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Feb. 9, 2023

Ren Jones: Understanding the subtlety of the female experience in the fitness industry

"I think that there's a great missed opportunity for trainers, professionals, nutritionists, and coaches to step down off of Mount Olympus and mingle with the mortals."

Ren Jones was raised in a multi-generational female household and heard all the conversations that young men don't usually get exposed to.  He learned that there was a cloud of shame associated with menopause and how it was seen historically. 

He experienced a powerful reminder of his own mortality when he lost his brother, sister and mother to heart disease, drinking & driving, and cardiovascular issues respectively. 

This tragedy led Ren to pursue a career in fitness and wellness, and with it, the realisation of the lack of information available for women's health in comparison to that for men, and hand in hand with that, a lack of empathy.

As a result, Ren dedicated himself to learning the language, reading books, and listening to his mentor's advice on cultural humility in order to understand and empathise with the life he could never live. A women's life.

With an open heart and a dedication to understanding, Ren has since been able to better comprehend the subtlety of the female experience and help others do the same.

In this episode you will learn:

1. Why Ren took a deep dive into the lack of research and resources available to women, now coaching male trainers on their need for more education and understanding of the complexities of women's health. 

2. The Power of Human Connection: the impact of sharing one's story and understanding the importance of cultural humility when working with women.

3. The Historical Significance of Menopause: examining how the patriarchy has viewed menopause historically and its influence on the perception of the issue today.

Ren Jones is an online trainer and advocates for women's health, based in North Carolina. He is passionate about educating male trainers on the complexities of training women and creating a more inclusive fitness and wellness industry.

Ren's Website
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The Grief Sisters Podcast

Other Episodes You May Enjoy:
Olivia Park
Amanda Thebe

Where to find Sonya:
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Stellar Women Website

You're invited to join the We Are Stellar Women community on Facebook, a free supportive space for all women navigating the menopausal transition. Click here to join.


[00:02] Sonya: My name is Sonya Lovell, and I am obsessed with helping women navigate the magical, messy, and, let's be honest, more hysterical moments of this thing called menopause. I'm a personal trainer and breast cancer survivor turned menopause coach. I help women understand what's going on, why, and what they can do to navigate the menopausal trail transition. This is the Dare Menopause podcast.

[00:31] Sonya: I am so excited to meet you.

[00:36] Ren: It's an act of serendipity.

[00:38] Sonya: You know what? I don't even know where in the states you are. So tell us a little bit about who Ren Jones is, where you are, and how you came into my world.

[00:48] Ren: Okay, I think I've got this. So, first of all, I'm on the southeastern coast of the United States. I'm in the state of North Carolina. And if North Carolina is known for anything, we've got Michael Jordan. Played basketball in North Carolina. Raised in North Carolina. So that's a big one. We've got multiple hurricanes. I don't know if we've had anything else sort of semi famous that happens from North Carolina, known for tobacco. So something that you and I probably have both advocated against cigarettes. One of the homes and the small city that I'm from is called Winston Salem. And Winston Salem is the home of Krispy Cream Donuts. For people that have crispy cream donuts around them nationally or internationally, we gave you the gift of not only lung disease through the cigarettes that we produce, but also heart disease through the Christie Cream Donuts that we produce. I'm in a minefield.

[01:53] Sonya: And the joy of watching Michael Jordan on a basketball court.

[01:56] Ren: I mean, all three cigarettes donuts and Michael Jordan. Oh, my. As the wizard of Oz would say, there you have it. And I'm sort of the scarecrow. I've got a heart. The brain is in question. But other than that, I am one of the people that leads people down there. They're health based yellow Brick Road here in the southeast. But I work, as you know, internationally, so I'm an online trainer. And that's sort of how we collided. I came into the business through tragic circumstances, some of which you've probably seen, if you've seen my story. Unfortunately, losing my brother to a heart attack, my sister to drinking and driving. She drank alcohol and got in the car and got in a single car accident, got arrested, her soul and my mother to cardiovascular issues. Stroke first, and then sort of a gradual decline from that point, which is an interesting intersection we may get into here about sort of the the spectrum of menopause. But that's that's what made me a coach. I got into fitness because I'm a band geek, as we say, trumpet player, musician. And my friends were American football players in high school. They introduced me to the weight room. I didn't know what the weight room meant back then. And they got me off to a glorious start with all the misinformation that 15 year old boys in the late 80s can muster. I decided that some of what they were saying to me didn't really make sense and I started reading magazines at the point I'm old enough to remember magazines. Maybe your audience here Goose, right?

