adventures of a mere mortal in fitness and life

Posts tagged ‘personal training’


who's gonna stop me

So now that I hit the “STOP” button on the treadmill of life, jumped off for a break, and am ready to move in a new direction, I cannot tell you how much better I feel.  Physically and mentally.  Literally, my stomach stopped hurting as it has pretty much ever since I “decided” I was going to shoulder this job that I didn’t want.  I haven’t felt this motivated or empowered in a long time, and I feel like I have my life back to me.

And of course, I have a plan.  It would be unlike me not to have a plan, but sometimes you just have to jump without knowing all your options, right?  So I was thinking about what lay ahead in the future for me, thinking about what I have done in the past and whether I cared to return to that place.  Which I really don’t.  I am not ready to grasp at straws yet.

I want to enjoy work and be motivated to do it.  And as I looked around at what inspires me, the answer became pretty obvious.  I want to help people achieve their goals and dreams.  What I love about teaching adults is helping them on the path to reach their goals.  I share their feeling of accomplishment that they have when they finish their course successfully or pass their GED exam or learn more about reading or math or grammar or anything.  I want to do that all the time, and if I can’t do it always in a school setting, then there are other places I can do that.

Becoming a personal trainer will fit in with what I love to do, and it is extra special to me because I know about struggling with my weight, my self-confidence, and all the mental BS that held me back for many years.  With my students in my adult ed classes, I still have a hard time relating to their struggle because I never struggled in school.  But losing weight, getting fit?  I know A LOT about that struggle.  I want to help people enjoy becoming athletes if they want because I know how much joy racing and triathlons give me, and if I can share that passion with someone, that would be awesome!

I know it isn’t going to be easy, and maybe it seems cliché, but I am determined and I know I have the intelligence and motivation to do this thing right.  And it is so gonna happen because the right reasons are keeping me moving forward toward my goal.


(almost) better than coffee

Something that has fundamentally changed in my worldview while losing weight and getting fit and finding myself has been my absolute rule of Carpe Diem (referred to as “carpe the diem” in my house because it makes my Latin-major husband giggle, which is all too rare) in regards to trying new things.  Kale? Sure, I’ll try it.  Spin class?  Why not?  Going back to school in math?  Absolutely.

I find that each of these experiences has been delightful, with some degree of variance (spin class delight is not exactly the same as kale chips, let’s just say).  New stuff is FUN.  Almost always.  And last week Trainer Guy suggested we do something new and try mountain biking, and I just had to say yes, even though my brain was like, “Are you insane?  You will fall and break your face and never be able to work out again, plus you will look like an idiot and you probably can’t do it anyways…and you always bag on mountain bikers, so now who will your husband make fun of if you become one of THEM?”

Fortunately, I chose to ignore my brain, get over my nerves, and get on to the important decisions: what to wear.  Now, you may laugh at that, but it was a 6 AM mountain bike ride.  In Colorado.  It’s cold, but I imagined I would get pretty hot pretty quickly, as this was advertised as a “different kind of cardio than you’re used to, Susan”.  So what’s a girl to wear?  Well, I should have worn bike shorts, but I didn’t, because I didn’t want to do the whole 2 pants thing since it was about 35 degrees out.  That ended up being a poor decision.  However, I figured out that NEXT time, I could wear bike shorts and ski socks and go for that whole hipster look with the compression socks thing.  I probably won’t pull it off, but it’s not like anyone else was out there at 6 AM.

Look at it! It could be the next big thing!

NEXT time, you say?  Could you dare to hope that my first mountain bike ride didn’t turn catastrophic?  That’s right!  Now, I am not about to pat my own back because I sat in the lowest gear for pretty much the whole ride up and went about 4 mph on the way down and the whole event was about 20 minutes long.  BUT, I survived and I had fun!  I was still smiling while Trainer Guy put the bikes on the car and ordered me to run the first hill out and back.  I got to the top of that hill and I was in awe of the sun rising and my own athletic prowess and the fact that my heart was back in its proper place and not in my throat.  I was practically skipping on the way down to the car at which point I declared that the singular experience of mountain biking at 6 AM could have been better than coffee.  I know, back up the bus, right?  My slavish devotion to steamy, hot, yummy black coffee could not possibly be replaced by freezing my butt off on the side of a hill while my lungs attempt to bust out of my chest.  And you would be right.  It’s only almost better than coffee.

