Today, I had my very first session with a personal trainer.
I was nervous about it. My stomach was in knots all morning imagining the horrific exercises she would make me do. I imagined her yelling at me and telling me to get my fat ass on the ground and give her twenty. Twenty of what, I wasn’t sure, just twenty of something hard, and grueling, and painful.
And of course my insecurities about working out in a gym had me worked up about many different, ridiculous scenarios. I imagined being the only out of shape, non-muscular woman in the room, among sweaty, adrenaline high gym rats who look down on us lesser mortals for being out of shape and having imperfect bodies. I realize this is ridiculous. But that’s how insecurities get the best of us, by mind-fucking you into believe that sort of nonsense.
I arrived a half hour early for my appointment. I have a thing about being late. I couldn’t help but notice how busy the gym was at 10am on a Tuesday morning. Like, so busy, there were almost no parking spaces in the HUGE parking lot. Doesn’t anyone go to work anymore? After putting my gym bag in my locker (it only had my purse in it but I brought it anyway because carrying a gym bag might make me look like I belong there. You know, I was trying to blend in with the natives!) I found a seat in the waiting area where I was told to meet her. I had only spoken with her once on the phone and although she seemed nice I was still bracing myself for GI Jane to come charging at me in the lobby. I killed the next twenty minutes by trying to look busy reading emails on my phone. (I’d already read all my emails, but I was pretending to read them again. I know, insecurity makes me do stupid shit).
And then, there she was….and she was….pretty normal. She was nice and friendly and made me feel very comfortable. I’m guessing she’s in her early 50’s, but I could only surmise that based on the natural lines in her face. Her body was rock solid and there were no typical tell-tale signs of physical aging outside of her face that I could see that would allow me to say for sure how old she was. Except when she was writing down my information, she asked for my age and when I told her I was forty, she said, “Oh, you’re just a baby!” LOL! If she thinks I’m a baby at forty, she’s got to be at least ten years older than me, right? Oh, and I want to look that good at fifty!
Anyway, she put me through a fitness assessment and after talking for awhile about my metabolism and my multiple failed diet and workout routines, she determined that weight lifting was what we should focus on. She felt that was the best way to amp up my metabolism and get everything firing on all cylinders again. She said I could focus on cardio on my own, but she would work with me specifically on weight training.
So we began to work out, and she warned me that she would challenge me a bit because she wanted to see what I could really do. And I was like, “Sure, let’s take this girl out for a test drive and see what I can do!”
In times like these, I really need to remember that I’m not as much of a badass as I’d like to think I am, but she had me feeling comfortable and confident and like I could do anything.
And then she handed me ten and twelve pound sets of weights.
When I work out at home, I never use more than five pound weights, and after a few reps, I can really feel my muscles working. She wants me to use ten and twelve pounds? Is she out of her mind? Oh, okay. Here’s where the crazy kicks in. Here’s where she turns into a sadist and starts screaming, “No pain, no gain!”
Except, she didn’t, and I could do it. I could and did lift that much weight over various exercises and sets. Who knew? Who knew I could successfully lift that much weight with the right guidance and form? I certainly didn’t! There was only one exercise she had to modify for me and that was toward the end of our workout. She wanted me to lunge up on a platform box, but my legs were jelly at that point and crumpled under me on my first attempt. And I didn’t have time to be insecure about myself while working out among real athletes because she had me so focused on what we were doing, I was barely aware of anyone else in the gym.
It was great. She was great, and I have to admit, I’m a little bit excited about going back. I’m excited for the possibilities. I’m excited for the realization that I am stronger than my fears. You would think that at the age of forty I would be past that sort of thing. Past being a victim to the ‘what ifs’ and doubts that complicate something as simple as going to a gym to workout. But insecurity is an asshole, and I just have to keep reminding myself not to listen it.
Of course, even after my great workout with a great trainer, and after realizing my own potential in this foreign land of exercise machines and athletes, reality decided I need a quick slap to the face. As I was walking out, a woman stepped into my path to walk in front of me. And it was impossible not to notice her bouncy butt-cheeks hanging out of her skin tight panty shorts.
(Insert gusty sigh and eye roll here).