Trainer J says I am a client from his mental trophy room for his training efforts. Hugely flattering this final Monday training session for the year, and only a little surprisingly, I do truly believe his sincerity in the comment. Maybe I am also strengthening and improving my “accepting compliments” muscle.

Today was all about OCD technical review of the dumbbell routine. Since J is leaving for a well-deserved break on Wednesday, he was as reluctant to introduce new things as I was to start anything new. So review day happened. J will only be away for 8 days and we will be back at it on New Year’s eve. Bad habits cannot become too entrenched in only 8 7 days (gym is closed Christmas day) where I am off the text leash in the gym by myself. He assures me it’s fine to text, and I know he means it, I am still going to try very hard to avoid it while he is vacationing.

I have written thousands of words about how much has changed and I have learned from J in the last several months. What I noticed today is that the corrections were minimal – nearly unheard of when we do this type of review – and I was actually able to converse with him like a normal person while performing the various movements. We talked a little about my friend James without the added benefit of me bursting into tears, about Christmas and other day-to-day normal chatting. For the woman who used to have to consciously run all the cues in her head and try to count at the same time rendering coherent speech nearly impossible, this was a big step forward.

While J is on vacation, I have ambitious plans to work all 5 of my present routines in rotating pairs every day except Christmas. I am ridiculously excited by the prospect. It’s not that I do not do that routinely during the rest of the year, but I am close to being a whole lot better with a lot of little things that remain troubling or foreign. When there is new stuff introduced I find myself fixated on it figuring it out, determining what is working and what is giving me trouble, what I am simply not getting. Under those circumstances existing Lists get relegated to when I have time available. The sheets in my possession right now are all familiar enough for me to have a few favorite and several less favorite things.

Plus I will experiment with bumped up weights on a couple of exercises. Left to my own devices I might never do so, but once that seed is planted I will at least try to see how it works out. Then there are those less pleasant exercises that I’d probably never do if they were not on a List somewhere, so I will be putting forth extra effort to convert myself into fan-girl status.

And finally there was a mix-up in Christmas card and gift for J. I had gifts leaving the house for various people lined up on the kitchen table but at the last minute had segregated my hair stylist package because I learned she is allergic to chocolate and I needed to make an adjustment. (I am undecided – is that good, because all those calories she cannot consume, or really bad – all that yummy goodness she is having for forego?) For whatever reason M picked her gift up sometime in the night and left it next to my gym bag. This morning I grabbed it and ran out of the house with it, only noticing that the wrong card was with it before presenting it to J, then giving him the wrong package anyway while planning to return with his card. Then on the way home I realized it was not just the wrong card it was also the wrong package. (While always gracious, I am not sure how much J would have truly appreciated a Sephora gift card with his buzzed off hair.) Thankfully I was able to race home and get the correct card and package and swap them out while J was working with his appointment after me.

I will be so happy with the holiday madness passes with all the irresistible yumminess everywhere I turn. My clothes still fit, my numbers remain stable if trending toward the higher end of the normal range. I frequently think I should double up my gym time to burn off all the extra crap I’m eating. But I have not; sleep is far too important to me.

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