From Dana's Guests

Rob Morea

Rob has been a Personal Fitness Trainer in NYC for over 15 years. While studying at college, Rob was a competitive bodybuilder winning the Mr. Delaware Lightweight competition. In 1993 while exercising with a client he realized he was strong but he wanted to improve his endurance so he made a transition into endurance sports. Since then, he has never looked back.

Rob is a Category 3 bicycle racer, he has competed in over 25 triathlons including two Iron Man Triathlons. Rob ran his tenth New York City marathon this past Sunday, November 6, 2005. In his spare time, he enjoys movies, riding his motorcycle, traveling and learning about different cultures

Rob lives and works in New York City. He is a Graduate of the University of Delaware where he studied Exercise Physiology.
Rob Morea

On Being Present

“Being present is a concept that, I have noticed, is becoming more and more difficult with our increased access to technology and information. There are many benefits to technology and information, but there is a time and place for everything.”

This is the wisdom of fitness trainer, Rob Morea.

“I have been a personal fitness trainer in New York City for 15 years, and one of the things that I try to work on with my clients is being present.”

For fitness trainer Rob Morea, the gym is a sacred place and perhaps one of few opportunities still available for people to focus on one thing and one thing only – themselves.

“When I first got into fitness, the gym was this place where people came to lift weights, be healthy and get to know one another. However, what I have noticed lately in the gym, is that a lot more people are checked out with information overload. I am guilty of this at times myself. However, it is rare these days that I will listen to music, talk on the cell phone or even read, while working out.”

Rob possesses that special kind of discipline that allows for him to achieve maximum results.

“I believe our mind supplies our body with a wealth of information while exercising, and excess outside stimulation distracts us from what we are doing and it takes us away from the very important task at hand.”

Rob shares that a close friend of his taught him to be present. His friend was a big believer in meditation and he was the one that introduced Rob to this idea of being present.

“My friend would say it is impossible to think about one thing at a time because our brains don’t work that way. However, you can remain present by letting thoughts pass. He would sit for hours meditating and I thought how could he do that but he thought the same about me exercising, while doing other things.”

Now Rob shares his friend’s philosophy. In fact, don’t get Rob started:

“Do you ever notice at the gym when someone is reading the paper, listening to music and watching television all at the same time? This is a mind blowing to me! You can’t be more disconnected and out of the moment than that! What is the point of exercising if you have all of this outside information taking you away from what you are trying to do. I know you need music to motivate you. That’s cool, but do you need it at the gym? Too much information overload interferes with your ability to check in with your body – is the intensity too high or too low, for instance. It interferes with what your body might need in the moment.

That is the point, the moment.”

Rob knows exactly what he is talking about. He has competed in many marathons, bicycle races and triathlons. He says his most challenging event however was -- The Iron Man Triathlon. The Iron Man Triathlon is a 24 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 mile run, all in one day.

“People always ask me about how long it takes and they want to know what I think about during the Iron Man. My answer is always the same -- I think about the information that my body is giving me. I think about my surroundings, temperature changes, nature and sounds of other people.

I stay present!

It is the only way to get through that kind of constant exercise. I’ll entertain random thoughts on life and what is going on in the world, but I’ll process the information, let it pass so that I can be in the moment; so I can listen to the information that is coming at me from the body, like “slow down, speed up or just relax”.

Rob is such an advocate of being present because he has experienced the benefits “on and off the court”.

“Exercise and sports competition are just two aspects of life but really being present is applicable to every aspect of it.”

Studies confirm that when we slow down and allow ourselves to be present we:

  • Will be more effective at whatever it is we are doing
  • Will “hear” other people and really connect
  • Will experience gratitude more profoundly
  • Will increase our ability to be creative

“At the end of the day, when we look back, it would be nice to recall what it was that we did or said, and be aware of the events and most importantly, how we felt doing it. The more you practice this you realize time flies even when you are present. Life is short, enjoy it.”

Rob also reminds us to:

  • Use the gym as an opportunity to practice being present.
  • Try an exercise session without any stimulation
  • Check in with your self,
  • Start taking your time while exercising

“It is incredible to be one with your body when it is flowing. It is this finely tuned machine that is the greatest creation on earth and when you connect with it, it can be quite powerful. I have clients tell me that they feel bored if they are on a machine for 30 minutes. But what is bored, when you have all these thoughts to entertain you. I encourage them to be alone with them and listen to them because I think there is valuable information being presented about, not only your body but

your life!

Plug into that! Save the iPod for later.”

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