This phrase can mean different things to different people. In my work, I use it to describe those clients who need to be told by a doctor that they have to start exercising.
I see it primarily in men and while I used to look at this as a sad fact, I have grown to understand that it is a result of the way in which we have socialized our boys/men. If we consider and accept the traditional gender roles of men and women that we have promoted in our society, than we have told boys throughout all of their various socializing games and interactions, that they are supposed to be tough and strong and not need anyone’s help. Is it really any surprise then that men spend more time working in their jobs than exericising formally at the gym?
I can only speak from my own experience with the men in my life. Most of them are hard working individuals, who are dedicated to making sure that their families have a comfortable roof over their heads. They are dedicated Dads who devote their spare time to improving their kids lives, either on the sports field or academically. Very few of them, take care of their own health.
Last night, one of my students brought her husband to my yoga class. She whispered in my ear that the doctor had told him that he had to start coming to my class as his back was in need of some stretching and strengthening exercises. When faced with this situation I realize that the ‘patient’ may be very hesitant or unwilling to participate. For this reason, I must take special care to make sure that they feel supported and valued. I also have to make certain that they see the benefit of the time that they are taking to care for themselves.
Whether you are in my class of your own volition or by a doctor’s prescription, I am very happy that you are with us, putting your own needs first for a change.
Make sure to encourage and support the men in your lives who are trying out classes for the first time. Never make them feel that they have made a mistake by not taking better care of themselves up until this point. Instead love and support and encourage them on their new path toward better health.
Have a great day!