SO BEGAN THE JOURNEY
Stories and memories more than ten years old are entitled to begin: “Once Upon a Time”. And so it was,
in this instance: Getting ready for morning office hours, dressing with a long sleeved shirt, and
struggling unsuccessfully to get my arm into the sleeve, my previously caring wife announced: “I’m
through helping you get dressed – and, by the way, you have an appointment tomorrow morning at the
gym with a trainer – no excuses, no begging off – DONE, FINAL, PERIOD!” I followed the command
and the following morning I was introduced to ’Trainer Bob’.
Being a well educated, experienced and successful primary care physician, I knew I had all of the
answers including diagnoses and solutions, but my results not well validated given my honest status and
a long rap sheet of assorted and accumulated musculoskeletal injuries and their toll, added to the
chronological impact of 75 years on the planet. Forty years of jogging daily on hard surfaces had pretty
much shut down that activity. The knees were talking back. Three simultaneously blown lumbar discs
piled on some degenerative lumbar spine arthritis reaffirmed that change. The most recent calamity was
a shredded supraspinatus rotator cuff tendon (suffered when I thoughtfully flung my wife’s seventy plus
pounds suitcase, unassisted, into an airport bus). And sweet wife’s Fiat was the thanks I got for that
Where to begin. It had to be the tendon issue. But some simultaneous general conditioning deserved
priority too. I was, to put it honestly, a ‘train wreck’, validated when an early exercise training session
nudged me into a slightly hypoglycemic, hypotensive near faint. Lying quietly on the floor I was
introduced to the no nonsense style and attitude of my new friend “BOB”. He unsympathetically
barked: “You obviously didn’t eat any breakfast. Do not expect to come here and work-out on fumes!”
First change: eat hearty breakfast – succinctly translated: “physician, heal thyself !”
So began the journey, now ten years duration, of consistent twice weekly, continuing, very rarely
missed sessions that transformed and now maintains me as a more active, safer, more comfortable and
fit nonagenarian. The commitment has paid off. It is certain that I avoided at least several surgical
remedies that might otherwise have been pursued.
The story does not end there. I learned very quickly that ‘BOB’ is not an ordinary or run of the mill
trainer – from observation of many other trainers at work. His knowledge of exercise physiology,
anatomy, functions, mechanics, precautions, limits, of exercise and training are consistently applied,
with intense, focused observations throughout training sessions. I have also witnessed a large variety of
customer problems and goals he has translated into successes.
The sequel: My supraspinatus tendon injury treatment was very successful with full range of motion
restored (unassisted dressing), but with ongoing maintenance activity. Concentration on building and
maintaining ‘Core Strength’, and general strength keeps my back comfortable and my balance and
agility in excellent condition.
I would be pleased to share other issues, memories and facts to interested parties by contacting Bob with
confidential referral for communication with me.
NOTHING BUT EXCEPTIONAL
Robert Petrucelli and l have been training together now for seven consecutive years. So when asked if I would write a letter on Bob’s behalf, I was delighted to do so and found myself overwhelmed with the many stories I could share. When I think about our “fitness training” over the years, it’s been nothing but exceptional, truly surpassing all of my expectations. I’m a better person — physically, mentally, and spiritually - with Bob in my life. And that’s what I’ll briefly write about, the work Bob has done for me, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
As a ﬁtness trainer, Bob is first and foremost an educator. He’s an ongoing student in his own practice. I’m confident in Bob’s abilities. He knows his stuff. And of course, he often shares his knowledge with me. He relates information directly and honestly. He is clear on his holistic approach to ﬁtness training. Also, Bob is truly inventive and isn’t afraid to test out new things when we’re training. I love this. He works on the razor’s edge - it’s both exhilarating and effective. Bob and l have never repeated the same workout routine! Can you believe that? To tell you the truth, I often ﬁnd myself nervous right before a training session. I know there’s so much possibility. This has been a benefit as it pushes me to work even harder. And then there’s Bob, who tells me to “work harder” “go even further” and “focus.”
He has instilled the philosophy of fitness training as ritual within me. This ritual is a discipline.
Bob obviously has a strong sense of purpose to which he’s committed to. l’ve learned the importance of purpose from working with Bob, especially having purpose in the face of our fitness training and the mind body connection. Bob and I began training when l was 25 years old. At this time, I was working on my master’s degree. Bob knew I wanted our training to challenge me mentally too. I needed to know I could work in this way. Bob aided in this task tremendously. Many years later, Bob is still working with me as l complete yet another degree, my doctoral degree. I’m in the “home stretch” as Bob says. It’s no surprise that our workouts have become even more intense. Furthermore, Bob’s inﬂuence has helped me to overcome a great deal of adversary when it came to my academic studies. There were many times I wanted to end it and simply give up. Bob wouldn’t allow that though. His faith in my abilities were ever present And for his faith, I’m eternally grateful.
And speaking of faith and eternity, my time with Bob is sacred. My strength of spirit is alive and felt when I’m at the gym. I hope this makes sense to you. It’s as if I home, I’m not supposed to be anyplace else. To me, the gym space is precious, and my time spent with Bob, a privilege. l look forward to seven more years of training with Bob!