[03:44] Sonya: Oh, yeah, my audience definitely remember magazines.

[03:46] Ren: Yes. All the ads in the magazines, all the information in the magazines. Reading quality information from certified professionals gave me sort of the bug. After losing so many family members, I gave up corporate life in America. I was I was a sales trainer for International Insurance Company and and moved fully into fitness at age 39. I turned 40 maybe two weeks after getting my certification and I've been here in this space ever since. I think that about covers it. Was that satisfactory? Is that a good background?

[04:26] Sonya: I think that's an amazing background. And I definitely was hoping that you would be open to us touching on your family story because I find that when I read that about you, I was like a couple of things. First of all, I have such an affinity for people that are so transparent and willing to share their stories because this is how we shape and change the lives of others, is through the sharing of stories. I loved that you were so open, but it all was also such a story that really hit me in my heart. That loss of family and through the circumstances that they were was just really that's hardship.

[05:11] Ren: Absolutely.

[05:13] Sonya: And I think you said in your post that it was through all of those tragedies that you are where you are today and it is why you do the work that you do today, which we're going to dive into. Yeah. And it really just gives so much context and relevance to who you are and why you're here.

[05:30] Ren: I must say that I think one of the most, the greatest missed opportunity that a lot of professionals have in the context of what we do is they miss the opportunity to share their own. Why? It's our humanity that connects us. Often in the sales environment because of an old sales dog. We used to say that people buy things based on emotion and they justify with logic. Right. In the context of being a wellness professional, particularly online, in the online space, people buy you based on your humanity and then they justify with your credentials what you've been able to accomplish in the industry. I think that there's a great missed opportunity for trainers, professionals, nutrition, coaches to step down off of Mount Olympus and mingle with the mortals. Right. Because you're much more likely to interact with people that need you when they don't perceive you to be at some unattainable level of perfection.

[06:45] Sonya: Exactly. Yeah.

[06:46] Ren: That's my chad talk for the day. I digress.

[06:50] Sonya: Okay, we're done. We're out now.

[06:52] Ren: Done. Good podcast, great talk. Have me back on the next episode if you can. It's been a pleasure to be here with you this evening. But no, that's my thing. That's my story. I'm sticking to it.

[07:05] Sonya: Yeah. And you know what? It is 1000% true. And I think you really nail it when you talk about how we need to include in that the nutritionists and the, you know, those people that do sometimes present with a level of perfection and having it all together and, you know, so therefore you should be striving to be like me. And it's like we don't show our scars and we don't show our war wounds. That is where the real changes that we can make with your business head on, that is where we can build that emotional connection with people, which does then tend to lead to the whole no like and trust factor as well.

[07:47] Ren: Absolutely grateful.

[07:50] Sonya: All right, so one of the things that I wanted to cover off with you, and one of the things that really attracted me to chatting to you was about your advocacy in this woman's health space, specifically around menopausal health. So, look, we've already outlined it. You are, what did you say? Perceptibly young man.

[08:12] Ren: Yes, I'm Perceptibly Young. I'm rounding the corner to the 49th birthday. So that will be in April. I'll be 49 in April. So perceptibly seem Young ish young and pop. Yeah, but I remember when microwaves didn't exist and there was no such thing as a remote controlled television. And you watched there were three networks in the United States and that was all. And TV went off at 12:00 midnight. Like, I remember all these things. So I'm very much connected to the baby boomers. My mother had me late also. And that'll probably come up in the conversation my mother had me at 38. She was born in 1936.

[08:53] Sonya: Yeah.

[08:54] Ren: So my older siblings were 17 and 13 years older, respectively. So I'm much more connected to that greatest generation baby boomer than I am to the Gen X person that I am. That colors a lot of the discussion, too. For sure.

[09:15] Sonya: Yeah. And that really does lay so much context for why you are so passionate about this space that you are showing up in. So there's two things that I love that you're doing in this space. One of them is you are advocating for male coaches to better understand and research this demographic of women because they make up a huge chunk of the market. So talk to me a little bit about that. What did you see that made you realize that there was room for you to raise your voice in this area?

