Whenever I speak with someone in the health and fitness field, the common trait shared among us is the philanthropic desire to help others. What a beautiful career we can have helping others and making a pretty decent living at the same time. In the 10 years I've been a personal trainer, I've been very fortunate to have incredible people to work with, clients who taught me as much as they've learned from me. Functional Fitness teaches its participants the value of thinking while moving and this concept becomes the basis for how we create change. I've always taken pride in helping people to increase their awareness of self and subsequently see their bodies improve. While working at Functional Fitness I am blessed to have a person enter the facility and change me as much as I help change them. I've recently had 2 such clients and I'd like to take a moment to share my experience with you.
I began working with a local high school soccer player in the spring of her junior year. She was referred to our center by her father who has been a long time client and proponent of Functional Fitness. He felt something was off with the way she was running because she was constantly in pain after playing soccer and had recently sustained a major injury to her MCL. She came in for an initial evaluation with our world class physical therapist. The information from that evaluation was relayed to Sam Iannetta, the owner of the facility while I shadowed him. I watched as the owner put this girl through our "Functional Analysis" that identified a number of the imbalances and asymmetries that existed in her body. We created a game plan around the PT data and the analysis session and boom I then took over and began taking her through an intensive rehab and corrective exercise protocol in to real strengthening program for power and agility. It took much of the summer of her junior year. Going into fall of her senior year, she was completely pain free and looking forward to playing a strong senior season in soccer. After a great campaign in the fall she continued training diligently through winter and approached spring club season feeling great and looking to make an impact. After being moved from defense to offense that spring, it was clear that she was ready to take her game to the next level. She was accepted to a college in the Midwest and during tryouts she was offered an opportunity to play starting offense on their soccer team. A side note was that as a senior project she chose to do an internship at Functional Fitness which was essentially a year-long project designed to teach the student the values associated with working and running a business. When I asked her, "why do you want to do your senior internship here?" She replied, "Because Functional Fitness has given me so much already and will help me succeed in the future and I just want to give something back." I was blown away! Here was a 17 year old girl who felt so strongly about her fitness program and was able to see the role it played in her life. I was under the impression up till that point that she was merely here for pain relief and injury rehab and was excited that her performance increased as well. I had no idea the level of depth that Functional Fitness had penetrated in this individual. In my nearly 9 years working at Functional Fitness, I've seen Sam's system produce some pretty phenomenal results in many different cases. This was one of my first experiences seeing how it affected me as well. I felt so grateful to be a teacher of this wonderful program and equally grateful to mentor and guide this athlete through her high school career as she prepared for the next level. This past summer we worked incredibly hard every weekend on the track, increasing her power and speed, as well as in the gym continuing with her stability and strength. Her resolve and dedication were nothing short of inspiring. She went out to college a few weeks ago and has been a dominant force on the soccer team. After her 3rd practice, she secured the starting forward position and scored the only goal in their first scrimmage match. I'm so proud of this girl, not only for what she accomplished, but also for what she represents. I'm also very thankful for the opportunity to learn and grow with this client. She taught me so much in the 2 years we worked together. She knows I'll always have her back.
Also roughly 2 years ago, I had a client that I had been training for over 5 years ask me questions about her teenage daughter. She was advancing in the sport of fencing but also beginning to experience some pain from higher and higher intensity practices. I'd worked with her daughter briefly in the years prior, to get her to adjust some of her fencing techniques to decrease stress, wear and tear while she was going through some growth spurts. The pains and aches started affecting her practice and so I began working with her intensely in her junior year of high school. I could see right away that she was an exceptional athlete and had the genetics and talent to go very far in whatever sport she chose. I took Functional Fitness’s trademarked analysis approach and found myself working to unwind structural patterns that were drilled in through years of high intensity fencing. Her athletic ability showed through as the changes came quickly and she was pain free, especially while fencing. We then took on her goal of increased power and agility, strength and reactive quickness. The results were remarkable! She began winning fencing tournaments all over the country and competing around the world. She is currently one of the highest ranked junior fencers in the country. She started competing in more international tournaments where the competition was much greater and was holding her own and winning some tough bouts. Her mother and others were commenting on how shocking it was to see her results start to improve so quickly. It was no shock to me. I knew that the implementation of a personalized Functional Fitness regime and her talented fencing coach would give an incredible edge over her competitors. She fenced strong all summer long and was going to have an amazing senior year. The year was amazing. She was accepted to one of the most prominent university’s in the world and would have the opportunity to be a division 1 fencer on a highly reputable team. She told me at the beginning of her senior year that she wanted to increase her sessions with me from 1 to 2 a week for the coming school year because she saw how Functional Fitness was making her a better, stronger athlete. I was again blown away! Another scenario where I could see the change happening in this girl but wasn't clued in to the awareness she had of her own body and the effect FF was having on her entire life. Continuing with Functional Fitness, she dominated her competition through her senior year and summer and did it all while avoiding any major injuries and fenced relatively pain free. She is now out at school preparing to dominate a new set of obstacles. I was thankful and proud to see her achieve her goals and fulfill her dreams of fencing in a division 1 program. I feel so blessed to see how she kept her eyes on the prize and was going full speed in the direction of her goals never bending or getting side tracked like so many teenagers can. Training her for 2 years+ was such a wonderful experience for me. I learned so much about how to communicate and teach this amazing program. I'm so grateful to Functional Fitness for giving me the opportunity to work with such dynamic personalities in a capacity that helps me have more passion than ever about what I chose to do for a living.
To sum everything up, we never know when the next lesson will be learned, or which person in our lives will deliver the greatest impact. I am so proud of both of these female athletes for what they've accomplished, what they're going to achieve and for what they taught me in the process. I can confidently say that I'm a better ambassador of Functional Fitness after having had the experience to work with these 2 incredible clients. This story is just a reflection of my gratitude to them and to Functional Fitness! Thank you. @Rich1ill