In last month’s instalment of Steph’s Sensational Strength Session we talked about the triggers people use to get themselves into a physical state of mind. For Steph, the trigger is internal. Just get up and do something, whatever you’re capable of doing at that point.
For Steph St. Laurent, fitness and health isn’t a chore, it’s a lifestyle. And if you wait too long to adopt that lifestyle then it just might be too late by the time you do.
Steph: Some things you can improve upon and change but some things you just can’t. If you develop diabetes at a certain point in your life, well you can’t just get rid of it. You have diabetes because of decisions or inherent trends in your body that you either couldn’t or didn’t deal with.
You can start controlling these kinds of things through better nutrition and exercise and everything else so you can minimize the use of pharmaceuticals and drugs to control it later in life.
Kelvin: But you’ve already gone past that control threshold earlier on.
Steph: Right. You’ve already done enough damage to yourself physically that you just can’t counter that. So why not look at it from the perspective that - I’ll never forget a book I read that really ultimately changed my life, “Awaken the Giant Within” by Anthony Robbins.
You need to attach enough pain to not doing something and enough pleasure to doing something that you take the action that’s necessary to do it. So the example would be, if I don’t start exercising and taking care of myself, it means that I’m going to get sicker, I am not going to be well enough, potentially in my retirement years to even enjoy my life with my spouse and whatever when I actually have time to travel and do things.
There’s so much pleasure to the idea of what that means to be fit, to be healthy, to be functional and to do whatever it is you want. Once you define that in your mind then your choices become a lot simpler, they become a little more automatic.
Kelvin: Right, but it’s hard to see the future when people are so busy. How do you reinforce healthy choices for the here and now when it takes planning effort on a daily basis?
Steph: We have situations here in the club where parents are already here with their kids, their kids are on the ice, they’re busy, they’re doing their thing so I often think, why wouldn’t they take that time and say, hey, you know two birds with one stone? While I’m here, why not take a little bit of time for myself.
It’s making the investment in ourselves. I can’t think of how many times over the years I’ve sat in consultations with people, going through everything, their nutrition, where they are, their physical and mental hurdles, their financial hurdles, the things that are getting in their way. But still they say “I need a trainer, I need some guidance.”
There’s huge value in dealing with a professional who cuts out the guess work. People will say “I’ve been at this by myself for three months, I kind of did a program for myself” and we don’t work as hard as we should on our own.
We always perform at a higher level when somebody’s there and keeping you accountable.
Kelvin: And teaching you.
Steph: That’s right. Once or twice a week. You know someone’s waiting for you so you’re going to be consistently making your appointments whereas, ah no, I don’t feel like it today or I got a couple other things I need to get done and then the next thing that window for you to get that time in for yourself is gone.
So you want to look at it from a perspective of affordability, people will say they can’t afford a trainer and I’ll sit down with people and I’ll say, well where are you currently putting your money? I’ll be straightforward. We put a lot of our money into a lot of things that really, in my opinion, don’t really amount to a whole hell of a lot of happiness. Not that people need a trainer to exercise, but the escape doesn’t really fly with me.
Kelvin: Like what? Tell me some of these excuses.
Steph: Well whether it’s, we live in a materialistic world. We’re constantly accumulating things, items, possessions. Even for myself, for example, I have a phone that’s glitchy and I love Apple products and I’m looking at going iPhone 6 plus and it costs me $750 to get out of my current contract and get a new one and I’m looking at myself and asking, do I really need that? Just because my phone’s not doing the things that I want it to.
Kelvin: Treat yourself, right?
Steph: Yeah, right? But I don’t need to spend that money. People will always look to justify buying electronics and whatnot but if you look at what you end up spending in a month on fluff, things that aren’t impact-driven or something that’s truly truly going to give back, like spending time on yourself and health and the fitness perspective.
That’s the gift that keeps on giving. You can’t put a dollar price value on it. And that’s when people start looking at their budget and where they spend their money, whether it’s wine and trips and all this other good stuff and going out to restaurants, they really realize that it’s completely affordable. To now have their health and fitness as a focus alongside their possessions.
It’s a bell to ring in people’s minds that you are empowered to make positive change, we all are intelligent and intellectual human beings and we know that what it means to not take care of ourselves. We are educated enough to know what it means if you do not take care of yourself.
Kelvin: Is health and wellness a choice everyone can make? Sometimes it’s a necessity, right?
Steph: There are people out there that are more limited than us.
I look at Special Olympians all the time, and I just get so inspired when I see people who have actual physical limitations that get in the way of them actually being able to move and do things with the ease we enjoy. We’re blessed and spoiled with functional bodies. But a lack of perfect function it doesn’t get in their way. They work incredibly hard to stay fit and to work hard towards something they love and they sweat.
The bottom line is it’s up to you. You can have the right support system and help in order to mould and shape the right mindset first, and also the environment you need in order to be successful and consistent, but it’s still always up to the individual.
I talk to a lot of different people at the club. Hockey people, fitness people, tennis people, all the employees. In the few weeks post-Christmas there’s been a negativity in the air, a cloud that follows people around.
People make excuses and they’re tired or sick or their knee hurts. They say “I’m not in great shape now so it’s really going to hurt when I go in there and start.”
It’s like this constant desire of people to grasp on to the negative.
Well screw all that. Why does negativity dominate our thoughts? According to Steph, it’s not worth the energy.
And you absolutely have a say in the matter.