Thursday, February 3, 2022

Invest in Yourself: A Case for StretchLab

If there is anyone less flexible than me, please raise your hand. 

I have never been flexible. Ever. I can't touch my toes. I undertake all stretching exercises in a modified position, if I stretch at all. I look in wonder, shock and awe at anyone who is a human gumby. I would love to know What's it like to be loose and feel loose? How is it that anyone is able to do the splits and walk again?  From time to time, I have gone deep with this self assessment. I've wondered, Does my lack of physical flexibility carry over into other areas of my life? In other words, What might it mean to be mentally, emotionally and spiritually flexible? Like my physical flexibility, all of this is a work in progress.

While certain sports such as long distance running have compromised my flexibility, being inflexible has diminished my performance in others. For example, as a rower, my reach was never what it would or could have been had I practiced yoga. As a tennis player, increased flexibility would have enhanced my ability to get to the ball as well as my recovery. In golf, I lose yards off the tee because my hips are so tight; I do not rotate like I should.

I know a lot of things. First and foremost, I know things could be different. I also know myself and what works. The 10 minute YouTube clips, though helpful aren't my jam. Yoga? I know. I know. And still, I have several reasons why it is not the solution for me. 

Returning to the gym post-COVID put tremendous strain on my latent muscles. I was stiff and tight long after getting out of bed in the morning. While some people find that lactic acid build-up to be inspiring, I knew it was time for a change. I had an idea of how I could do that:  I wanted to hire someone to stretch me. Is that pathetic? gratuitous? No. Is that even a realistic option? Yes, and I am happy to report, it's the best thing I have done in 2022.

this will never been me

I learned about StretchLab from my friend Ken. We were playing golf when I shared this want and need. To my delight, he offered a viable suggestion. I followed up with what might be the latest trend in the fitness market. I bought, sight unseen. 

When I arrived for my introductory session, the flexologist asked me what sports I play and what I wanted to work onI wanted to work on. Yes, "everything" is a perfectly acceptable answer. I told him a little bit about my story and why I was there. I was intentional about sharing the why. 

In "Helping His Hometown Get Healthy And Swole" Shawntes Gary, a personal trainer said "Usually before I start with the client, I try to find out why. Why they want to do it. Why they want to see the results. If they’re doing it more than, “I just want look good.” That way, down the line when they get burned out, if it’s important enough and that why is important enough, they’ll remember, “Oh, that’s why I’m doing this.” And they’ll stick with it."

I want to stick with my commitment to increased flexibility. I want to stick with knowing myself and what it takes to reach my goals. 

His response was encouraging. He said, "I am just so impressed—you know your why. I'm glad you are here. Way to invest in yourself."

Those 25 minutes, though sometimes uncomfortable, release tension, put me in touch with muscles I didn't know I have and have made me more aware of what I carry and how I carry it. Am I more flexible after each session? Sure. Overall? I am getting there. 

You might think I now work for the company, I have been so excited about who they are and what they do. No, referrals do not get a kick back or financial reward, just the satisfaction of passing on a program that has worked for me.

I said to a friend at the gym just last week, "With all this increased flexibility, you might not recognize me in a few months time." "Nah," he said "this won't change," as he pointed to his face. "Nor will the sarcasm." Of course he's right and yet, I do feel different.

I stand taller now. Though I am still tight and my flexibility is limited, I feel slightly stronger and leaner (though the scales do not suggest otherwise). And that has allowed me to rethink those questions I once held at bay. What does it mean to be spiritually flexible? How might I feel different if I were emotionally more flexible? And why not be mentally flexible?

But the question I have considered the most is one that came from my first conversation at StretchLab. What is your Why? What does it mean to invest in oneself? And what does it mean to make a good investment in oneself? 

I have but one viable answer. It is paying regular dividends, and has me thinking about its product far beyond what I came for. Here's to knowing the Why and investing in that.

Photo Credits
Not Me
Welcome to StretchLab

1 comment:

  1. Here's to being more flexible in all areas of our lives. Thanks Anne.