Dennis’ Everest, Why accomplishing a personal goal is not just about accomplishing a personal goal
Early in my career while I was climbing up the ladder of a corporate fitness giant, I met a client named Dennis who happened to have been blinded in a horrible car accident. I was shocked to find out that Dennis had no interest in using the basic circuit training equipment but would rather lift like a professional power lifter. I will admit as a new 17-year-old trainer I was more than nervous about ensuring the safety of this man who had, I thought, such a hindering disability. Dennis calmed my fears with his “never take no for an answer” attitude and we started working on his giant goals immediately.
Dennis had no fear so, naturally, he was determined to bench press almost double his own body weight. I was obligated to explain to him that it was not as simple as working on one lift, there would be many other lifts that would take him out of his comfort zone that he would need to master in order to accomplish his goal. He was underwhelmed at best and seemed even more determined after given this prognosis.
Once we started working with each other it became abundantly clear that we would need to be creative in how we approached each lift. He was going to need to feel his way through these foreign motions. What we discovered was that this was a much more effective way to train in comparison to the conventional at that time. It made him much more in tune with his body, his hidden abilities, and his cognitive thought process about challenges.
Motions above his head were particularly challenging since obviously sight would be a great advantage to anyone attempting to lift heavy weights to that level. In facing each hurdle, it became clear that his lack of physical vision was secondary to his mindset. His success was always based on how confident he was approaching the lift. In the end, he went from benching 205 pounds to 315 pounds (which was his goal) within 5 months. He proved that when there is a will, there is a way and obstacles are irrelevant to the determined mind.
I recently learned of Dennis’ passing and I am honored to have witnessed his accomplishments first hand. He taught me many things such as how to approach fitness with a flexible mind and to never take no for an answer in life. Although, if I was asked what the number one thing that Dennis taught me, I would say that sometimes accomplishing a personal goal is more than just accomplishing a personal goal.
Joseph Anthony (Trainer Joe) Amoroso is the definition of Holistic Master Trainer. Trainer Joe is well known as a self help author and as an expert on the human body’s reaction to exercise. During his 19 year career of helping people achieve balance and health he became a well known celebrity master trainer and was known in A-list circles for his “Miracle Work.”
Trainer Joe’s is located 101 Mount Bethel Road in Warren. 908-339-7466. TrainAtJoes.com.