Friday, June 17, 2011

Body By Fadi

There is sweat on the mat. My arms are shaking. My despised nemesis, an inner voice that wants to defeat me, is growling at me. ”You are tired. That is it. That is all you have got. You will never get to the number that is acceptable. ” I recognize the voice; it is me. I’m on a mat with Fadi Malouf, trying to see how long I can hold a plank. I held the plank 1.04 minutes. Three minutes is considered good; six minutes is excellent. I hate missing the mark.
When I give in Fadi tells me, “Keep going.” Without expressing  it verbally,  I communicate to him, “Why? I just blew it.” He looks at me and says, “Just do it. Then you will see what excellence feels like.” I push myself back up to the plank position and go at it again. Over and over, until the seemingly unreachable 6 minute timer flashes that time is up.  I am now gasping for breath, like an underwater sea diver who just realized that she jumped overboard with a balloon helium tank. Fadi congratulates me and says, “Now you know how to do it. “
It felt as if this moment were lifted from a twisted, psychological, cinematic thriller. Instead of feeling defeated, however, I feel refocused, re-energized, and almost like I was on the cusp of winning something. There was a mysterious exchange of Fadi’s confidence that passed to me.
Fadi Malouf
Fadi Malouf
It is T-1 and counting. I am at My Fitness Solution in Duluth for a fitness evaluation. Fadi has been helping my 21-year-old son for about 35 days and the conditioning is remarkable. His body has begun to become more defined and toned. So I posed the question to Fadi, “What can you do for a woman knocking on 50?” His answer, “Can you be at the studio at 8:00 in the morning?”
After several different evaluations and questions, I received an overall fitness score of C-. This doesn’t work for me, a marathoner and triathlete. I made As in some areas, but Fadi’s concern is overall fitness and personal integrity -- not just strength. His program involves a comprehensive BALANCE chart. (Breath, Agua, (water), Lengthen, Anaerobic exercise, Nutrition and Supplementation, Cleansing, and Energize). Being a runner, I did well on breathing, drinking water, and energizing. But my lack of participating in any yoga or lengthening exercises showed up in my poor flexibility. He evaluated my running form to see if he could determine where I am damaging my left knee. After a few minutes he tells me that I am running on my toes. I work over and over to make my foot hit the mat as I keep running. He patiently acts like an inner echo and tells me to put my whole foot down. I begin to successfully create heel strikes.
Evaluation gives you clarity of where you are.  I have some targets now that I know I am hitting, and others I am missing, like a school kid shooting at moving ducks but still hoping to win an oversized  teddy bear.
I know where I am going. How do I get there? My question still remains, “What can you do for a woman knocking on 50?” (Although the half century mark remains three years away!) He tells me to come back next week.
Dara Torres
Here's my  goal!
(Dara Torres)
Age Is Just A Number
I am eager to see what Fadi and his staff can do for me mentally and physically. He says that if I follow the program I will see a marked difference in 60 days. Sixty days? For real? I can almost hold my breath for 60 days. Let’s see what happens.   


  1. Plank for over a minute, good job!

  2. So proud of you! Keep going. I wish I could go to this place. I am sure my grade would be and F. What could Fadi do for someone that just had a baby??

  3. Melissa, if I can look like Dara Torres, then we will have to get you signed up. Hee Hee! You have an excuse. My baby is 19 years old!