I have been incredibly kind to myself this week. I’ve been focusing on my own exercise program, two training sessions and two water exercise programs a week. Had I been any kinder, I don’t think I’d be able to walk. Just kidding, sort of…
I ‘ve been through a whole series of physical therapy sessions and then personal trainers since I hurt my right knee last fall, basically after running up and down the stairs too much in the wrong shoes before vacation. At my age apparently even walking can be risky.
Since my knee is doing pretty well now, I decided I would ramp up my exercise program a little bit. We have a very modern and fairly inexpensive park district facility about one and a half miles from my house and hubby and son, Dave, and I all signed up.
My new personal trainer is Pat, a tiny woman in adorable size two work out clothes who puts me through the paces twice a week. She told me that my form is excellent and whoever worked with me before did a great job — that would have been Evil Personal Trainer Keith. Pat is just as evil, I think, in her own sweet way. I need to get to know her better to be sure. She is very encouraging and makes me almost forget how hot and sweaty and tired I am!
Now I may have confused being kind to myself with being good to myself, but I really like to exercise and life had kind of gotten in the way of me doing that for awhile. And I think many women, moms in particular, tend to put their needs last.
So right now, being kind to myself means I’m going to continue focusing on taking care of my own health and well-being by exercising for my physical health and writing for my mental health. And trying not to be too hard on myself about either one.
In response to the 2016 Kindness Challenge at The Richness of a Simple Life.
I’ve been wanting to tell you about my new personal trainer at our park district rec center. She is little and fun and super nice, but just as evil as my other trainer, Keith, in her own way! And she’s almost the same age as me.
I told her about my blog and that I wanted to write about her and asked how she started and all that, which I will write about later because it’s a pretty wonderful story.
Then I said, by the way, what size do you wear, like a size zero? She laughed merrily and said, oh, no, at least a size two! (For the uninitiated, that’s about the size of a 12 year-old child) Sorry, did that sound bitchy? Here’s a little limerick I wrote about Pat.
I have a new trainer named Pat
A woman with no body fat
She’s tiny, tough and sweet
But I do hope she’ll eat
She’s barely a size two, if that!
￼You might know my story about hurting my knee and doing physical therapy and now working with a personal trainer because I’ve written about it before. I like to say it was a sports injury, but it was more like I fell off my shoes on the stairs and somehow injured my right knee… 🙂
Yesterday I finished my 20 outrageously expensive personal training sessions that you pay for upfront. I’m sure it’s set up that way because then you’re pretty reluctant to miss a session… That’s 20 hours, people, of having someone put you through paces like you were going to play offensive tackle for an American football team. I am serious. I actually pulled a piece of equipment called a sled, some days with 110 pounds, other days with 160 pounds.
I did push ups and chest presses and squats and bicep curls and things I don’t even know the names of, and I paid for the privilege. I really do think the Chicago Bears might consider using me this year… I mean, it’s the Bears, how bad could I be?
I created waves with a big, heavy rope, with both arms, one at a time, circles in and circles out. I rode a recumbent bike every visit, walked on a treadmill, stretched, lifted free weights, did hip bridges on a big exercise ball and glowed with the sweat of ten people!
My trainer, Keith, was very patient, always encouraging, never judgemental, but pushed me 100 times harder than I would have pushed myself, all without injury, for which I’m terribly grateful. I’m not totally sure he got my sense of humor but we made it past the hate part of our love/hate relationship! I haven’t lost a lot of weight, but I’ve gained a good deal of muscle, conditioning, strength and confidence in what I can do. It’s still damn hard, but afterwards I went right over to our park district and joined the health/aquatic center. Hubby and youngest son and I start on Wednesday and I’m kind of excited.
Keith and I said our goodbyes and I thanked him for putting up with me and he congratulated me on my progress and told me to keep working hard and protect my knee. I told him I was just a little disappointed that there wasn’t a going away party with cake, and not any of that tofu-wheat germ crap either, and Keith just laughed. I think he thought I was kidding 😉
~ Diane D. Photos from Bing.com or my own
After hurting my right knee and completing physical therapy, the therapist recommended I work with a personal trainer. So now I’m going three times a week to work out with Keith, whom I call the Evil Personal Trainer. We’re still in the hate part of our love/hate relationship.
I’ve worked out on and off over the years, going at various times to yoga, a health club, Woman’s Workout World, Jazzercise, etc. Yes, a joiner, I admit it. But I’ve never worked out with more than five pound weights and that was awhile ago.
So today EPT Keith had me stepping up onto a box with one foot, then bringing the other foot up onto the box while lifting a ten pound weight in my hand up over my head. The only reason I held on was I didn’t want to drop it on my head. I whined that my elbow was going to dislocate. Keith said, “Come on, Diane, you can do it. You’ve carried shopping bags heavier than that!” Yes, perhaps, but not up over my head ….My arms still feel like noodles.
Then we did this exercise where you have a Velcro strap around each ankle and a length of rubber tubing in between. You take side steps using the resistance, 30 times total. Today he added stretching a resistance band more than shoulder width with my hands in front of me, elbows tucked in, keeping it stretched the whole time I’m doing the 30 steps.
“Your hands are up too high,” Keith said, moving in to adjust them. “That’s because I was going for your neck,” I snarl. “Okay, stepping back now,” he smiles. It’s cute how he thinks I’m kidding…
I know you’ve been waiting breathlessly to hear how my class is going, but I’ve been too tired and my hands were too sweaty to write before now. Turns out Evil Personal Trainer Keith is just as mean as Evil Physical Therapist Howie, and he pretty much laughs and ignores my complaints so far…
He had me do these arm pull things with resistance bands with handles that you pull to the sides like a butterfly stroke about 15 times. Then bicep curls where you try to pull these things up toward your face 15 times. And it’s always “hands lower, elbows up, use your back muscles, don’t let it pull you back like that…” If I could do all that, I probably wouldn’t be at the gym with him, right??
Then I say, wow, that was hard and he says okay, let’s do it again! The same freaking exercises? Oh, sure, it’ll be easier. Nuh, uh!!
There’s the bike and the treadmill and wall sits and leg stretches. He says here, you’re pretty flexible, put your leg on this table that’s about four feet high (okay, maybe not, but it feels like it.) I say in a horrified voice, without holding onto anything? He’s like, well, you know, use your core strength to balance. I roll my eyes (because we both know I don’t have any core strength) and he says, okay, then, put your hand on the table…
And then there’s this thing that looks like a rolling pin that you roll along your calf and thigh as hard as you can. Yes, it does hurt like hell and it might even leave bruises. It’s supposed to loosen and break up knotted muscle tissue and help elongate your muscles. There’s also a foam roller that you can lay down and roll on to get the same effect, but Keith didn’t seem to think I was coordinated enough to handle that. I told him I read that Gwyneth Paltrow said using the foam roller made her taller and then Keith rolled his eyes…
He said it would be wise for me to invest in one of the rolling pin things to use at home and I said, okay, what’s it called when I go to look it up on Amazon? He looked me right in the eye and said, uhm, a stick? I’m pretty sure he has a college degree and everything…
Disclaimer: I’m teasing! Keith is super respectful, cause I’m probably old enough to be his mom, and that thing I bought is really called an exercise stick. He showed me ones online so I’d know what to look for…