[09:50] Ren: Yeah, that's a great question. And obviously this has come up several times in the course of your programming, your podcast. We know the great links to which women are dramatically underserved in research. Right. This is a known thing, particularly among the wellness community as it pertains to women. It was 1994 before the national institute of Health sort of mandated that any research be what was that? Title nine, I think, is what it was. Before they instituted in any way that research must be done. Some research must be done on I think it read specifically, female sexed animals, if I'm not mistaken. I don't want to misspeak that. But at least I have some women's research. So seeing the dramatic lack of information, I'll put it to you this way. I love American football. The Super Bowl is coming up here probably done many weeks and days by the time this airs. But I can't watch American sports without being sold an erectile dysfunction drug. Every two and a half commercials there's some gray haired man holding hands in separate bathtubs with some lady. And in America, you can advertise prescription medication, right? Yeah, it's everywhere. I know more about erectile dysfunction than any man probably should who does not have erectile dysfunction. And then there's zero information about women and their transition into mid life and beyond. Nobody says anything about it. I was raised in a house with three generations of women. My grandmother, who was a teen in the Great Depression my mother, who was born in 1936 and my sister, who was born in 1961. My grandmother was very opinionated about everything. She was a smart woman but did not educate past grade eight. My mother was a medical professional who had me at 38. By age ten, she's 48 and in the throes of Minneapolis. Yeah, I remember freezing inside the home in the summer due to the air conditioning unit that she had cranked up. I would go outside in summer in the southern United States to warm up. My sister had the worst menstrual cycles I've ever encountered then or since with any woman that I've been with, dated at a long term relationship. I learned at age probably five or six to get the hot water bottle, how to massage the lower batch, how to be. So because of I was a fly on a multi generational female wall growing up. I heard all the conversation that probably young men don't hear. And right away, getting into this business, it was absolutely noticeable. It was incredibly noticeable. The lack of information that we have for women's based wellness and how ready we were to cross apply research based on men to women's issues and having a relatively decent grasp of biology noted to myself that, well, women and men are of different sex. I remember in biology class they said, xx chromosomes for women, XY for men. And I know that men don't give birth. Not that I'm aware of at the moment. Well, there must be some differences. And that curiosity led me to sort of women's specific issues. And, Sonny, I just started consuming information, anything that I could find women's specific information for exercise, for nutrition. Because by some means, my social media, even though I had not dedicated to this population. For some reason, the way that I speak and the way that I act and the things that I say began attracting women to my social media fitness. And I said, well, market feels like I'm the person that needs to work with the market, I better learn about the market. And I've gotten my wrist slapped over the years saying things that I shouldn't say in ways that are overtly patriarchal in nature because I was raised in the same patriarchal environment that the women were. So I didn't know better. I'm just some guy. I'm just a guy pretending he's a trainer on the internet at that point.

[14:49] Sonya: Right, I'm going to back you up there for a second because I want to know who was doing the slapping on the wrist? Who did you get this backlash from?

[14:58] Ren: Oh, I made the mistake of using female. One of my earliest memories of a snafu on social media was saying females need to blah, blah blah and females should blah, blah blah. And lots of women came in and said a female wet because female described you mean a woman? Women need to say women then because we're not females. Just the subtle ignorant nature of my conversation, not having work with this population. So one of the things that I teach to other trainers now is understanding and working with a specific niche in terms of their business. I'm a business coach. On the other side of what I do and what I had to do is I had to immerse myself in the language, I had to read books, I had to listen more intently and deploy something that mentors have taught me called cultural humility. Right. And that's just the active awareness of the fact that regardless of how well studied I am in a thing, if I am not a member of that culture, I can never holistically understand it. Sort of nothing about us without us is the phrase that I've been taught. So learning that, I took my lumps from very direct and helpful women who were willing to educate me out of my ignorance. But here I am now, a decade later, and I better comprehend the subtlety of the life that I cannot live. And hopefully you see that expressed in my content, that I'm very mindful of language and circumstance and microaggressions and all the things that I can't live as a woman because I'm a cisgendered heterosexual man. Great question, thank you for asking that.

