TRANSFORMATIONS in their own words

Nelson Mandela, social justice warrior and eloquent lawyer, wrote about doing one hundred fingertip pushups, four days a week, during his years in prison. Rodger C., also an eloquent lawyer, learned this movement in less than six months. He can now perform them just as well as Mandela. 

And that's just the beginning.

"Ms. Natasha Nesic is an extraordinary, sensitive, intuitive, committed, trainer with a deep knowledge of human musculature, and highly refined communication skills. When we began training I was in excellent physical condition, I thought, for a sixty year old. I’d been frequenting the gym regularly for four years, varying my time between swimming and using the stationary bike. Nevertheless, Natasha showed me that I had been shortchanging myself physically and I could accomplish more, be in better shape, be more comfortable in my skin. In the two years or so we’ve been working together, the benefits I have realized from Natasha’s tutelage have amazed me. Some of these include, improving my balance and stability, eliminating the constraints around my right shoulder and right knee from earlier surgeries, extending my flexibility and mobility, achieving a greater agility and control by strengthening my core muscles, and being able to experience a greater overall sense of physical control and well-being. Because I am a librarian, writer and scholar, I spend much of my day slouched in a chair gazing downward at a keyboard. Natasha has worked with me to offset many of the resultant physical problems, developing my neck muscles to widen my range of motion, and my shoulder and back muscles to stave off physical fatigue. 

There are many other particular gains I can list, and many ways in which I feel more physically alert, springier, lighter, more forceful, and more physically present; however, one benefit from my work with Natasha outshines all the others. Natasha has helped me to eliminate the chronic pain in my lumbar region that I had suffered for almost thirty years.  

When I began to work with Natasha, I anticipated a few sessions that would teach me how to operate some of the machines at the gym, and give me a clear snapshot of my strengths and weaknesses.  I was in fact skeptical of training and felt sure I didn’t require a trainer.  

That I had in fact settled into a limited way of evaluating regarding myself physically became clear to me the first time we worked out. Natasha carefully and patiently—both by demonstration and by instruction—expanded my view of the possibilities of physical conditioning by isolating weaknesses and addressing them within a regimen I found both comfortable and challenging. She focused both on specific problems (e.g., balance, abdominal tension, the sternocleidomastoid and trapezius muscles) and on general strengthening, and provided me with exercises that I could follow at the gym. Over the time we’ve worked together, our training sessions have changed. One of the qualities I most value about Natasha is her ability to improvise and adapt. While they are regularized to some extent, our sessions have never lapsed into predictability. We don’t do routine. Our workouts have always resembled the performance of a good musician who might perform the same piece hundreds of times, and yet will always bring a certain freshness and spontaneity to each performance. But they have always observed “the score,” evolving while keeping a clear focus on conditioning, flexibility, balance, and body awareness. 

Natasha’s lessons have generated routines I can follow on my own, both at the gym and at home. These also have also slowly evolved, assaying more complex and challenging moves, while having a clear grounding in a purposeful conditioning program. Part of Natasha’s methodology as a trainer is to pay attention to how training can beneficially connect to other aspects of a person’s life. 

I would like to conclude by observing that although Natasha is considerably younger than me, she has shown an extraordinary awareness of the constraints confronting a sixty year body without surrendering to or patronizing them. She has made me realize there are certain limitations that exist only in my mind, and helped me to surpass them. I have always valued her as a partner in my own physical project and always felt valued by her."
"I’ve never been athletically inclined. I have next-to-zero self-motivation. Given the choice, I might take a visit to the dentist over working out. Sleeping and eating are my activities of choice.

All of this is matched by the fact that I hate being out of shape. 

If I’m going to get any meaningful exercise, I need someone in my face or it’s not going to happen. This led me to take up mixed martial arts some ten years ago. Last year, through sheer force of persistence and six months of intensive training both on the mat and off, I earned my black belt. I would have liked to maintain that level of conditioning but at 51 I didn’t see that happening, physically or mentally.

Following my black belt training, I called on Natasha to help fill the impending gap in my workout regimen. I’ve been working twice a week with her, more or less, since July 2017. Our sessions serve as a complement to my martial arts classes, which I continue to take three or four times per week. Basically, whatever breaks during MMA class Natasha helps me fix. She’s taught me how to use muscle groups I didn’t know existed. She’s taught me there’s more than one way to carry out tasks we usually take for granted – more than one way to breathe or to walk, for example -- in order to minimize strain and maximize results.

While our work serves as a contrast to my martial arts training, it has greatly enhanced my MMA performance as well as my approach to everyday activities – like breathing and walking."

Juan's words are kind, and he definitely does the work. Here he shows off an underhanded pushup designed to improve wrist flexibility and forearm strength, shot during a WLF workshop at Remedy Massage, one of our affiliates:


The beauty of movement is that it always seems to linger in a dancer's body. Leigh proves that smart training and self-care will make sure that it never leaves. 

"I am a 67 year old woman who has trained with Natasha for almost two years.  
This is my first experience working with a personal trainer.  While I am fairly active, I have some pre-existing conditions - I have had an operation on each foot and have a permanent pin in my right foot and I have a spinal condition that limits spinal twisting movements -  that we have had to work around.  
Natasha has guided me effectively with tailored workouts at the fitness club and tips on what I can do at home.  She has pushed me ( gently but persistently) successfully to improve dramatically both my strength  and stamina.  And Natasha is great to work with!"
"Natasha is a brilliant trainer, with a wonderful eye for seeing what her clients need to work on in order to reach their goals.
She has helped me tackle middle age and gain strength and mobility to try new things (tennis) and return to old things I love (dance class)!
Our weekly workouts make my body, brain and soul feel ready to leap to new heights!"
"I had something of a breakthrough doing leg presses the other day.  It hard to to explain, exactly.  All my life when told to engage my abs I did it - kinda from the front.  Then I remembered you saying "use them to help you with the exercise."  So I used the whole core (I have a core now) and it made the leg press not just easier but everything was engaged.  Again, hard to explain but something happened I could definitely feel and I'm able to do all the time now."

"I came to Natasha with unique and complicated issues; years of back surgeries, years of pain, years of pain medication and complications from a surgery that left me with one leg less than entirely functional.  The first thing she taught me was how to build up the muscles surrounding the ones in my leg that no longer work.  My ability to walk improved quickly and dramatically.  I've had years of physical therapy.  No one else ever did this.  She put me on an exercise routine I would never have designed for my self on machines I never would have utilized.  I can not believe how quickly my body has responded. I'm 62.  My body didn't respond this quickly to the exercise routine designed for me 30 years ago.  She knows how the body works in ways no trainer I've ever had does. I can not recommend her enthusiastically or highly enough."
"Natasha sets herself apart in many ways. Her personal experiences with martial arts, yoga, running, and dance results in a holistic view of how the body works and what it needs to perform better. Her intellectual curiosity and empathy combine to create a program that works on an individual basis. 

I’ve worked with Natasha for a short time and I’ve seen great results in core strength and balance. She is also very flexible in terms of how, when and where she works and is sympathetic to the challenges of keeping fitness a priority as part of a hectic schedule.

She challenges me, without judgment, and celebrates every win along the way. I highly recommend Natasha and her approach."
"I just finished my second session with Natasha. She is absolutely amazing!
She is super knowledgeable (tons of certifications including in women fitness, etc.) and totally adapt the workout sessions to your body! She also creates a work plan for you in between the sessions so that you know what to do by yourself.
She also shared amazing tips on how to relieve some health issues. Super grateful to have met her!"
Bonus material:

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