While trainer J does not officially turn 27 until tomorrow, I brought him a card and gift today. M turned 59 last Saturday with very little fanfare, which is typical of how we roll and prefer it on our own birthdays, yet we do pay attention to the events calendar and try to remember others to celebrate theirs. It is way more fun celebrating other people’s milestones.

Today was an absolutely fabulous training session. Sometimes I think I say that about all of them, and since I have a rock star trainer, I genuinely believe it is as it should be. But I can tell when something is off with me, with J, or with both of us, and those session are not quite so stellar. But they are also extraordinarily rare.

After yesterday’s semi-melt from fatigue and general life malaise, it was nice to be at the gym feeling good and prepared to learn new things, review, whatever J had on the agenda. I was ready. I was actually feeling EAGER I was so ready. The past couple of tough days, the deadline-driven workdays ahead, the eating or not eating – all that stuff was a lot less important and weighing on me morning. I was well rested, had fueled adequately with a boosted pre-workout protein shake, and was looking forward to going forth and working on new stuff or reviewing last Thursday’s sheet.

New List today:

A1. KB sumo deadlift (45 lb.)
A2. DB pullover (25 lb.)
A3. DB overhead side bend (5 lb.)
B1. DB step-up to reverse lunge (2x 8lb.)
B2. Band biceps curl
B3. Band triceps pushdown
C1. TRX pull complex: Y, face pull, row
C2. TRX push-up to fallout

This is a mixture of old and new and restored the fun I sacrificed yesterday. The sumo deadlifts have been off the rotation for several weeks and came roaring back today. We went through 3 sets with progressively heavier KBs, settling on the final 45 lb. KB as appropriate for where I am right now. Sometimes I look at what J puts out there for me and know he is a lot more confident than I am about my own abilities, and then I surprise myself by actually being capable of performing with the heavier weight.

I am ridiculously excited about the sumo deadlifts, because way back when we first got started, I was completely stumped and remember my earliest texts to J were questions trying to figure it out while practicing on my own. I have been doing Romanian deadlifts – they are a little different form – so after a couple of reminders I found myself remembering the old cues and what to do. These sumos – from where I started, where I am now, and feeling gloriously HAPPY when I can get my body to work the way they are supposed to work.

I swear, it is the littlest things in this exercise stuff that give me hope and make me realize I am learning, retaining, producing results.

Still not my favorite of any list thus far – the step-up to reverse lunge. Dislike them, because there is that whole balance thing that comes into play. Yet even I must concede these are better than their initial introduction and subsequent List appearances. I may even be successful in keeping track of which foot I am working. Still hard to imagine the world where I think “oh GOODY! Step-up to reverse lunges today!” But hey, stranger things have happened. I am using the words “fun” and “happy” and “exercise” in the same sentences and paragraphs and blog posts.

I could become the poster child for exercise does not suck as much as I originally thought.

So yes, even I am noting improvements inside my own head. It seems after training days, I find myself kind of looking forward to the challenge of getting back and trying again tomorrow. Yep, I think my day off is going to be Sunday. Probably. Possibly. I like knowing there is an option out there.

And since I am confessing my improved outlook on the possibility of someday really looking forward to days at the gym, today also found me particularly enamoured with the push-up to fallout. Simple because I feel so much better about my push-up efforts. (I had told J that since it’s his birthday, I was graciously conceding that for at least the weekend, it could be all about him. But I guess I lied. I’ll revise that to outside this blog post it can be all about him and celebrating his birthday.) Up until now on the TRX push-ups, it has been try, struggle, struggle, struggle, be frustrated, stop. Monday I mentioned to J that if I had a goal or new year’s resolution (which I do not), it would be that I really want to master the TRX push-up by this time next year. He was equally off-hand in reply that we would do that. Sneaky guy, that J, putting it back into the rotation already. Today it was do a push-up, change body positioning and do a fallout, go back to push-up. There is something about that combination and change-up that allows my brain to not seize up in frustration; my arms give out long before my mind catches up.

Oh my how far I have come in the months of training. Where I once was anxious, afraid, embarrassed, and just really uncomfortable about the idea of being in the gym I have gotten used to it. I no longer have to think so hard, square my shoulders, MAKE myself get out of the car and through the front doors every time I go to practice, but I still have some doubt-tinged thoughts in the back of my mind. While I am still pretty far from “oh GOODY! I get to go to the gym and practice now!” my headspace is so much healthier and happier. Now there are days when I characterize the practice as kind of fun (OMG! There’s that word again!). The practice has become more and more rewarding as the weeks pass and I am more successful than frustrated with the items on my list. Plus I figured out from casual conversation with J that he has other clients that meet with him more than once a week, than I am not the only client on his roster that requires more of his design work and expertise. The daily practices are truly paying dividends for me in reshaping my brain and attitude as well as my body.

Someday soon leaving the safety of my little group exercise room is going to be in order. There are those mysterious machines in the other rooms and parts of the gym that likely hold some benefit for me. And I mentioned to J today that I feel confident in my ability to adapt … just maybe not today. But I have been thinking about it. I am getting better about asking other members for equipment they are using as a place to lay their keys or jackets. I come and go and feel okay in my blinders-on oblivion.

I think I may be okay with this gym stuff. My comfort level has risen, and I think the periodic evening visits are working to my advantage as well. I no longer have the mini freak-out in the car, and even the sheer number of people bothers me less.

Very early in our training, J mentioned that part of his goal was getting me to the point of self-sufficiency. I remember sort of chortling … AS IF that could ever happen! Last week in our rambling chats he mentioned that I now have enough experience and depth in my library to go it alone if needed, while in the very next breath reassuring me that he has no immediate plans to change gyms. Going it alone? By myself? On my own? So not happening anytime soon. So not happening for a really, Really, REALLY long time. Like, ever. The training glacier is huge, and there is no such thing as global warming that will impact it.

My goodness, that sounds kind of sad, like a millstone around my poor trainer’s neck. But I am getting better. I do not (always) feel like the hopeless wash-out client waiting to happen. I still pinch myself when I realize that I am improving and sticking with the program and the plan. There is method to the madness and it is making more sense.

Progress I understand. And feel. And delights me.

2 thoughts on “Training #4 – Happy birthday J edition

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