Talking Bodies | October 2016

By Tia Norris, October 2016 Issue.

As the saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So, when it comes to transforming your body into a fitness masterpiece, you’ll be your own worst critic, you’ll be the only one making excuses and, ultimately, you’ll be the one whose expectations you’ll need to defy.

That’s a lot of pressure. Which is why I’m here.

“Training is my form of artistic expression. The body is the greatest canvas in the world, to me. You can chisel, shape, sculpt and create any image that you see fit. It takes effort, dedication and persistence … to achieve a masterpiece but anyone is capable of tapping into this process.” I stated this in my introductory interview with Echo, and I will push this mantra until the day I die.

The biggest thing that stands between you and your future masterpiece is YOU. Because no two clients, no two bodies and no two masterpieces are alike, I’ve heard every excuse in the book.

“I don’t have the body type for that.”

“I was ‘X’ in the past, so I could never become ‘Y’”.

“I’m way too old for that.”

This is where the “takes effort, dedication and persistence” comes in. As a fitness professional and certifiable rule breaker, I am here to tell you that you can – and should – smash the ceiling of expectations in the pursuit of your fitness dreams. How much of your life will pass you by before you start making your body, your masterpiece, a priority?

Take me, for example. I am 29 years old, 5 feet 6 inches tall and weigh 130 pounds. From a genetics standpoint, I have an average build with less-than-average muscle mass. I’m not tall enough for basketball and I’m not muscular enough for gymnastics. I am neither built for running nor weightlifting. I’m pretty much right in the middle of average when it comes to my genetics.

However, take a look at the vast range of my successful fitness forays over the years: martial arts (Tae Kwon Do and Karate), collegiate soccer, bodybuilding, powerlifting, fitness modeling, ballroom dance, racquetball, yoga and, most recently, training for a full Ironman Triathlon. And after the Ironman, I want to get into Mixed Martial Arts.

But the point of this article is not to focus on myself. The point of this article is to say, loudly and clearly: You can start anything, accomplish anything and become anything at any point in time, all you need is a rock-solid work ethic and the genuine desire to achieve your goal.

I always say that, even if you are starting further back on any given spectrum of potential, you are still on the spectrum of potential. It may take you more work, more time or more resources to your masterpiece, but you will still get there.

So forget about body types, age genetics and past experiences. If you are willing to put in the work, find the right coach, and embrace the struggle of learning a new skill, your masterpiece can be becoming anything you desire at any time!

Now, I’m not saying that you will be great, or even competent, in the beginning (depending on who you are, what injuries or conditions you have, and what your experience level is). But once you quit making excuses, set your mind on defying expectation, you (maybe even find a great trainer or coach to help you), you’ll be on your way. Be prepared for lots of baby steps, confusion frustration and, of course, the urges give up along the way.

The first step in becoming a masterpiece is believing that you can! And that is a thing of beauty!

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