As I come to the end of my personal training sessions, I find myself in a state of reflection. The past month has been a true learning experience; I’ve come to know that I’m nearly as weak as I thought that I was and that in fact, I’m more stubborn than ever thought before when it comes to attaining something that I want.
After accepting the fact that I was going to have to do things that I would otherwise avoid, like countless lunges, squats and lifting weights I developed a kind of love/hate relationship with these activities. I knew after the first couple of meetings with my trainer that there would be no escaping these vicious, muscle-burning movements and that I’d be better off getting the right form and doing as many of them as possible on my own time to see some results. The exciting part was that not only did I begin seeing results in a very short period of time, but my tolerance for these movements increased and I actually started to enjoy them…okay, maybe “enjoy” is a strong word, but I became excited for my workouts because I knew that was I was doing would heed the results that I want.
My least favorite of the activities of which I was introduced is hands-down weight lifting.
I’ve never been a fan of lifting heavy objects and avoid it whenever possible, but considering I was paying someone to tell me what to do and how to do it to get the best results, I decided that the best plan of attack was to grin and bear it (and ask my trainer if she’d lost her mind when she would hand me a dumbbell much heavier than I thought I could handle, or would load up more weight on a machine than I would do on my own). I haven’t developed a good relationship with weight lifting, but I always feel a sort of vindication after I’m finished. I feel triumphant and sweaty, a bit like I’ve just won a battle, despite the burning sensation residing in my arms. As much as I despise the actual activity, I’ve grown to love the feeling of accomplishment afterward.
One of the most challenging exercises that I’ve encountered to date is one that I was introduced to last week: a plank hold while balancing on a medicine ball. One word encapsulates how I feel about this exercise: OW! This is one of those exercises that I found so challenging that I refused to give up after doing twice. The first time I did it, I held it for about a second before flopping into a wobbly substance on the floor; then, I stubbornly looked at my trainer and said, “I’m doing this again.” This is kind of the perfect exercise because every muscle is engaged: arms, legs, butt…it’s pretty fantastic. Now, all I have to do is continue to force myself to do it on my own.
My final session with my trainer is tomorrow evening, and even though I’ll have everything that we have done together written down, it just won’t be the same as having someone there to guide and encourage me. I now understand why people hire personal trainers: it’s like having your own personal cheerleader to offer words of encouragement while you grunt and complain over and over again about how much you hate the exercises that they’re making you do. In all seriousness, this experience has been nothing but positive and with the confidence that I’ve gained over the past month, I believe that I have it within myself to get where I’d like to be physically. With more hard work, continuing to eat a healthier diet, a positive outlook and channeling my stubborn nature, I believe that I can do this. It’s a good feeling.