So, I finally did it. A few nights ago, I set up a time to meet with a girl who is a trainer at my current (of which I will only be a patron through the end of June because they’ve effed up billing one too many times for my liking) gym. So yesterday, after I busted it for thirty minutes on this nifty elliptical-esque machine and then hit “the beast”, a machine that I both love and loath in the same gasping breath – a stair climber from the very pit of Hell, I sat down at a table panting heavily and dripping with sweat to discuss my fitness goals with Jen. Let me insert here that I adore Jen; she’s upbeat and reassuring all while remaining within the realms of acceptable-I do not want to punch because you’re too chipper-positivity. And, best of all, she’s fit, but not obnoxiously so, i.e. sauntering around in lycra booty shorts and a sports bra.
So, I sat down with Jen and told her that I’ve been trying to hit the gym two to three days a week; then I promptly asked how much cardio I should be doing and told her what I’d like to accomplish and see transformation-wise. I told her I’d like my arms to maybe not wave back at me quite so much when I wave at someone else. I’d like to increase my cardiac endurance so I have a chance at surviving my upcoming hiking trip to Colorado. And, of course, I’d like to shrink. My middle could fo’ sho’ stand to be widdled. Then, my lovely trainer said something to me that made me smile a great big doofy smile and adore her even more, “I want you to stay away from scales if at all possible.” Right on, Jen; check, I can do that. Not only can I do that, I will happily do that. Because you see, whenever I step on a scale I get discouraged. Yes, the number may have dropped down two or three notches from four days ago, but it hasn’t sufficiently dropped to my liking. Or, maybe I weigh myself on a day when I feel like a very round, very wide Oopma Loompa. That number never makes me happy. I know the facts; I know that if I’m working out hard and eating reasonably that I’m probably creating muscle which weighs more than fat. The all the same, a number is a number is a number…and that number can throw me off course and has in the past. Not this time. The evil scale will not prevail.
When I told her that I wasn’t sure where I’d be continuing my fitness journey after June 30th, she just said that was no problem. She’d create a routine for me that would require space and some dumbbells and I’d be good to go. I’m super excited to actually “train” with someone who can show me what I should be doing and the correct form for the really scary stuff like lifting weights. Oh, and that won’t yell at me like a drill sergeant.
You see, one of my sisters is a fitness buff extraordinaire. She went to school for and graduated with a degree in exercise science (yes, that’s a real thing), and has spent the last few years personal training and teaching group classes at various gyms first in Virginia and now in Texas. She’s a whole lotta lean packed into a 5’ tall frame. She’s nutritionally strict and regimented and is no slacker when it comes to her fitness routine. She teaches 14 classes a week on top of training individuals; when she’s not teaching (i.e. exercising), she’s at the gym, you guessed it, exercising.
She is an incredible fitness instructor (I took one of her classes during my last visit to Houston and almost died) and a motivational personal trainer to her clients, but they aren’t related to her. It’s a whole ‘nother ball of wax when you’re training with someone who is not only related to you, but who is younger than you, whom you bossed around as a child and treated like your personal servant for years (before she got wise and learned that she could say no when I told her to do something). It’s fair; it’s only payback to have your younger sister (by three years) say, “JUST DO IT, YOU BIG BABY! QUIT WHINING AND DO IT!” when you say, “…you can do that because you’re little. If I try to do that, not only do I know if I can physically put myself in that position, but if I do, I don’t know if I can get out of that position without the aid of machinery.” So, when I tell friends that I’m training with someone and they respond, “couldn’t you just have your sister tell you what to do?” the answer is a resounding yes. But I’m in Virginia and she’s in Texas…and she yells at me when we train together.
I’m looking at weeks of profuse sweating, sore leg muscles, intense ab workouts and a very strong urge to cry when she says, “time for lunges.” I loathe lunges. But I’ll do ‘em. I’m excited about this journey; I’m excited about being excited about this step that I’ve taken. Yea, I’ve been eating healthier, drinking less and exercising more, it’s another game when you have someone invested in helping you attain your goals.
Now my friends: look forward to weeks of posts riddled with bitching and griping about exercise.