Dr. James Amis and his wife, Susan Amis. Dr. James Amis and his wife, Susan Amis.

Dear Personal Trainers,

I’ll admit it: I was skeptical.

In the past, I doubted that personal trainers—at least for me—could offer real value.

It’s not that I gave it much thought, or had anything against personal training, but if the idea were brought up, I’d laugh it off and say, “No personal trainer can push me harder than I push myself.”

But I’m writing this to say that I was wrong. I was terribly wrong!

I now know that trainers can truly push you and help you reach your health and wellness goals. Furthermore, alone you are likely not to even go, just like me.

Many of the One Stretch users are older than 50, and so am I…there’s no denying that as we age, we see a fall-off in physical abilities that we’ve been accustomed to doing—many times without a second thought—for years.

Not being able to do physical activities we were once able to do with ease, or with little effort, can be humbling as well as a bit scary.

Please let me set the stage, only because you are likely to see it in yourself. I thought I was doing just fine over the past decades only sporadically exercising (not much at all to be truthful). I was doing just fine until the lose of strength and fitness just showed up all of a sudden.

Seriously, the realization was abrupt and somewhat dramatic. That was about 4 months ago around my 61st birthday.

Wives are the greatest, especially my wife Suzz. She knew far better than me where I was heading and she had been after me for years to get fit and stay fit. Then I hit the wall. Familiar tasks that required physical effort were becoming too difficult, too fast.

Take for example, if you golf, like I do. On familiar courses I’ve played time and time again, I’m aware of how equipped I am to clear certain fairway bunkers or other types of shots. I know how I should be performing on the course compared to the past.

But when you take those courses you’ve played on dozens of times, year after year, and one day you can’t get over certain bunkers anymore, that can be a bit of a shocker.

Or here’s another example: I go to the VA several times per month and when I do, I go up 3 flights of stairs every time. I’ve been doing it for years running up two steps at a time.

No trouble. No second thought.

Again, four months ago,I noticed when I went up a flight and a half that I was getting significantly winded, and my thighs were burning like crazy.

Let’s just say that’s part of what prompted me to give second thought to the idea of you–a personal trainer! Not to mention Suzz’s caring advice.

Suzz, here it is, I admit you were right, I was wrong.

Whatever your baseline is that you can compare to—maybe it’s running up a flight of stairs, maybe it’s being able to do yard work you’ve handled for years. Or maybe its something else–when we do something that shows us our physical shape is not what it once was, it can be a wake up call.

But I don’t have to tell you that…you’re a personal trainer! You’ve probably heard a story like that dozens of times…

Nonetheless, I’m writing to say thank you.

Thank you for pushing me beyond my limitations. I might push myself hard, maybe not at all, but you have pushed me harder. You make it fun, you make sure I do it correctly, you change it up to improve the experience and prevent boredom. You also watch over me carefully to make sure there is least possibility for injury.

I was also wrong when I thought you couldn’t work around shoulder problems. (Side note: If you get a good personal trainer, they will work around whatever issues or limitations you might have.) I’ve made progress, and it’s great to see. It’s rewarding!

I am now clearing that fairway bunker like a younger man, I am bounding up this stairs two at a time at the VA…wait a minute… yes dear, I will carry that heavy pot from the back porch to the front porch, because I can. All this in just four short months, and it keeps getting better.

And for others reading this letter, my plea is this: give a personal trainer a try, if at all possible. You won’t regret it.

Thank you so much,

Dr. James Amis