Stepping Up on My Soapbox

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  • By Susan "The Wife" Bartley
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Stepping Up on My Soapbox

Honestly, I am not really sure I have done any training other than pushing the prowler and pulling the sled for the last week or so. I guess that is pretty lazy, and I should get back on my regular training schedule but things are just so busy since we are about a month out from moving into our new building.


I push the prowler in several ways, and have rotated through over the last week.

1. Heavy with a 45 lb. plate on each side usually for 1 lap (1/3 a mile)
2. No weight on the handles for 3 -5 laps - working on my time stats
3. Medium heavy with a 25 lb. plate on each side for 1-2 laps working on not dying.


I pull the sled for 9-12 laps depending on time. 9 laps = 3 miles and 12 laps = 4 miles. I play around with the weight. The goal is to be able to pull 9 laps with a 45 lb. plate. Our sled are old school huge monstrosities that weight between 50 - 60 lbs.

9 laps takes about 1 hour and 12 laps takes about 1 and a half hours. So they are both a pretty good bit of work.


I was an English major in college with a minor in Biology. I have always been interested in the body and the way it works so it makes sense that I have ended up in the fitness industry for the last 17+ years. I was incredibly lucky to find our gym, meet Marc and be able to follow him on his powerlifting journey, at the same time meeting some of the greatest minds in our industry. Over the last 17 years I have talked to, listened to lectures by, gone to seminars and courses to learn so very much about training, rehab, pre-hab and other health related concerns. Through our own journey selling supplements I have worked with guys who take everything you put in their hands to bariatric patients who are scared to even try protein powder. I have dieted down to 128 lbs. (my smallest) and ballooned up to 190. I have followed every diet out there, I have competed in powerlifting, strongman, a tri-athalon, two 10K runs (one all the way in Seattle), and countless 5k's plus several years of the Marine's mud runs. I have dealt with nystagmus which makes my eyes go funky and can make me nauseous for days on end (roller coasters are not a good idea for me), I had a spontaneous bout of eczema that covered my body in a disgusting itchy rash for 3 months, I got cystic acne for 6 months, and worked through countless muscle tweaks, sciatica and ankle pain. Plus, I have helped Marc through 4 surgeries ( I think) and throat cancer. And I won't go into all the stress and headaches we have endured building a business that at one time had 4 locations.


Why am I laying all of this out? Why do I feel the need to list my accomplishments? Because of one small comment that was made to me the other day that just sticks in me like an ice pick in the eye.

One of my clients has sciatica...a classic case. She has had it for the last 6 months. I have been working with her (and Dale has worked with her) to educated her on the issue and what she needed to do. We have taught her countless numbers of stretching exercises. I sent her to the chiropractor which she went to for 3 times and got ticked off because it wasn't healed. She has done acupuncture - even though the acupuncturist told her he didn't think it would do much good. She has refused to get a massage. I have pulled up charts and graphs and pictures of the body. I have done activations on her. She claims she will do "anything to fix the problem" but then admits that most days she doesn't do her stretching and she quit the chiropractor because he wasn't working (never mind that her pain went from an 8 out of ten to a 3 out of ten during the time she was seeing him). My frustration level is through the roof.

Last friday she came in to workout with me and we had a good session. I did not bring up her sciatica (because I couldn't deal with it) and we just did some basic seated upper body work. Yesterday (Monday), she came in a let me know that on Friday, prior to our appointment, she had seen her doctor and he declared that she had a tight piriformis muscle and that he needed to send her to a physical therapist to get proper treatment. When I asked her why she didn't mention that during our appointment on Friday she said "Frankly, I was just glad to finally see someone who could really tell me what was wrong".

Adulting is not punching someone in the face when they hit you with a comment so utterly stupid.

6 Months of working with this client. 6 months of trying to educate her and give her the tools she needed to begin healing. 6 months only to have her say "Finally I have gone to someone who really knows whats going on."

I'm done. I can't figure out how. I can't figure out when. But I am done. I am utterly exhausted from beating my head against a wall.

Rant over. I am stepping down off my soap box.


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