[16:56] Sonya: Yeah, no, I was like, who was doing the slapping? Yeah, because I was interested, I suppose in my mind I went straight to was it other guys that were slapping you down for going, hey, man, you're a bloke. And that's a very Australianism thing as well. Hey, we're a man's man, and all of that sort of thing. So, yeah, that's really interesting and I think that is such a relevant point. And I wonder how many male trainers don't take the time or have the smarts to understand that they need to do exactly what you did. And that's what holds them back.

[17:38] Ren: It holds them back because my thought on working in areas where you don't exist daily is that to work with a human in a way that benefits both humans, my thought is you either have to have experience or empathy. Right? It's a seesaw of sorts, right? One helps in the absence of the other if I don't have the experience, I better be excellent at being an empathetic person, right? And if I don't necessarily have great empathy or tendencies to be empathetic, I couldn't maybe get away with that if I have the experience, right? And in this case, I cannot have the experience. And I think you hit on a great question. There. Are there many male trainers who are willing to differentiate and understand that, generally speaking, medical, fitness, nutritional research only about. 20% of it even now incorporates any women. The complexity of dealing with a menstrual cycle throws the researches off the complexity of maybe any oral contraceptive throws the researches off the complexity of any thing along the spectrum. Perimenopaults. To post throws the research data off. So they just ignore them. They just say, we'll give.

[19:10] Sonya: And that is the reason why none of that research was done up until, like you said, 94 when they first started go. Actually, we need to include the women in this was purely because the female body was too complicated for them to do the research on. It wasn't predictable. It wasn't stable. So therefore, we'll just throw our hands in the air and not do it.

[19:33] Ren: Yes. And then just cross apply research to women right? I think that's for the fitness junkies, particularly on social media, that's a great deal of the problematic issue right? Women are getting there's plenty of information, it just doesn't apply to them so they don't know that it doesn't apply to them so they do all the things that lead them to the frustrating results that they come to me for eventually right or coaches like us who help this particular population. It's a great point.

[20:12] Sonya: And do you see a time in the future where we have and when I say we, I'm in the fitness industry globally, has been able to find a way to educate young male trainers. And let's be honest, this industry attracts an incredible amount of young male trainers, very young male trainers, on the complexities of training a woman, but also talks about exactly what you've just talked about. It comes with that you need to have the empathy and you need to be able to invest the time in the research. Do you feel that the industry is going to evolve at some point? It's not going to happen overnight, let's.

[20:59] Ren: Be honest, not overnight but yes, absolutely because this generation of women have a tendency to be much more transparent number one, about the experience, which is the other shocking thing for me. I did a women's retreat. A colleague had a retreat for women. She invited me down midlife women. And my first question before I presented was how many of the women out there have had upfront conversation with their primary medical professional about menopause perimenopause even more specifically, what to expect, the range of years that it may be on set. The range of symptoms isn't the right word that I like to use because it's not an illness. The range of changes that they may experience physically, physiologically, mentally, et cetera, nobody raised their hand. And I was relatively shocked by that. Right? But I went on and how many.

[22:03] Sonya: Women were in this kind of probably.

[22:05] Ren: About 40 or so. And I went to the next. I said okay. I can understand that. Maybe you didn't know to ask. Maybe your wellness professional wasn't very well versed. I said, well, you know, here's a secondary question. How many of you women have had conversations with elder women in your family, the women that are older to you and your family about their set of experiences, when to expect, what to expect, how to deal with some of their experiences? And no hands went up again. I sort of scratched my head. I said, well, menopause wasn't the spectrum of menopause wasn't delivered by aliens in 2020. Right. From my perspective, the entire time that there have been women, there have been menopause spectrum of menopause. How is it possible that we'll have the conversation about puberty, that change of hormonal profile and reproductive time of life? And it's very common, right? For most people. I'm sure there are exceptions. But for some reason, the next stage, nobody is counseling anybody about it. We all know it's coming, and we all allow it to be a surprise because of that and the fact that you have women like yourself driving the conversation authors, whether it be Dr. Jen Gunter Menopause Manifesto or Dr. Stacy Sims with Next Level or Amanda Thief with Men Apocalypse, we have women that are engaging with it. And it feels as if from the outside looking in again, I'm deploying some cultural humility here. I don't know what's actually happening. I'm observing what seems to be like an opening of the conversation, at least, because somehow there was a cloud of shame associated with living too long. If you're a woman, you've just been alive too long, and we just really don't want to talk to you about what's going on now.

