TransActive Fitness: How can I blog if I cannot lift my arms?

How can I blog if I cannot lift my arms?

I can hear Mike behind me sharing “Come on buddy, you got this,” so I plunk my arms down on the table and have at it.

You see, that is the thing about working with Mike. He pushes me to my limit, not over, not just up to, TO MY LIMIT, a place I have not yet figured out how to get to on my own.

“Don’t make up your mind that you can’t do it before you even start…(the next rep)” he encourages. Reminding me that it is my mind that is being exercised equally with the rest of my muscles. This will prove to be a key reminder.

I have spent years developing my lower body, and Mike is committed to helping my upper body “Catch up.” So today we are doing bench presses, lat pull downs, a series of curls, Arnolds and rows, LOTS of rows.

“Tuck your elbow in as close to your body as you can!” Mike reminds me. So I try. And I can’t get it very close. Mike has me put the weight down, curious about this phenomenon and we investigate together. My elbow, even without weight, does not touch my body. He asks if he can touch me then presses my elbow to my body. It feels AWKWARD. Hm, he says in thought. “No worries. Keep it as close as you can. You have spent a lifetime working around a part of your body that no longer exists. We might spend what seems like a lifetime getting it there, but don’t worry, with diligence we will move closer every time we train.”

I am not like other guys in the gym. I have patterns and habits that come from a life I am leaving in my history. I am not like ladies in the gym, I have a shared history and no longer a shared hormonal profile and body shaping. Mike treats me like the individual, complex, determined body builder I am striving to be, helping me sculpt shape from hard work, curiosity, acceptance of the awkward and even a bit of humor.