• Geoff Hunnef

Journey into understanding trauma

Updated: Jun 28, 2021

When I was younger, I worked on a concrete forming crew. Part of the job was to set up these wooden forms that are held together by connecting two sides with metal rods. It creates a temporary form where we poured concrete into and allowed to set/cure overnight. The next day, we would return and strip the concrete of the wooden forms and voila, you have a poured concrete basement.

There normally is an area of the pouring that forms a tight enclosure that someone would have to climb down into and remove all the forms that created the walls there. The walls would be a tight, claustrophobic space over 7ft high that's hot and oily. The forms have also been sprayed with oil prior to the concrete being poured into them to prevent the concrete from adhering to the forms. As someone new on the crew, I noticed when it came time to remove the forms the following day, no one would do it. It was not the worst job in the world but needless to say, there weren't any volunteers.

I saw that it was often delegated by the supervisors at the end of the day. I saw the hesitance and unwillingness of everyone getting to that particular task done so when it came time to start tearing off the forms I decided to just do it. I jumped down into the hole and took the forms off. When it came up to the usual time to delegate someone for this task, it was already done. The other crew members thanked me for saving them from having to venture down into the greasy hot pit of unpleasantness. Supervisors noticed and I got a promotion shortly after that happened and was also offered to return again next year to work on the crew. Needless to say, the point of this is to illustrate the idea that when we often move toward the things that we find difficult and challenging, there is unseen rewards that come from those brave enough to venture into them.

Throughout my years as a Personal Trainer and helping people achieve their Fitness goals, I would notice that their progress was often stalled or hindered by a previous injury or trauma that happened years prior.

Whether it was a sports incident, a car accident or a training injury, Life comes at us from all sorts of angles and can leave its impact on us in many different ways. These injuries would more often than not become hang ups along our journey to physical success. Some of these traumas that we incur are physical while others may be emotional or mental. In my experiences, if it wasn’t an injured muscle of the rotator cuff or a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), it could very easily be something in the mind from having low self-esteem, anorexia, bulimia to body dismorphia just to give some examples. As I started to notice how these various forms of trauma affect our physical journey to a better life, it made me reflect on how deep these wounds from our past influence the rest of our lives beyond training, eating and sleeping. I wanted to know how to help people in more meaningful ways than just to squat better or to do a proper pull up. Much like dealing with the unpleasant and unwelcomed experience of physical wounds, unraveling emotional trauma can be terrifying, life changing, and rewarding.

I am using this sensation to direct my actions in my life. When I feel a sense of repulsion and feel terror or fear creep into my peripheral, I strive to move towards it and aim to cast light on that which is dark.

I am looking to share my journey into the dark things and unpleasant feelings that change our trajectory. I am not a therapist or a counselor. I am just another person trying to decipher this madness we call, Life. I have no idea what I am doing or where all of this will go, but I have high hopes that in moving toward those things that scare me, there will be unforeseen rewards for everyone; fingers crossed that those rewards are a better world for all of us to live in.

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