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What an AWESOME weekend

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Holy craaaaap, this weekend was amazing.

I was actually attending a course this weekend. That may not seem like a very interesting thing to be doing to most people, but I liked it for a multitude of reasons. I love to learn things, anything really, just for the sake of having knowledge. Give me a chance at something I'm really passionate about, and I'll be all over it.

The course I took was for the Darby Training System, and covered physical assessment and program design. My class was full of trainers who have been in the industry for a really long time (14 years, 10 years, 9 years, etc.) so when it got to me it was like "Well, I've been in the industry for a whopping two months.." haha. It was cool though, because the guy who won PT of the year in the company I work for was actually in my course. He's interning, essentially, to become an instructor for those courses, but having access to him to ask questions was an amazing opportunity.

I knew some of the issues that were present in myself, but having to go through the assessment process many times and have it done many times gives me a really in depth perspective on what I have to work on to improve my own fitness, as well as what I'm doing pretty well in. Wicked.
With this also came a new way for me to help mobilize my joints, and the ones for ankle and hip mobility were of particular interest to me. I've been trying to improve my squat down to full depth (with load), but have been severely restricted on my movement depth due to my ankles. They're both tight/restricted and unstable, so my squat suffers. Two options for mobility are ones I already do (foam roller, lacrosse ball for trigger points), but I learned some self-traction... holy CRAP is it amazing. Since learning this on Friday, and doing it for about 10 minutes a day since then, my squat depth with proper form has increased to parallel with no elevation under my heels. I was so happy about this, it could have made the course worth it on its own.

The physical assessments done in this course are SO MUCH better than the ones I have to do at work - they tell me more accurately exactly what I should be getting clients to focus on and they take a fraction of the time. I can literally finish one of them in about 15 minutes, and know at least one thing that can immediately help them. Love it!

Program design was definitely something I wanted to learn as much about as I could. I do know how to write programs, or else I'd never have passed a practical exam or my interview, but I knew there was room for improvement. What an improvement. We had a few case studies that we had to write programs for during different phases of training. The entire class went from struggling to write a days workout in 25 minutes (and they turned out lower quality) to being able to write two days in around 15 minutes with higher quality programs being produced. Wicked thing to see, and I feel way more comfortable in my knowledge now.

Today, being the last day, had us doing a full workout so we could physically experience how different ways of programming felt. The first workout in the morning wasn't too bad. The class was divided in two groups, with half doing it on the full gym floor with the one instructor Brian, and the other half staying in the area we were in with Kevin. When we got back downstairs, Kevin was in the middle of a story and stopped to say that Brian's group didn't look like they'd worked as hard as his, said we looked all relaxed and such. He likes to randomly put people on the spot, so in the middle of talking, he went "So, Raven, how was the workout?" The conversation progressed as "Yeah, it was alright - "Just alright?" - "Yeah. Kind of feel like I could have done more.." So he challenged me. Of course I had to take the challenge, he put it right out in front of everyone. "Could have done more? So you're saying you're going to win on the rower this afternoon?" - "Rowing machine? Hmm.. Sure, why not" - "No, are you going to be the women's rowing winner or not?" - "Yes, I am." - "Alright ladies, there you go. Raven's thrown down the challenge."
Silly me. Went and had lunch at the little diner across the street. Way too much food to be exerting that much energy so soon afterwards, but still. We did get to settle for a bit before we actually started working out, and it was a 5 round circuit. One of the stations was the one with the rower. 4 minute round. What had to be done was row as fast as you can to 250m, off the rower and do five full burpees (touching the floor with both chest and thighs at bottom, and both feet required to leave the ground on the jump). As soon as they're done, back on the rower and row as much distance as you can onto that 250 until the round time was up. The winner was whoever rowed the furthest distance. He said before we started that anything over 700m for women or over 1000m for men was great. I obviously started at the rowing station because if I was going to do the challenge I needed to do it before I used up my energy. I'm going to outright say that I felt like I was going to puke when I was done and my head was feeling very light and floaty, but I was bloody determined to win. He even decided that's when we was going to be at the rowing station to try and distract me. I actually found it hilarious, but I refused to let him beat me.
Guess who won the women's rowing. Bam.
My total distance was 993m. I was kind of annoyed that I missed 1km by 7 stinkin' meters, but it didn't matter. I knew I was going to try and likely do pretty well, but I surprised myself with just how far I got, and I'm stupidly proud of myself. I've had a silly grin on my face since it happened.

The silly grin is also due in part to Kevin himself. Now, bear in mind that Kevin is actually the Darby in Darby Training Systems. It's his program, and his course. Super intelligent, been in the industry a long time, and overall really cool guy. When we were doing the introductions at the beginning of the course, I had mentioned that I'm still a fair bit nervous talking to people on the floor and trying to sell myself. He stopped me before we all left today and was like "Ok, I have to ask. Seriously, -you- are nervous talking to people on the floor? Do you see how you walk around? It's like you own the damn place, and with good reason. You're sharp, you have the knowledge, and you train insanely -anywhere- on the floor. You have no reason to be nervous, just go do it. You're going to be incredibly successful."
Not that the testimonals to that effect from everyone else I've heard it from don't mean anything to me. They're all important and I appreciate every single one. But to have just started in this industry and hear something like that from a guy who's essentially a "household name" in fitness.. Awesomeawesomeawesome.
I was talking to my friend afterwards, and mentioned that fact. I was told "You know, you're the type of person that he looks at to teach those courses. So just be aware of that."

I still can't wipe the silly grin off my face. I'm so proud of myself, I've learned a LOT of really useful information that I can start using immediately, and I keep getting outside support telling me that I'm in the right spot. Great feeling.
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