[24:18] Sonya: And that's a really interesting point because one of the things that you were just saying was about menopause has awesome spectrum of menopause has been a part of a woman's life for as long as there have been women on the Earth.

[24:30] Ren: Right?

[24:31] Sonya: But what's really interesting and I get this kind of does not sit well with me whenever I hear this comment or whenever I read this comment and that is well, women never used to live past menopause, so therefore it was not something that was discussed. That's bullshit. I totally call bullshit on that. All the women did not die at 40 back in some point of time. There is incredible evidence that women were still walking the earth.

[25:02] Ren: Well, after 40 makes no sense. I don't want to give into the hyperbole that Americans are ultraviolent, but I would like to give you permission to punch someone in the mouth the next time they say that. You just get them right in the just the two front teeth right there and say, this is from Rin. Thank you. And what we know is that here on the continent of North America, we know that those puritans, they were burning the menopausal women, right? That's who those witches were mostly perimenopausal women in a state of hysteria. And we know about the fluctuation of hormones and how they can lead to certain behaviors. The night sweats, the hot flashes, right? All of it.

[25:56] Sonya: The little rise in testosterone that we get that makes a little bit more ballsy and a little bit more willing to speak out and speak our truth and call people out. And that is often times. One of the things I always talk about is that, yes, perimenopause can be an absolute **** show. And for some women it is really troublesome. But every woman that I have spoken to that is post menopausal, it opens up this incredible freedom, this incredible opportunity to really stand up and go, okay, here I am, my childbearing. Years are done. I am no longer in that active parenting stage. Although a lot of women currently do fall into what we call here, and I don't know if you have the same term, the sandwich generation, where they've got the old aging parents that we're caring for. And women like your mother are having children older, so therefore they've got the younger children coming through. But even so, I find most women that I speak to that are, let's say, 55 plus have this incredible verve about them, like they're just here for it. And I think that that translates into what the witches were being persecuted for.

[27:10] Ren: Yes, 100%. I don't doubt that at all. I think it was Dr. Jen Gunter's book that I read that line in, if not Dr. Stacy Sims, just equating that and tying that historical data into how the patriarchy saw menopause then and in some real ways still sees it, still see to this day, unfortunately. But those are such great points. Such great points.

[27:44] Sonya: Yeah, it's an interesting time. Now, there is another topic that I wanted to touch on with you, and this episode is actually going to go out quite quickly. So our conversation yeah, I'm like fast tracking this one out because I want everyone to meet you and I want everyone to hear our chat as quickly as possible. So recently, and I'm going to say in the last few days, you posted on your Instagram feed about alcohol, and you posted it in this really beautiful way where you were just posing a question. You wanted to spark a conversation, see what the responses were. And I literally jumped in and was like, I'm just so here for the comments. And I just went back through before we jumped online and had a little look at what conversations had transpired as a result of that. And it was really interesting.

[28:32] Ren: It's very interesting. I've got to say. I put that post up and Sonia came in like a paratrooper. She came in by parachute. She dove right into that thing. Let me tell you, if you guys get an opportunity to go check that, it's a really and I had that conversation not only on Instagram, but on my Facebook, my sort of regular Facebook page and my Facebook business page. Just for clarity, for the listening and viewing audience who may want to know what that was. I just posed a question. I'll sum it up. As I said. Does fitness have a problem with alcohol? Does the fitness industry have a problem with alcohol? Sort of citing wine and weight loss things that I see in beer runs, two K and beer at the end. And sort of the bullet points where we're sort of the limited awareness that alcohol is indeed a carcinogen. Most of the people that joined in the conversation were not aware of that. By carcinogen, obviously, we mean a cancer causing agent. And alcohol is a neurotoxin. It attacks the central nervous system, not unlike what your local bug spray will do to above, right? And shockingly, most people weren't aware of those two things, which is sort of the context of one of the contextual questions of the conversation. Like, is this okay to associate what we say? We're doing core and cigarettes Saturday at the local YMCA, and people were aghast, oh no cigarettes. Oh my gosh. And I'm like, well, kind of alcohol is along the spectrum. It's not all that different other than the fact that we look at them socially differently. And not only is alcohol socially acceptable for most of the women in the age range, for perimenopause to post menopause, it's not only socially acceptable, it's socially expected. You are expected to consume, to have a civilized glass of wine before you wind down for the evening. You are expected to have some mimosas with your girlfriends over brunch. You are expected to ingest alcohol. That is one of the things that we have associated with the social aspect of being a cultured woman of a certain age. And if it's problematic, generally speaking, and I think this is another message that we don't get across that much, it is wildly problematic as you're going through preparing menopause.

