Helping people with aches and pain
At university, I had to attain these "activity credits" to graduate. You were supposed to take activity courses during your first year of university to help you establish an active lifestyle. However, I decided to leave it my final year and, eventually, my final semester. (Procrastination at its finest). None of the activities fit with my schedule, so I hired a personal trainer.
This is where Tim comes in. Since student personal trainers were half the cost and I was already friends with him, I hired him as my trainer. This was my first time working with a trainer, and I learned a lot about fitness. Additionally, I also learned Tim is passionate about helping people achieve their health goals.
Today, Tim is an experienced personal trainer who used to work at the local gym. However, due to the pandemic, he returned to his family in Hong Kong and is currently unemployed.
Before this unprecedented disruption, Tim mainly worked with the middle-aged and the elderly. Most of his clients were between 40 to 60 years old, sometimes even in their 70's.
Not what you expected to hear, right? If you're like me, perhaps you're used to seeing personal trainers on social media who help younger people to become absurdly ripped and lean. Although Tim is a fitness junkie himself, he finds it rewarding to help the older demographic.
Tim specializes in using strength training and conditioning to help alleviate joint and muscle pain. For example, one of his clients was a ballet teacher. Even though she was a proficient dancer who stayed physically active, having weak muscles in particular places led to back and neck aches. After 10 sessions with Tim, her pain was gone!
Another example was with a woman in her 60's with extreme low back pain and knee pain from chronic wear and tear. This pain prevented her from carrying out daily and household activities. After about 4 months of working with Tim, she could carry out chores, cook, take care of her family, and even perform tai chi.
You may be inclined to use pills, massages, chiropractors, and other "easier" (and also wonderful!) solutions to get rid of your pain. However, when these don't work, or these don't work well enough, clients come to Tim. Yes, physical training takes more work, but it's arguably more rewarding. Along with pain management, you also achieve supplemental health goals like improved cardiovascular fitness, sleep quality, mental health, and more.
Furthermore, eliminating pain allows you to set more meaningful health and fitness goals. You can play basketball with your teenagers again or play with your grandchildren. These are the stories Tim gets to hear. These are the stories that motivate him to help people improve their quality of life.
Who knows how COVID-19 will shape Tim's ability to carry out his passion. Before, it was in the form of a job, but that is not possible right now. Along with closed gyms in Hong Kong, his usual demographic isn't as technology savvy for online sessions, nor do they always have the right fitness equipment at home.
While disappointed and frustrated, Tim is working hard to find other ways to carry out his passion because that's the thing: he's that passionate about it.
To contact Tim and learn more about this story, follow @tim_lo_cscs on Instagram.