Friday, July 20, 2007

Pumping iron

I worked out with a personal trainer on Wednesday.

Take your time. That sentence was unexpected and out of character. Breathe.

Really. I did.

See, here's the thing. From age 17 to age 33, I was sick enough with thyroid disease that aerobic exercise was forbidden by my doctor. He told me that walking and yoga were quite sufficient and that getting my already-hummingbird-like heart rate any higher could end badly, like in a coffin. Not having a death wish, I complied. One of the "fortunate" symptoms of hyperthyroidism is weight loss, so it really didn't have a big impact on my figure.

Which means, for all of my adult life, I've been thin (or close to thin) but not very fit.

Now that my thyroid gland is, well, gone, and my pulse is down below 100, it's okay for me to exercise, which I've done, in fits and starts. Yes, I walk every day. And there have been a few instances of jogging. And riding bikes. But it's become increasingly obvious that I needed to do more. Add to the situation my husband and his recent and impressive weight loss (he's down 8 inches in waist size! since October!) that is entirely a result of an exercise program, and it had to happen. I had to take it seriously, which is why we joined the gym. (Learning that my employer had negotiated an amazingly cheap rate with this gym didn't hurt, though.)

(It's worth noting that I really don't like sweating. Just thought I'd put that piece of information out there.)

But the trainer and I met for my fitness assessment. The first few minutes of that assessment included a health history, getting weighed and measured, and talking about fitness goals. That was all completed before he started teaching me how to make those medieval torture instruments work. A few excerpts from our conversation:

Him: How old are you?
Me: 36.
Him: No way! I guessed you to be in your early 20's!
Me: Yeah, that's what you say to all the old ladies.

Him: What is your main goal for this fitness program?
Me: Well, I'm not getting any younger, and I need to stay healthy if I want to stay around.
Him: Okay, I'm going to write down, "To feel and look young." Does that sound right?
Me: .....

After he has me do twelve reps of some rather hideous exercise...

Him: Did you feel that? Do you feel a burn?
Me: .....
Him: Where do you feel it?
Me: points vaguely to an area near my arm
Him: You didn't feel that. :::adds weight to the machine::: Do another twelve.
Me: .... (silent sobbing)

All in all, it went well. Nothing was too painful, and even when he measured my hips it wasn't too embarrassing. My weight was perfectly respectable (even though I did some stress eating before my appointment...I was really nervous about it), and I was able to lift more than the minimum amount of weight on each machine. It was maybe, just maybe, even a little bit fun.

When I woke up yesterday morning, I expected to be in pain. I wasn't. And that concerned me a little. Maybe he'd been too easy on me. Because, honestly, I did more than my share of eyelash batting when the going got tough. And a couple of times I really thought it worked, and he reduced the weight on the machine or reduced the number of reps. Craig and I talked about it, and we agreed that a female trainer might be what I need because she would be less likely to take it easy on me. (And yes, this made me a little sad. Because this trainer is definitely in the eye candy category.)

As the day went on, however, I started feeling it. That soreness. Which is a feeling I don't often experience, but I remember from being younger. It's not exactly painful, or even uncomfortable. But it gets my attention. And it tells me that maybe this guy didn't take it quite as easy on me as I had thought. (Which is good news. Remember, he's cute! And compliments me! Tells me I don't have wrinkles! Yes, really. He said that. Love.)

We're going back today, and this time I'm on my own. I have a little anxiety still about the machines. Will I remember which machine is which? Will I look stupid carrying around my little "cheat sheet"? What if I lose my "cheat sheet"? Will I still be sore enough that the exercises are much more difficult today? Will I eat ten pounds of pasta afterward, negating all my hard work? Can I really keep this up after the kids come back home?

But I'm not going to let those anxieties win. I need to do this, and I like how I feel afterward. I really, really hope that I can like how I feel during. And soon.


Anonymous said...

Your post made me giggle. I just can't imagine you at a gym. What DO you wear?

I have been getting in touch with my inner jock for several months adn I like her. I even like sweating and "pushing through the burn" (but only a wee bit.)

The hardest thing, Kaliegh, is making the gym a habit. If they didn't have free childcare with a family memership, I doubt I would have become as regular as I am, but they do, so there you go.

Okay, besides you in sneakers, I love the idea of you giving a non-verbal response to the eye candy guy. ("....")



Anonymous said...

I have always wanted to workout with a personal trainer! It seems like it would be so beneficial with lots of tips and advice.

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moosh in indy. said...

I just started the whole work out thing, the treadmill even gave me an orgasm last week.
I know I'm going to stick with it.

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