[31:34] Sonya: Well, it's a vessel dilator. So for women that are struggling with hot flushes, as you call them in the state hot flushes, we tend to call them here that glass of wine before you go to bed is exacerbating your body's hot flushes.

[31:53] Ren: All the basil motor symptoms are made.

[31:55] Sonya: Worse disturbing when you are already in a state of disturbed sleep. And that's where I really exactly what you said. It is so problematic and not from you have an alcohol dependency problem, but from this is enhancing everything that you are complaining and struggling with. When I say you're complaining about, I don't mean to diss anyone that is struggling and therefore voicing that they're struggling, but anybody that is having any menopausal symptom, for want of a better word, is only making it worse by drinking alcohol. Yes.

[32:42] Ren: Everything that you don't like about your experience of the transition alcohol makes worse.

[32:51] Sonya: I read recently something that I really resonated. I stopped drinking probably about twelve months ago and mine was because I realized that it was exacerbating. That for me was an experiment. I've noticed that when I have a glass of wine I get a hot flashlight literally instantaneously. Also, I have a cancer history and I know that if I stop drinking I decrease my risk of recurrence, which obviously is a huge thing. But I read this great I'm going to say quotes, not quite a quote and that is that alcohol is the only drug that you have to defend when you stop using it with society. If you had a coke problem and you said to your friends, hey, you know what, I'm not doing coke tonight, most of them would probably be going, yeah.

[33:44] Ren: Good for you.

[33:46] Sonya: But you say that you're not drinking and I actually had an incident on the weekend and look, I am a very forthright woman and I'm sure my husband was shrinking in his seat when this whole scenario was going down on Friday night. But we were sitting at a restaurant and we were in one of those restaurants where the tables are literally like buttered up against each other. So you cannot help but hear the conversations that are going on at the table next to you. There's a group of quite young guys th and one of the guys ordered a non alcoholic drink and his friend immediately turned on him and was like you *****, what are you doing drinking a non alcoholic what is wrong with you tonight?

[34:26] Ren: Yes, shame on that.

[34:27] Sonya: I was so triggered and I just turned around and I said I'm sorry, but are you shaming your friend for choosing not to drink alcohol? And this guy just went beetroot red and then he went and you don't understand the context. I said, sorry mate, I'm sorry but there is no context to shaming your friend. And my husband was kind of kicking me under the table at that point but it just highlighted to me how much of a problem we have in society when someone says yeah, I'm sorry but I'm not. Going to drink alcohol tonight.

[34:59] Ren: And I've never drank alcohol. University, I believe you guys call it the university, college, none of it. And my friends love me because our crew has a built in designated driver. And my friends I've been friends with 20 plus years, probably 30 now. And I've only had that issue at the beginning. In our teenage years, them coaxing me, trying to coax me into drinking, and nobody could give me a good reason to do it. And as a logic based person, for the most part, like, well, I guess I don't need it. I said, does it taste good? Not really. Like, well, I'll just have some juice because juice tastes good. I said, what other reason do I have? Well, you'll feel relaxed and you'll have fun. I say, well, I'm relaxed everywhere I go. I have fun all the time. Or you'll feel more confident? I said, no, I'm pretty confident right now. I don't have any confidence issues. So no one could give me a logical reason why. And peer pressure wasn't enough for me, so I just never did. I don't judge anyone for not doing it. I think the job of a good coach and I've learned this in particular with working with women, almost specifically, moms over 30. But as a man working with women, I have a great understanding that my job is never to make a decision for a client or any other human. It's not my job to make a decision for people. It's my job to inform their decision so that the decision that they make is an actively intelligent choice. Right. I don't want people choosing things out of ignorance or lack of understanding. So I say what the thing is, I explain the science, and then I back away slowly and let the person decide what they want to do. In this case, the women that I'm coaching, I let them decide what they want to do with that information. Curiosity over judgment is really important for me as a client centered coach. It's important for me to educate but not tell, especially when I'm working in the context of working with women because, again, I'm not a member of their community, so I tread carefully in those situations.

