“What’s a burpee”


“What’s a burpee”

Jen Brango Burpee

Experiencing aches and pains on a regular basis when you are in the fitness industry is normal and I am getting a little older so it is to be expected.  The one thing that I do know and would never ignore is if the pain is acute (off the charts painful) or persistent then its time to seek some sort of medical advice.

Trying to break some records (my own of course), I was lifting heavier weights and doing this on a more consistent basis. Getting regular massages due to all of my aches and pains, and guess what she found a mass in the area where I was having the most pain, my hip and pelvic region.  Oh and the acute bout of pain I was talking about, happened while driving down the I-5 in California, and yes I was driving.

OK, so I called the Doctor.  We all assumed and believed it showed signs of being a hernia, but I needed to get the advise of a surgeon just to be sure..

This is how the conversation went “So do you work out or something?” My answer “Yes I lift heavy barbells and I also do intense interval workouts” “You mean you run on the treadmill or something?” Me,  “Well sort of, incline sprints, burpee’s and squat jumps” “What’s a burpee?”

I walked out of the office completely flabbergasted and ready to scream. So glad Mike was there to calm me down and help me understand. It really didn’t matter to me that the Dr. didn’t know what a burpee was, it was his flippant attitude with me as a female, assuming that I owned a gym and didn’t actually live the life I preach every day.

Mike also reminded me that we were there to get a prognosis and not worry about what the Surgeon knew of what we did every day.

Well instinctively to be honest, I didn’t feel comfortable with a Dr. who found my profession so below him that he had no interest in knowing more.

What doesn’t make sense is that if this Dr. did examine me and looked just at my physical body, yet had no idea of what was in my heart or in my mind, why would it make any difference to him if I came out OK or not?

And to be fair, the Surgeon had just examined another female “gym owner” that got hurt moving a heavy kettle bell, that she had said she never used or knew how to use. Really??

OK so here is the thing, do I get mad or does this give me fuel to know that I own a gym because I know what I am doing.

I would never have tools in my gym that I have never used or  have no idea how to use, for that matter.

Wow, this gave me pause to reflect on my own business of Personal Training and Coaching.

What is it about our profession that requires us to get to know all about our clients?  We are in business of  “Personal” Training and coaching, which requires us to take the time to get to know all about their clients, in and out.

Why? Because how can you truly achieve results if you don’t know what results they want?  And get to know what the client would be willing and able to do; to get to those results?

You need to know their why, their ultimate motivation to keep on going, past the last set, beyond the tiredness and outside their comfort zone.

Look everyone is a little different. 

So far, I have learned that I cannot categorically place everyone into the same box.

Sure they may be doing the same workout or the same exercises, however their motivation and reasoning for working with me can be totally different.

And that is what the Dr. systematically did when he categorized me as the same as the previous “gym owner” patient.

It seemed to him that if we were in the same industry holding the same positions, our diagnosis and treatment would most likely be the same.

With that being said, it is possible the treatment and diagnosis could be the same.

However should it not be assumed from the beginning with very little knowledge or  specifics to us personally, that the treatment and diagnosis of our particular circumstances needed further exploration and more details specific to us.

So he sent me for an MRI, to clarify his prognosis.

Several weeks of waiting and a simple short phone call from the nurse, the results are in, no hernia just some arthritis and possible overuse.

Great, no surgery just need to watch my workouts and be sure to rest when my hip is sore.

Alright, I could go about my business as usual and discuss maybe some Physical Therapy if needed during my annual physical, just a month away.

“Did you know you have a uterine fibroid that is 8 cm in size, that could be causing all your pain?”  Uh WHAT??

Well OK, so this was a good reason why I was glad I didn’t cancel or change my physical with my Primary Doctor.

Here is the thing, was I upset and annoyed that I didn’t get this information sooner, ABSOLUTELY!

Who is responsible for this, not giving someone the information they should have gotten in the first place, why didn’t they care enough to tell me all the facts and let me know my options and solutions.  And is this how this Doctor chooses to care for his patients, getting the nurse to call with half the results?

Was I judging my circumstances based on a standard I have set for myself?

Is it alright to believe that everyone should be at that same high standard?

Was it possible that his standard of care is adequate for what he does and it is OK to miss a few along the way?

Let’s look at it this way, this is my story, an opportunity to own my role in my story and how I choose to learn from it.

What did I learn?

  • When it comes to my physical body
    • If I go to someone to help me take care of that physical body, I want them to know and care about the impact it will have on my life.
  • When I ask for help
    • I want them to work with me to get that help, not ignore, push off or assume the type of help I need.
    • I want them to get to know me and what I want
    • I also want to know how that will affect me for the better or worse.
  • And if they know they can’t or don’t want to help me,
    • Tell me and let me move on to where I can get help.

So this is how I operate not only in my life, but also in my business of “Personal” Training and Coaching.

Let’s be real how you conduct your daily life is how you should conduct your business.  And if you are not, there is a possibility that this lack of consistency can be exhausting and dragging you down.

In the end I was able to address my pain of the fibroid and now I am better for what I learned from the experience of it!