Client conversations: meet Jacob

This post is is the seventh in my new client conversations series. I’m lucky enough to train really diverse and interesting folk with all kinds of training goals, ambitions, professional backgrounds and life experiences. I’ll regularly feature an interview with a client on my blog, so you can get to know them! Meet Jacob (Jake)

You in 25 words or less

A scientist by trade, I need to keep my body active. At 20 I started climbing and gymnastics, and expanded into Capoeira recently.

What’s on your playlist right now?

I don't actually own compact earbuds, which makes tailoring a gym soundtrack difficult. When I get the chance it'll be a mix of upbeat music, usually a combination of DnB (Particularly anything from Hospital or Vision records!), tech metal, and various kinds of psytrance. The intensity keeps me motivated to push harder when I'm nearing my limits.

Why did you decide to start training with me?

It seems to be becoming less common to form mentor-student relationships in today's world. But when it comes to longer efforts of a personal nature, I think it's crucial to find a trainer you get along with. Of course, you should find someone whose skills reflect the direction in which you'd like to progress. Simon's easy candor makes for enjoyable training sessions, and his expertise has shaped my training in such a way that I really feel like I'm making progress.

What are your big picture training goals?

We only get one body, at least until cybernetics really kicks off. To that end, it seems like the best thing to do with it is to ensure it is as capable as can be for as long as can be. I train for recreation, for longevity, and for utility. The body eventually decays and weakens, and want to stay out of a wheelchair for as long as I can! There are proven mental health benefits to fitness and exercise, too, and this is all the more reason to train something you enjoy. In general, my goal is to maximize mobility and control in all degrees of bodily freedom; to find the limits of my motion and step beyond them for as long as I can.

Who inspires you?

When I was training gymnastics over in WA, there was this older fellow in the classes. Never missed a session, and his knees were so dodgy that he couldn't do any of the tumbling or track that we youngsters managed, not even the warmups. But he was a king on the rings, miles ahead of anyone else in the class. He knew his hard limits and he worked around them. He did it for the challenge, and I respect that.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about getting into training?

Starting is hard. Persisting is hard.

When you begin it is rarely clear how you should best progress towards your goals, even if you know what your goals are! Advice from a coach, even if only once a month or so, can really help guide you. At the same time, it can be really helpful to set specific goals; anything from "I want to do X lift better", or "I wish I could do Y." Even with specific goals, there is general work that can be done that will help you towards those goals and provide you with a better foundation at the same time.

Once you have enough experience under your belt, you can be your own inspiration. What can you do now that you couldn't do twelve months ago? Two years ago? If you ever doubt how far you can go, just look at how far you've come. And you shouldn't be discouraged because someone can do more than you. Chances are, they've put in more hours and that's all there is to it. Don't get mad for starting later than them; you'll inspire somebody one day.