[37:31] Sonya: Yeah, I love that approach. I love so much about what you just said, about treading lightly, coming with curiosity, as opposed to, I'm going to tell you what to do. I think there's so much in there that so many people can learn from. Ren, I have loved our chat so, so much. I truly hope this is not the last time that we connect and talk and chew the fat. This has been incredible.

[38:01] Ren: Yes.

[38:01] Sonya: Ren, I want you to do a couple of things for me. Can you share with I'm going to share all the links in the show notes, but I would love for you to share how anyone that is listening going, oh, my gosh, I need to get more of rent in my life. How they can do that.

[38:15] Ren: So on Instagram, it's pretty easy. The word fitness, the word Jones, my last name, Jones. And the word training on Facebook, it's pretty easy. It's the word fitness, the word Jones my last name and training, my website is pretty easy. It's fitnessjonestraining with a and any of those will get you if you just type that in. I guarantee there isn't another Fitness Jones training out there because it's an odd name and it's a poorly named business, but the shirts come out great.

[38:52] Sonya: Well, hey, you know what? That's what it's all about.

[38:54] Ren: That's what's important. The shirt is important. Solid matter.

[38:58] Sonya: People define you. It's beautiful. And Ren, I wrap up every conversation and I forgot to prep you ahead of time for this, so I'm sorry. Inside you here.

[39:07] Ren: I think you're going to be okay.

[39:08] Sonya: On the spot, though. I love it.

[39:10] Ren: I love unprepared conversations.

[39:12] Sonya: Here we go. What are you reading, watching, or listening to right now that is bringing you joy?

[39:21] Ren: It's bringing me joy. I am listening to, and this will sound really odd, I'm listening to a podcast called The Grief Sisters. The Grief Sisters, for those that are familiar, they are actual biological sisters, and they lost four family members within a seven week period of time. And like all good superheroes, they took the tragedy that would create a villain in one person and use that tragedy to become superheroes. So they talk about grief with other experts, with people in a grieving process. And I was turned on to them through my friend Molly Galbraith, who is the head woman in charge at Girls Gone Strong.

[40:10] Sonya: Amazing Molly Galbraith, who has recently gone through such a family tragedy and dealing with her very beautifully, doing that openly as well. I love the way she's sharing around.

[40:21] Ren: That I take her lead on so much. And we had a short conversation yesterday because of the third anniversary of the loss of my baby sister, who I did not mention early in the show. My younger sister passed away three years ago in February 5, 2020. And I find that show to be incredibly informative. And I find that it allows me the exact amount of shared humanity in a difficult situation to give me the understanding that more people are going through something similar and that there are so many strategies these people have researched what grief is. This is the same way that you and I do wellness. And for once, I get the feeling of not aloneness that I think we provide to our clients and the people that we serve and the sense of systematic processes that help me improve and recover to be the holistically, healthy human that I like to be. And that's a place of joy for me. That specific podcast, I hope that answer made sense.

[41:43] Sonya: Yeah, totally. And I love that you shared that and I'm pretty sure that's going to be a helpful resource for a lot of people listening. Yeah. Amazing. Ren Jones, thank you so much for your time. I hope you have an amazing evening. You are heading off into your evening. I'm about to get on with my day. And until we connect again, it's been a pleasure.

[42:06] Ren: Thanks for having me.

[42:10] Sonya: Thank you for listening today. I am so grateful to have these conversations with incredible women and experts, and I'm grateful that you chose to hit play on this episode of Dear Menopause. If you have a minute of time today, please leave a rating or a review. I would love to hear from you because you are my biggest driver for doing this work. If this chat went way too fast for you and you want more, head over to Au podcast for the show Notes. And while you're there, take my midlife quiz to see why it feels like midlife is messing with your head. You.