“Twenty sit-ups,” I say enthusiastically and start counting, “One, two, three, four. . .”
Five minutes later, “Ten burpees. You can do this! One, two, three. . .”
Countless counting! I count reps all day long. I count to twenty countless times during a day. If I expand that time frame to a week, a month or a year using the word “countless” becomes an understatement.
Counting is important in my business because it is one way to measure a person’s improvement. I’m good at my job, but I’m a terrible counter. I start out well enough then my attention turns to form or I want to explain how the muscles work in a particular exercise. My counting starts to sound like that of a two-year-old. “One, two, three, four, five—drop your back knee—three, four…”
If my client has been training with me for a while, they quickly point out, “that’s six.”
“Right, six. We’re doing twenty. You know I can’t count. You count,” I’ll say and continue the explanation.
This whole counting thing goes back to my multi-tasking abilities—or I should say lack of multi-tasking skills. I don’t multi-task. I don’t think there is any shame in not being an accomplished multitasker; I’m just not good at it.
Actually, I used to multi-task, but Mom said I was scatterbrained and teachers said I couldn’t stay on task. So I developed strategies to overcome my multi-tasking shortcomings.
I write everything down. I am an avid note-taker. I am renowned for my outlining, highlighting, labeling and organizing skills.
These strategies have created other problems, however. My obsessive outlining and note-taking has diminished my memorization abilities which in turn makes writing down everything even more important.
My spreadsheets of client workouts are extensive. I record the exercise, repetitions, sets and countless other data. Some of my co-workers consider this record-keeping a sign of professionalism, others as an idiosyncrasy. I always thought of it as a crutch.
Then I read Einstein’s words, “Never memorize something that you can look up.”
Saying the words, “wait a sec while I look it up,” used to embarrass me. I felt that as an intelligent person I should have this information on the tip of my tongue. Well, those days are over!
I am in the company of geniuses. If it is good enough for Einstein, it is good enough for me!