New challenges

I mentioned last week (here) my financial commitment to personal training with J at my gym. Our first session of the 20 purchased is Thursday morning, and I am actually kind of excited about it. Which is such an odd thing for me to say and genuinely mean, because I generally hate all forms of exercise.

Part of it is the personal attention I get, the demonstrations, the gentle corrections and encouragement. Plus it is just nice to have someone to work out with and tell me if I am doing it right or doing it wrong. But the last several days I have thought about it and what it means to me, and I have come up with a game plan for my 20 sessions. Counting ahead on the calendar, if we meet weekly for the next 20 weeks it takes us right into the middle of December. This timing appeals to me on multiple levels. I will be able to take a natural break with the holiday season and I have until the end of the year to marshall funds (aka save my spending cash) to purchase another training package. Plus it’s a manageable timeframe: start on Thursday (August 6) end on or around December 17. That is also C’s birthday week and we anticipate being in Disneyland, eating chocolate soft serve at California Adventure and strawberry topped funnel cake at Disneyland (but let’s not think or discuss that openly right now while we are trying to get a handle on diet and exercise). Either way, I have a plan mapped out for these 20 sessions.

This got me thinking about my 80 days of summer goals and reporting. It’s been gratifying seeing some progress, and since I think about and write about my ups and downs with my health-related goals, this feels like another natural extension of setting and (hopefully) achieving overall health and wellness goals. I have a few very general things I would like to accomplish, but mostly I truly appreciate the feedback, support, and suggestions I receive.

For a hot quarter second I thought about a second blog and very quickly dismissed the idea. Just selecting a theme and layout and such would cause additional stress and fretting. Nope, better to leave it here, maybe on it’s own page or something.

Although I anticipate moving to Tuesday or Wednesday meetings with J sometime later this month, this week we are scheduled for Thursday, so my posts about the sessions and my updates on goals will will post on Fridays. This does not mean there will not be other news and posts with my whiney lamentations about what I’m eating (or not eating) and the trauma and drama that comes with me and physical fitness. I am now equally hopeful for posts with success stories – maybe I finally, successfully, master the dreaded plank! – and that I make it through with no injuries to anything more than my pride.

And with this, my weekend is drawing to a close. It’s been most fun, awfully tiring, and M has smoked, wrapped, and now frozen about 30 lbs. of beef brisket while we feasted on salad all weekend. The kitchen smells heavenly, though, and sometimes a pretty sparse vegetarian life makes me appreciate that I am not a vegetarian in real life.

4 thoughts on “New challenges

  1. Great that you are excited about the training sessions! Can’t wait to hear about the first one (and the others too)! Do you have a plan for what you want to accomplish from these sessions? Build routines that you do on your own? Master individual exercises? Each one a full body or concentrate each week on something (upper body, legs, balance, etc)?

    • Look at you! You sound like the fitness college graduate compared to my first days of preschool.
      Honestly, my only plan right now is the safe and sane strength training practices. I was actually talking to J about scheduling earlier and asked him if we could stay and review last week’s exercises because I’m still having form issues with a couple of them … that’s how truly behind the curve I am on this stuff.
      My only goal for the balance of this year is to master the basics and be confident enough to use the equipment safely, which he assures me I will get there, but I am not in any big hurry. I like these simple basics (plank, glute bridge, squats) – you know, basic floor work and using bands and TRX hanging things. His goal is to create self-sufficiency, so I develop confidence and can move away from personal training if I so desire. I tried not to hear that as “I really want to get you off my client list because you’re so lame ….”
      Our weekly meetings are working on basic things to mastery, then adding a more things so I have an assortment, after which I think he’s planning to tell me do this, that, the other thing this week and check-in on progress, make adjustments add some other stuff. I hope, anyway.
      He works with a group of middle aged weight lifters that are simply awesome in their own right. Maybe someday, but right now it seems so dang far out of my imaginary reach. I’m still working on mastering squats and planks and heaven help me when we get to “real” pushups!

      • The one thing I would really really stress is making sure you know how to do the moves correctly – that your form is perfect. The exercise will actually be easier and be more productive for you. I see so many people – even those using a trainer – doing exercises in such a sloppy manner that I know they will get hurt and they won’t see the results. My trainer D is a stickler on form and I can feel the difference now when I do something wrong and can adjust. But it takes a while. Wait until you do pushups with your hands on medicine balls. Really it is “fun” – at least D claims it is. And sliding squats (one leg at a time). 🙂

        Before I scare you off – I really suggest some more conversations with your trainer as you go along about what you want to accomplish – it will change over time. One progression is: master a variety of exercises, develop a few basic routines, learn how to increase intensity of routines to achieve goals (more weight, more reps, etc), add additional exercises, learn to develop routines, etc. I love following along on this topic!

      • As always, thanks for really great advice! I was thinking about this last night (lying on the floor thinking “thank GOD no one is here to see me collapsed in a heap after after just one set of these $*&% planks!”) and realize what I want RIGHT NOW is to just learn the basics he’s trying to teach me correctly. If I have to repeat this series on squats and planks and glute bridges for the next month (or until I gain enough strength to have mastery and perfect my form) then that’s what we have to do. I can already feel the difference when I make the adjustments he advised last week as well as what my lesson plans indicate, so hopefully we will still not be working on basic planks and squats 5 months from now. I absolutely want to learn perfect form, and I can tell J will not let me advance to other things until I get there. I know practice is important, so I’m doing what I can do at home (no TRX equipment in our livingroom), which is a step in the right direction. I am already getting better with the squats – no more plates under the heels. Planks – let’s just say they are a work in progress. When I had muscle spasms in my abs after getting up last night I knew I was on to something.

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