Life is about building habits. Habits to transform oneself and move towards improvement. We all dream of doing adventurous things, going on hikes, starting to play a sport, lose weight, follow a healthy routine, but something or the other prevents that from happening. You can blame it on your job, kids, spouse or whatever there is to blame. Ultimately it is the habit of finding a reason to not pursue your greatness. In my experience of working with people as a transformation/performance coach I have come to realize one thing; habits construct, and habits destruct. However, it is under your control to build lasting habits that help build a strong foundation. The journey is obviously not easy but totally worth it. This post is about one such life altering journeys that I have had the good fortune to be part of as a coach and mentor.
It was the spring of 2014 when I first chatted with Hrishi about his ailing back condition. His back pain had existed since the past 9 years and he was not sure what had triggered it. In his words “I thought back pains were normal but was not sure why it happened that early in my life”. Hrishi was in his late 20s when his thoracolumbar spine( upper and lower back) started bothering him. He wasn’t in a lot of pain but his condition worsened as years passed by. At the time of our meeting he already had undergone a few MRIs, Xrays and various visits to the doctor/physical therapist. Painkillers and other meds provided temporary relief, but the pain and stiffness returned soon thereafter. One specialist also even told him and I quote ” There is no treatment for what you are going through and you might have to live with it for the rest of your life”. Scans showed no deformity and the doctor’s opinion left Hrishi worried and confused. He consulted other doctors but nothing seemed to work, and he did not want to pop pills everyday. It is under these circumstances that we met. Hrishi knew my interest area as a performance/life coach with a research, sports background and wanted to try if our partnership might help his condition.
In many instances a physical problem with no quantitative proof of deformity is generally a result of imbalances in the various energy systems. In order to treat any physical condition it is therefore imperative to look at human existence in totality and effect habit change. After talking to Hrishi, I realised this was true even in his case. We started slow with one session a week. This comprised of some basic exercises with intermittent running and lots of talking. To Hrishi it was just a few exercises that he indulged in , but I would strike a deeper conversation in trying to understand his motivations, fears, excitements and passions. No change happens without digging deep, and knowledge of self is the ultimate panacea. Slowly we graduated to a more intense routine comprising of yoga, plyometrics, strength and mind training techniques.
With every passing week, Hrishi started observing positive changes in his back. His back felt much stronger on any given day. In a year, not only has his back issue vaporised, but he has lost over 30 pounds of weight. From bursts of pain and unwillingness to indulge in new activities he has now ventured into vast possibilities. Hrishi is now preparing for a half marathon, hitting the gym regularly, sprinting and stretching like a supple leopard. One of his recent adventures included a 4 day, 26 mile trek through the mountains of Colorado, and yes with a 40LB bag with supplies on his back.. Higher altitude, changing weather, lack of sleep were some of the variables he dealt with for all those days and negotiated them really well.
THE TRANSFORMATION that Hrishi has experienced is not just a physical manifestation, but involved a lot of mental and behavioural fitness which was developed over a period of time. It has now changed his approach towards life and experiences. All of us dream of upgrading our lives, but somehow fall short. With proper goal setting, and program design awesomeness can be achieved. Thinking of fitness not just as a physical concept, but as a mental and spiritual phenomenon can truly bring about the TRANSFORMATION. Are you ready for yours?