The Road to Change

 The Road to Change (aka Please Pass the Ben Gay!)
      So, I finally did it. I took a step toward a change I've been wanting for years. I haven't been able to do it on my own. Some people are great and pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps, but in this area that just didn't hold true for me. It's not for lack of trying, mind you. Instead it's been more about having all the pieces but not knowing how to put the puzzle together so it comes out like the picture on the box. The bottom line is: if I could have done it myself, it would have been done! Last week, I decided it was time to do something different; to seek the structure and direction I was lacking. Actually, help kind of came to me in the form of a radio ad. I called the number scheduled an appointment. I walked out enrolled in a program that will help me reach my goal.       As expected, exercise is a big part of this holistic program so I was assigned a personal trainer. Yesterday was my first day working out with my trainer, Justin. I didn't know what to expect. Honestly, I was kind of nervous.  I had visions of Jillian Michaels screaming in my face until I cried... or Bob yelling at me to stop talking about it and JUST DO IT!

      So, I walked in at 7:30 pm and Justin was waiting for me. We talked and took weight, measurements, etc and then he led me over to the treadmill to get an idea what my cardio was like. I should insert here that if you look in the dictionary under the word sedentary you will find my picture there, smiling and waving.

sed·en·tar·y ˈsednˌterē/ adjective
  1. (of a person) tending to spend much time seated; somewhat inactive.
  2. (of work or a way of life) characterized by much sitting and little physical exercise.


     Inside I was thinking, "YES! I am a treadmill master - I’ve so got this!" and I did have it when he started me at 2.0. He increased it to 2.3 and I was picturing myself doing tricks - standing on my head, letting go of the heart monitor bar, waving to the other patrons... So he kept taking it up and asking me how I was doing. He bumped it up a few more times and we were at 3.3 or something and conversation started becoming...well... challenging and I felt perspiration starting to make an appearance [the horror!]. Suddenly, my desire to do treadmill tricks was gone, and I wondered how much longer it would be before my heart popped out of my chest!  My heart rate confirmed it; in fact at one point it was in the 160s and I thought about how sorry I was that I never made a will, and should I survive, I should probably get on that soon... After several moments of torture during which I considered hopping off and cutting my losses, he bumped it back down, explaining he wanted my heart rate to come back down between 130 and 135. I wanted to kiss him, I was so relieved! After 15 minutes he turned the machine off and told me to follow him to the back so we could start our workout. As I walked behind him on legs that felt wobbly like cooked spaghetti I thought... 'Hold up! Did he just say START?!!
     No sooner had I gotten my sea legs back did the man asked me to do squats... SQUATS I said!! The personal invention of Lucifer himself! I did one, and thought it was pretty good too. It wasn’t... He corrected my form and asked me if I could go lower... Do what now? Go lower? My creaky knees were not having it and I told Justin so. This dude's face lit up and he disappeared around the corner. He came back with one of those exercise balls. I was elated. I thought, "Oh good! I'm glad we are done with all that squatting business!" My elation was short-lived as he demonstrated that the ball would go between the wall and my lower back so I could do lower squats... WHAT??? I was surprised though, the ball made the difference and I was able to go lower... I did my first set of 15 and we stopped for a rest... That wasn't so bad, I thought. I was about to start my second set when he placed some weights in my hands. I was supposed to keep them by my shoulders as I went down the lifted them up and back on my way up... Heavens to Betsy! But I did it, with Justin cheering me on and monitoring my form. It wasn't as bad as I expected.

      Whew! Good workout I thought... But we weren’t done. He pulled out a mat and told me to lie down on my stomach. What on earth are we gonna do now? I wondered. Justin asked, "have you ever done a plank?" ME??? A PLANK??? The very idea of holding up over {insert coughing fit here} pounds almost made me cry, but I sucked it up and watched him demonstrate, like it was nothing. Show off!  I took a deep breath and hoisted myself up like he showed me and he told me to hold it... so I did for as long as I could while my WHOLE body shook... I did a second one and shook some more. On the third one I got a wicked cramp just under my chest... We spent the next 10 minutes working out the cramp... Told you I shouldn't be doing planks! I had some water and felt better and it was on to the next thing.


     When he brought out a medicine ball I almost laughed out loud.  The last time I saw one of those was in an episode of I Love Lucy or Good Times or something! He demonstrated what he wanted me to do with it - which was still more squatting by the way - hmphf! I did 15 of them immediately followed by 15 jumping jacks (soooo unpretty).  We did three sets of these with recovery time between each. And that was the work out. Wow! I did it, and, more importantly, I had survived! I felt like Superwoman...
     "Let’s s go back out front so I can stretch you out," Justin said. Again I was laying on a mat... face up this time. Can I just tell you how this man took hold of my right leg and stretched the mess out of it? I was actually crying out. I am not a very 'bendy' person so I was in shock. Remember I'm the photo in the dictionary under 'sedentary'... He did the same with my other leg and honest to goodness I could feel even my bladder, my pancreas and maybe even my spleen; stretching...  He had me flip over and proceeded to stretch the backs of my legs... Can I just tell you that the last time my heel and my behind made contact like that I was probably SEVEN!!! Again I hollered, but Justin wasn't fazed by my hollering. He said it was nothing compared to one of his clients who actually screams when he stretches her... And that's encouraging how???   Funny thing though, when I stood up from all the 'pretzeling'... I FELT GREAT. Justin said, "How do you feel? [pause] You feel brand new don't you?" All I could do was smile because I did! One last stretch where I swear he tried to make my elbows meet and I was headed out the door amazed by all the stuff that I had been scared to try, but now had actually DONE. As I walked out Justin asked, "See you Saturday, right?" I replied, "Yep, see you Saturday!" I think I can do this guys.