Priceless art

Posted on April 17, 2012


Today I had an eye-opening discussion with Amir Siddiqui from Symmetry in the Gold & Diamond Park.  Fascinating.  One of those guys who just seems to command attention, Amir has a presence and an authority that makes you listen.  He also has a knowledge about fitness, nutrition, health and wellness that quite frankly makes a mockery of many other so called ‘experts.’

In little more than half an hour, he had made stark observations about my permanent head tilt (which, a wise man once told me symbolises great intelligence!), my left knee which buckles inwards, my left foot that points outwards, an imbalanced pelvis and my narrow hips which, he said, make me an ideal runner. Those with wide hips are apparently much more prone to injury.

He showed me definitively how to activate my glutes, something which I’ve never been really been able to do … ever! Now, before I run or cross-train, I promise to do a few hip lifts to get those glutes going and you never know, I might suddenly find myself with Pippa’s bootie.

We also discussed the right and the wrong way to breathe … I do the latter but might just start making some small amends to rectify that!

I told him about my current read, Bounce, which discusses whether talent is a myth, whether we’re born to be successful in certain things or if practice makes perfect. Amir made a very fair point in turning this theory on it’s head … a vertically-challenged man cannot become a world-class basketball player and nor can a heavy set guy become a sprinter, regardless of how many hours they put into practice. Fact!

We talked about runners and how it can be difficult working with them. Runners are a little obsessive compulsive after all, quintessential type A’s and typically unable to process, never mind actually adhere to, advice involving rest and recovery. Also, runners, more than other sportsmen I think, tend to label themselves too much so when they’re no longer able to run for whatever reason, the mental and emotional consequences of losing their status as ‘a runner’ can be harsh … akin I guess to losing your identity at best or having your right arm chopped off at worst.

I asked him about his clients and what sort of programmes he gives them.  He said there’s neither structure nor form to his programmes per se.  Each and every one is created from scratch … 100% bespoke depending on their goals, where they are now and where they want to be, on their relationship with exercise and food and their history with fitness and wellness.

He then added that whilst it’s all of course based on science … it’s actually an art.

This I liked. 

Because at the end of the day, we’re all pieces of art.

Individual, unique and priceless pieces of art.

So surely, it should be a given that we’re not all treated with the same brush stroke …


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