Personal Training Client: Grace Lee
Age: Forever 27
Occupation: Social Psycologist
Personal Trainer: Karen Goh
I injured my right shoulder a couple decades ago but didn’t know how to take care of it. I continued doing my regular physical activities (yoga, gym, running, hiking), and picked up new ones (rock climbing, trekkingtrips carrying heavy packs), constantly re-injuring my shoulder, and somehow managing to injure the other shoulder as well.
To manage the pain and prevent the injury from getting worse, I scaled back to practicing only yoga, and working out in the gym, but I avoided upper body training to protect my shoulders. I went to see physiotherapists, acupuncturists, and chiropractors: all were helpful in the short-term but the pain would return sometimes after a simple movement like leaning forward to change radio stations in the car. Both an X-ray and an MRI suggested normal ageing deterioration, and nothing more serious than that. I had heard about FTI from a friend of a friend, and when I came across a Groupon voucher, I decided to make an appointment to see Karen.
I’ve been training with Karen since 2012—for over 4 years now! It’s been good. I’ve come to accept that this shoulder pain may never go away entirely because even in daily life, I have to use my shoulders which means risk for re-injury. During my sessions with Karen, we do both rehabilitation and strengthening exercises, and then when the pain returns, or I feel tightness or impingement, she works with me to release the muscles.
After about a year of working with Karen, I saw better muscle tone in my arms and upper back—a testament to Karen’s knowledge, diligence, and patience with me—because prior to that, I was so afraid of re-injury that I completely avoided any upper body exertion. When I first started training with Karen, I used to think that releasing muscles was a waste of time: I only wanted to strength-train. It took me a while to accept—and appreciate!—the combination of training and releasing. She taught me how to release muscles on my own which has been helpful when I work out by myself. In the process, I’ve become more patient with my shoulder limitations, and at the same time, I’ve learned that I can still train my shoulders and arms.
I would highly recommend Karen and FTI to others because of their dedication in their pursuit of knowledge about how the body works. FTI trainers are constantly taking new courses and workshops, upgrading their skills and expertise, and then passing these on to their clients. I also admire their innovation—coming up with creative variations of exercises so that training is never boring. I look forward to my sessions with Karen.