After months of running and cardio training for my last race, I decided to buck it up and walk into the personal trainer’s office at the gym. My daughter had amazed us all and won a plank competition at a local fair and her reward was a free consultation with the trainers. So, of course, I took it. I walked into the office, fresh off of my crowning accomplishments and said, “All right, what do you have for me?”
To their credit, they were extremely kind and forthcoming with all kinds of info and lists of things we could do to get to my goals. My problem is straight out fat loss and the fact that I can’t seem to lose it. They told me my body is doing this and that and not doing this, and I just listened and nodded. This is what I wanted, someone to tell me what to do in the gym and then, they can be the ones staying up late at night trying to figure out why my body isn’t burning the fat away. Not me. I’m tired of shedding tears and losing sleep over it.
I signed on the dotted line and took off with two trainers to begin my plethora of baseline tests, showing them all my numbers and abilities, or lack of abilities I would come to find out. Have you ever watched The Biggest Loser on the first week and everyone has to take that daunting first trip up to the scale? Shame and humiliation are worn like a heavy coat, enveloping their abused bodies and defeat falls from their eyes in the form of tears. It’s hard to watch and about impossible to imagine how it feels, that is, until you have signed up with a personal trainer and gone to take your initial numbers. The whole time that I stood being measured from every angle and photographed for my fitness mug-shot, I knew that these measurements and numbers were why I was there but I couldn’t keep the shame from running down my face. I had to report back to the main trainer and give him my tape, all the numbers printed out in black and white. He immediately scribbled “Unacceptable” across the page and told me we had a lot of work to do, in a kind way of course. I was off to my next test and in my head I’m thinking, “OK, I can show them that I don’t just sit on the couch all day and kill this test.” Yea, let’s just say, something got killed but it wasnt’ the workout. For those of you trying to guess, it was trainer #1, with the 10lb bar, on the basketball court. Second round: trainer #2, with 8lb dumbells, on the jump boxes.
I picked myself up out of the pool of sweat (not puddle, I said pool) and went to the weights for another beat down. I almost let the tears fall from my eyes again with every repitition that was demanded of me. All my physical weaknesses layed out on the gym floor for everyone to see. I kept reminding myself, “It can only get better from here.” I learned ‘trainer speak’, which is “Just one more.” but that really means two more and maybe a third if you’re not screaming “Mercy!” loud enough. By the end of the tests I was emotionally and physically worn out but I knew this was what I needed.
So, it is now the end of day 3 with the trainers. I really can’t reach my arms out straight so typing is about the only thing I can do. Sitting is my preferred position. Getting up and down from sitting, not so good. The bathroom has become an adventure as I have to grab for the handicap rails on the wall to lower myself down without complication, or the toilet paper dispenser if no rails are available. I haven’t even mentioned the neoprene. If you have ever surfed on the West Coast, it’s imperative that you wear a wet suit. I have no idea if a wet suit is made from neoprene but that is the closest description I can come up with for my new, specially fitted pair of neoprene shorts. I have to wear them to do one thing: sweat. I won’t go into details about the struggle it is to put these on, but if you have ever shoved a voluminous amount of squishy material, let’s say fat, into a skinny, skinny jean, you understand.
So, here I sit, unable to move, shoved into my wet suit, literally, and hoping that the pain will go away by Monday.