Last week, I did a consultation with a personal trainer at a new fitness center. My weight is abysmal and depressing. Even when I was at a comfortable, healthy and attractive weight 15 years ago, doctors thought I was overweight. Now, some 70lbs plus later, I must say I finally agree with the doctors. Although I don’t look at myself as some blob of fat, as a couple of doctor’s looks have suggested thoughts along that line. To the contrary, I see my best body to come inside of the frame I’m walking around in now. So I look at myself with curiosity. And wonder. Is this as big as I’m going to allow myself to get? How did I get this large, round and wide? What would it take for me to get motivated to get moving on a consistent basis? Have I had enough of not feeling like myself?
I’ve had some good excuses over the years for not keeping to an active schedule. This year, I’ve left them all behind. This year is the year I focus on my body. On my health. On my energy and stress levels.
Last week, during the consultation, the personal trainer asked about my eating habits and workout routine. I’ve been cleaning up my food intake for years. That’s not the problem. Though I do have an incorrigible sweet tooth. I’ve been sporadically active over the years. Working towards a goal isn’t a problem. I told her, “I used to be an athlete. It’s just a matter of getting back into a routine.”
To her credit, she didn’t look doubtful. She said only, “We’ll schedule an assessment for next week. I would like to see how your body moves.”
So, this morning, I surprised myself by waking up before my alarm and getting out of bed an hour earlier than my norm. I got ready in record time. Remembered to pack work clothes and grabbed a water bottle. I made the 8:00AM appointment on time – with energy. The biggest shock was that I wasn’t dragging.
I used to be a morning person, too.
Unfortunately, over the last couple of years, it has become harder and harder to drag myself out of bed in the morning no matter how much sleep I’ve gotten the night before. My days have offered very little to look forward to. Today was different.
My new personal trainer – I had committed to a package by the end of the assessment session – lit a fire in me. She recognized and connected with something in me that very few people see and acknowledge. “You’ve proved that you used to be an athlete,” she said at the end of the session, “I can see it in your form and the way you move.”
Early on when she first commented on my form (I’ve received compliments on my form and posture all my life so I didn’t take it as false flattery at all), I said, “Luckily for me, the body remembers. Muscle memory – I just have to get myself moving.”
“Yes, muscle memory. The body does remember. Working out is just like riding a bike too.”
Halfway through the assessment, she observed, “You need a sergeant. Someone to push you. You are capable of so much more than you think. I’m really impressed with you.”
**Cue warm fuzzy feelings**
Her physical assessment was a full body workout for me which included: various lunges and squats with and without weights, deadlifts (from bar only to 20 then 50lbs added), push-ups, sit-ups, planks and deep stretches. I’m not a profuse sweater, but she had my forearms and forehead dripping in the 35 minutes I was with her. She impressed me.
I’ve been achy all day, but it’s such a great ache to have.
In sharing this, I would like to highlight the importance of committing to yourself. We all have goals for some improvement in our lives. Some of us try to do everything at once. I would like to encourage you to concentrate on one priority for a set period of time. Whatever time period feels right for you. Last year was my “Most Wonderful Year Ever!” I named it before the clock struck 12 on New Year’s Day. It was a high energy year with a lot of bumps, but by the end of it, it had indeed proven to be a wonderful year. This year is not only a focus on my body, it’s a focus on my activity. It’s a cycling year. My goal is to do distance rides and destination rides. In order to achieve those goals, I have to prepare my body to perform the activities I have planned for it. If I know myself half as well as I think I do, I will live and work up to the challenges I have set for myself.
I challenge you to challenge yourself as well in whatever area you feel stuck in. Find a way to jumpstart and get reinforcement encouragement. You can do anything you set your mind to. All you have to do is envision it; make a plan; and go for it!