The Trainer

20 Jun

Never, EVER tell a personal trainer that you run marathons because they will probably make two assumptions: one, that you are in shape and two, that you like pain. Click the “read more” button below to learn about how a woman standing 5’7″ almost made me cry.

Did I mention she is a body-builder? Professional boxer? Oh well, yeah, she could beat me up if she wanted to. And she did.

“Are you still nervous?”

My trainer had assured me that I should be excited and not nervous after I had expressed a few times that I was terrified to start a workout program that included more than long miles on a treadmill. Still, I wanted to lose weight and gain overall strength and fitness and watch as those gains translated into running faster, longer, and with less injury, so I signed up for five personal training sessions at my YMCA that included nutritional counseling. It was time to really turn my life around in terms of nutrition and rounded exercise regimen and I needed a professional on my side.

“I’m going to throw you out of that window!”

The trainer said this pretty early on in the session when I was starting to slack. I’m sure she was making light of the situation for me, but in my advanced state of exhaustion of fatigue and oxygen deprivation, I believed her. I dug deeper. She could have pulled it off after all. I should also include that the workout area at the YMCA is on the second floor…

I did lunges. Another YMCA staff member asked her a question during this time and for the next three minutes I lunged. I didn’t know if I was to continue, but I dared not stop. I did planks. I did frozen push-ups until my arms gave out and I fell on my face. We rotated from station to station so quickly that I didn’t have time to catch my breath. Indeed, several times I thought I was going to pass out as I was dizzy with fatigue. Instead, I shook my head to clear it and did what I was told.

Boxing Lessons

At one point she told me to keep doing whatever circuit we were on while she disappeared for a minute or two. She came back with boxing gloves. Oh dear. She really is going to whoop my butt. I thought about saying, “I guess you thought you had to wear me out before you took me on,” but thankfully thought better of it.

Instead, she had pads on her hands as I punched at them in my gloves. I was shown how to punch properly and keep my hands up. I recalled the day a black-belt in my karate dojo taught me to keep my hands up by kicking me ON TOP of my head. She didn’t do that, but at one point she exclaimed, “Your gay uppercuts are embarrassing me!” Ouch. Actually all my punches turned into the same kind of flailing mess as she called out the numbers in the sequence faster and faster. It was my brain that failed me first. I kept having to say, “WHA.. What was that?” to her instructions. I was really getting stupid with fatigue. I have a new respect for the athleticism of boxers. Now I only question their judgement, albeit WAAAY out of reach of their left jab.

Trust Me

Then suddenly it was over. I didn’t think I was going to make it and I didn’t care if I did, but peer-pressure, pride, and fear got me through that session. She told me that she’d take me right to the point of muscle failure and then bring me back. I thought I’d passed that point long before she did. I asked for a drink of water. She said no, not until after the next set.

I started to question whose side she was on. I think she was working for me, but then I don’t know for sure anymore. Next time I’m going to watch her face to see if she seems to take unnatural satisfaction in breaking down a marathon runner.

I purchased five sessions. I’ve done two of them. The second one wasn’t easy, but it didn’t seem as bad as that first one. Maybe I knew what to expect. I told her that I was having some real tightness in my hips. Maybe that’s the key. I just need to fake an injury. A few more sessions in I might even shoot myself in the foot just so I can get an honorable discharge from personal training. Yet another good reason to not bring a gun to the Y.

Imitating the Master

On the third consecutive Wednesday my trainer didn’t show up. I don’t think the appointment made it to her phone. I’m sure it was just a miscommunication, but I was actually disappointed. I think she was right. I do like pain. So I tried to imitate one of her workouts with me. I lunged and did every lift she taught me. I added pull-ups and sprinted on a treadmill at 12 MPH whenever a machine was busy. I ran a 6 minute mile in between sets. I knew I was doing something right because I was lightheaded for much of the workout.

I have three sessions left. I’m excited about them, but I’m still really, really scared. The landing from that second story fall doesn’t look all that soft.

12 Responses to “The Trainer”

  1. Todd July 9, 2012 at 5:07 am #

    Yay for personal trainers! Look forward to seeing you in the free-weight section upstairs too. :)

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