Making the Invisible, VISIBLE!

April 26, 2010

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Making the Invisible, VISIBLE!

A Fitness Blog Post by: Jonathan Kaufman( New Orleans Boot Camp Instructor in Lake view)

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I moved to New Orleans to find myself spiritually and wound up living in, of all places, a Zen Temple. Here in New Orleans, city of fun, festivity, and frolic, a place exists where I could go to get in touch with my true self, whatever that was.

Up until this period in my life I was a bit lost and wandering. My life was being wasted because I was living for others and not for myself. I would catch my mind worrying more about what people thought about me than what I actually was accomplishing, and I realized that there was more to life than living for others, especially since life is too short to squander.

At the Zen Temple we would meditate, of course, but there would also be periods where we would go through ceremonies that seemed meaningless at the time to me. Ringing gongs, chanting in Japanese, constantly cleaning an already spotless building and living space, and doing things solely for the sake of doing them can make even the sanest person a bit “loopy”.

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When I would ask my “Zen Master”, Robert, why we go through all of these motions, cleaning already clean things, chanting the same things over and over, going through the repetition of the day, he told me this, “We do these things to make what is invisible, visible.” He is always a bit cryptic and I guess it’s a Zen Master thing. I left him that day feeling a bit confused, and my mind worked to figure out what he meant by the words that he said.

In all of us there are dynamics that are daily and ongoing. These dynamics, or situations, are for the most part contained within ourselves and we do not necessarily notice them. It’s like an emotion that you may have that isn’t expressed outwardly. Without a reason, you would probably keep that emotion to yourself and the people around you would never know that anything was going on. Then one day you decide to purchase a t-shirt. Perhaps the t-shirt has a smiley face on it, or it could have a funny comment, or it may have a skull and crossbones across a black panel. Whatever the t-shirt’s image may be, this is in some way a reflection of you. That is what Robert, the Zen Master, meant when he said that we were making the invisible, visible.


How we dress, what we say, the actions that we do or don’t do, the people that we connect and interconnect with, these are all ways that we use to express the true selves that are hidden within the “flesh bag” that is given to us at birth.

What does this have to do with New Orleans Boot camp? It has a whole lot to do actually.
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Teaching Bootcamp in New Orleans has been a learning experience for me and I continue to grow and learn as I teach each successive camp.

On the first day of camp I explain what is expected of my campers and I try to keep it light and fun. No unreasonable stress or unrealistic expectations. Try to have fun. Learn what this is about, especially if you have never been to a fitness boot camp, and use the Bootcamp as a tool.

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If I were to teach a computer class and gave twenty laptops out to 20 students, at the end of 30 days, each laptop would be different, although they all started out exactly the same. Each student would modify the components or software to match the lives that they are living and even two very similar people would have totally different needs and uses for their laptops.

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Bootcamp is my laptop. I present the same exercises, routines, challenges to everyone but each camper is an individual and must make modifications to the exercises and schedule according to their individual lives.

  • Nobody can do it for you and I can’t jump into your body and show you what it feels like to put in the effort.

  • This awareness of what you do and how it affects your body must be learned by yourself.

  • To develop this awareness, each camper must take a good look at their effort, and emotion, and the thought processes that they manifest, and adjust their workout to reflect their individual ability and goals. Be flexible and open to seeing what is happening as you take the journey.

  • If you are sore for too many days after a hard workout, ask yourself “why?” “What would have to happen for me to recover more fully?”

  • If you are getting leaner and eating better, ask yourself, “how?” or “what?” do I have to do to get the best results possible.

  • When you want to get stronger at doing a push-up, ask yourself, “What needs to happen to make a difference happen?”


Questioning yourself and the process that Adventure New Orleans Fitness Bootcamp is, along with the effects or results that you are achieving will help you to develop the awareness that empowers you to take control of your life and your fitness goals forever. Be positive and make the invisible visible to you and the people around you.

Jonathan Kaufman, ( Lake view Boot Camp Instructor )

Make sure and leave a comment Below!

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Comments on Making the Invisible, VISIBLE! »

April 27, 2010

Lylyn @ 1:14 pm

Great article Jonathan! I’m ready to make the invisible visible at the next bootcamp.

May 3, 2010

Jessica D. @ 12:01 am

Jonathan- nice thoughts. I was in the first two months of Lakeview classes (Nov-Dec 09). I switched over to another fitness bootcamp for a month because it was a bit cheaper. Big mistake. The instructor didn’t motivate me nearly as well as you did. Getting out of bed is so much harder when you know you are going hate the next hour!
Anyway, I am living in Korea now, but if I were home, I would gladly pay the extra money to go back to you or Jonas. I still recommend you to my friends. Point is– good job!

jonas @ 2:06 pm

thanks for your comment Jessica!

I’m sorry to hear about your bad experience with that cheaper boot camp. I have a good idea on who you are talking about.
You are not alone though, I get quite a few people each month telling me how they went to another boot camp because they wanted to save a few bucks only to be extremely disappointed.

I wish you best of luck in Korea.. stay in touch!

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