we know we know we should… and, of course, trying to stay sane.

I can’t write programming that progressively advances people to certain goals because I’m too busy trying to write workouts that can be done at home with minimal equipment. I can’t write programs that peak for upcoming events because all the events are cancelled.

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Worst Reality TV Show Ever

Normally the political zoo is a reality TV show that we get to watch from the comfort of our quiet little lives. Over the last few years, it became an all-consuming fire that devours every aspect of our being. It’s like a cancer that permeated every unrelated conversation we have with people.

I’m old enough to remember when who you voted for didn’t matter much.

“You voted for the other guy/gal? Ok, cool, whatever. So… what else is going on with you?

Now it’s…

“You voted for HIM/HER? Well, you are obviously brain damaged and shouldn’t be allowed out of the house unsupervised. I don’t think we can be friends anymore.”

Of course, now that a serious world-event has taken place, one that requires genuine leadership and not just lip service, we can now clearly see that most of ‘them’ are not different from ‘us’: Just winging it… making things up as they go along.  

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Problem/Solution

One of my mentors, Dan John, (in the context of coaching during the lockdowns and COVID in general) asked if are we being part of the problem, or part of the solution? I believe he was talking about being responsible and doing our part to not spread the virus. As simple as this question is, I found it difficult to answer.

The whole reason I got into coaching was to improve the quality of people’s lives. Now I’m told that this skill I’ve spent my entire adult life mastering is just a ‘non-essential service’. One that can easily be shuttered within a matter of hours by one executive order, and no one would really care too much. As a matter-of-fact, it (indoor exercise) is listed as one of THE most dangerous things someone could possibly be doing right now.

What is more dangerous: Exercising 6+ feet away from the same few people three times per week in a private class while wearing a mask, or being around 50+ different random strangers each week at the grocery store? You’ve been to a grocery store lately, right? The place where people wear masks correctly about 50% of the time and couldn’t tell 6 feet if you gave them a tape measure…

At the time of this writing (January 2021), several vaccines are out and experts seem to think that by the summer things may start to look more normal. I certainly hope this is the case.

As I sat and pondered my New Year’s Resolution, I kept coming back to Dan’s question: Am I the problem or the solution?

I quickly realized this is a question that goes way beyond the issues of COVID and keeping the gym open. We are constantly presented with situations in our lives where we can ask this question. The more I think about it, the more I realize this question provides me with a more powerful place to stand in any given situation.

There have been numerous situations in the last year where I was placed in a position where I had to choose between two options… and both options sucked… and there was no third option. This is a yucky place to find oneself. Asking the problem/solution question helped ground me into a place where I felt more at ease with making the difficult choice.

In 2021, I’m committed to being the change that I want to see. I’m committed to being the solution in any situation I find myself in.

If you're reading this post, consider it permission to hold my feet to the fire. If I’m the problem, call me out. It’s my resolution to exercise this muscle, and it won’t get stronger without training.

Thanks for reading,

Jerry Trubman is a coach, clinician, author, blogger, and powerlifting state champion. With over two decades of lifting experience, he has devoted himself to seeking out better answers, and distilling them into practical programs that produce great results. Jerry has coached "Team Protocol" to 4 National Powerlifting Championships in the 100% Raw federation. He writes the internationally-read blog, “The Healthy Addiction” and lives in Tucson, Arizona with his wife, Marie. To subscribe to his blog, click here.

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