Fitness Friday Interlude: A Conversation with Coach Charlie

Daphne Platt is the IB Coordinator at Mt. Vernon High School. She has been interning at the Crestwood Library as a requirement for an advanced diploma in Educational Leadership. Daphne enjoys spending time with her family.

I had the opportunity to speak with Coach Charlie via Zoom from the Crestwood branch of the Yonkers Public Library.  Coach Charlie is a Boxer and one-to-one coach in White Plains.  He explained to me that Boxing is a form of Western Martial Arts.  As such it’s all about balance and proper footwork.   The way he sees it, physical expression is as different from person to person as is facility in spoken language.  Just as people have different facilities with language, people will express themselves through physical activities in much the same way.  A person attracted to boxing may be looking to transfer their physical energy through a more aggressive medium.  He described to me that one fills up with toxic energy all day, then you participate in an activity such as boxing and you can “empty” out those toxins through aggressive exertion.  Once the tank is empty you can go back out into the world feeling lighter.

I suffer from chronic pain.  I asked Coach Charlie how he would coach someone with chronic pain.  He gave me a few good ideas to strengthen the affected muscle groups.  Then, he explained to me that stress affects a person’s posture and that this can lead to pain when muscle groups don’t get used.  He described an equation:


You feel the pain from the lack of muscle use.  One of the paradoxes of life, he explained, is that you wish you could just relax, but if all you did was relax, you would develop pain from the lack of use of your muscles.  This leads us to a conversation about motivation and how people stay motivated.  Coach Charlie sighed, and said that motivation is fleeting.  It’s not enough to be “motivated”.  What is really required is discipline.  Modern society is so much about the one word solution  — phrases like “Just do it!”  Coach Charlie said it’s not that simple.  You really need something to drive you.  If I plan on jogging after work and it is raining, I’ll probably say, “Oh, well, I’ll try again tomorrow.”  That won’t work, even the simplest activity counts.  Coach recommends calisthenics as all you really need — your body and gravity.  He suggests 30 minutes of activity a day, the kind of activity to get your heart rate up, with one day off every 4 days.  His go-to workout: burpees. 

It was a pleasure speaking with Coach Charlie.  He shared beautifully about his unique philosophies and insights regarding the care of our physical selves.  He will be at Crestwood Library on Saturday November 20th from 9am to 10am taking 10 minute in-person consultations. To book an appointment, click here.