Results May Vary

Results may vary.
Results not typical.
Exercise may result in injury.
Please don’t try this at home.
Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.

A disclaimer is a statement renouncing a legal claim or right. These are mostly used to protect a party when a level of uncertainty or risk is possible. “If X happens (or doesn’t happen), it’s not our fault.” Companies use these for obvious legal reasons, but as we get older, we create disclaimers of our own.

They sound a little more like this:

“I was never an active person, so this really isn’t for me.”
“It runs in the family.”
“That’s just the way things go.”
“I’m just not a creative person.”
“I can never do that.”

Usually, these are excuses, ways to place the responsibility elsewhere. You see, I’m in the business of mitigating both: future injury, and the amount of self-imposed disclaimers in people’s minds. It wasn’t always this way. After college, I got a job in finance, working in the heart of New York City—a job that I didn’t want in the first place, but was practically handed to me. Complacency and my own personal disclaimers quickly crept up. I knew something had to change.

Little did I know that the things I kept wishing I had more time for were the things that I needed most in life. So, in the summer of 2013, I decided to leave the finance world behind. I traded in the Excel sheets, a cubicle, and the sedentary lifestyle for barbells and a pair of gymnastics rings. I became a CrossFit coach and started studying, formally and informally, various topics on nutrition, anatomy, holistic wellness approaches, and psychology.

Complacency and my own personal disclaimers quickly crept up. I knew something had to change.

What I’ve slowly come to learn is that there is a subtle art to empowering someone. Along with helping mold their bodies, I try my best to help people mold the stories they tell themselves by gently placing responsibility back in their hands, like one does with a child. This is especially hard to do when it comes to matters of the body and health. But I can understand when someone tells me “this whole fitness thing isn’t for me.” It’s easy to store all subjective ideas, of what one might believe “being healthy” and “moving the body” means, into the “fitness” archives of their mind. Most of the time, those stories we tell ourselves about fitness, body image, and health are tainted. Given the way health and fitness are projected onto us by our culture and the media, these stories aren’t ours.

I’ve found a passion in working with people and being able to deliver different perspectives regarding their health. I especially like the trust-building process that takes place when working with people; I realize that there is more to what we hide than what we show. The more of me I show, the less of them they hide. It takes a lot of guts and lots of work to build trust, but I’ve found trust to be the biggest indicator in sparking lasting change and getting those results.

Yes, results may vary, but it’s completely on us how vulnerable and open we’re willing to be.

By Galo Naranjo

Galo Naranjo is a CrossFit coach and recovering financial analyst. He's interested telling stories and sharing ideas that inspire and impact the way we move and, by extension, the way we live. You can follow his riffs on movement, creativity, and the human condition over at The Movement Project.