The wonder of trying and enjoying something new can happen at any time and at any age.  I used to think that the joy and amazement on my little girls’ faces when they encountered something new was just for kids.  But I know how I felt last week, and as I watched my friend Christine stand-up paddle (SUP) board this weekend, you could see that feeling in her face too- well, that and she kept yelling, “I LOVE THIS!”  So whatever new things you want to try, just go for it!  What could really happen?  You fall and break your face?  It probably won’t happen, and the feeling of doing something new and fun is pretty addictive… in an awesome kind of way.  Let me know how it goes!

ass. kicked.

Some of you may know that I have this guy who is my trainer, commonly referred to as “Trainer Guy” in this blog, since about January.  My parents asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I said, “Well, I think I would like to meet with a personal trainer a few times, so I can get an idea of how to get in better shape.”  Little did I know how things would end up.  I am still meeting regularly with Trainer Guy (except now I’m footing the bill) and I think that this has made an important difference in my fitness level and my attitudes and ways of thinking about life in general.  I think that I was at a point in life where I was open to something new, and a new way of thinking, so I am not saying hiring a personal trainer would be this awesome experience for everyone, but it was for me.  Some people already have all their mental shit together, but let’s face it, no one who really knows me would say I have my shit together.

Before I left for vacation, I had kinda been patting myself on the back because I had done a number of workouts on my own where I pretty much felt like I kicked my own ass pretty good.  And of course, I started thinking, “I am getting pretty good at kicking my own ass,” which led to thoughts like “Maybe I don’t really need Trainer Guy anymore.  Maybe I should just go it alone.”  And other thoughts like, “If I got rid of Trainer Guy, then I could get TV back in time for the Olympics.  And I could buy really nice wine.  And possibly some new shoes.”

Fast forward to today.  I went swimming in the morning, as usual, to wet my gills and get some yardage in. I met with Trainer Guy this morning because I have no schedule until classes start next week (the lack of schedule not driving me crazy at all, noooo….) and because let’s face it, I went on vacation for 18 days.  No one goes on vacation and comes back in better shape then when they left, except for those weirdo boot camp vacations that people take, which are not vacations but probably more like brief intervals of torture on a beach.  If you have never worked out on a beach, it isn’t what it looks like in the pictures.  It’s sand caving under your foot ever time you run and lots of sweat, which helps plaster the sand to every inch of your body.

Anyways, back to today.  Today we (really, I-he counted) did all the most horrible exercises that I hate (no sand here thankfully).  And we did them fast.  And a lot of them.  And I hit myself in the face with a medicine ball- no shocker to most of you.  By the end, I was hardly able to stand up.  Or breathe for that matter.  Or get out of the car and walk up the stairs to my house afterward.  And then it dawned on me: I just got my ass kicked.  Followed by my inner ghetto voice: Fo’ reals, y’all. 

I thought I was doing a good job on my own, but today I remembered I could go farther, work harder, push myself more.  And that is why I need someone like Trainer Guy around- to knock me down a peg and remind me what I wanted to accomplish in the first place.  And that I should avoid ball sports.

Before I used to think amazing or lucky things just “happened” to people.  But I realize now that it’s all up to me.  Louis Pasteur said, “Chance favors the prepared mind.”  I think that applies far beyond the mind-chance favors the prepared… you fill it in.

Double Down Friday

When you are playing blackjack one of the most favorable situations arises when you have the opportunity to double down.

OK, so I had to look it up to see if it meant what I thought it meant.  It does, vocabulary fans.  And I was excited to double up on a workout on Friday with Christine.  I even got us matching T-shirts.

We had a little wrench in the plans, though.  Both of us knew going into today that we hadn’t exactly done our best at eating this past week.  For me, it was the worst week since I started logging all my food after Christmas.  This week included nights out, Valentine’s Day dinners, and post-Valentine’s Day candy sales.  I shouldn’t even be allowed in a grocery store from February 15-20.  After a solid last week, I was ready to gamble a little on the nutritional side of things.  Unfortunately, it didn’t pay out.

There were numerous challenges to eating well.   And I pretty much epicly failed at every single one.  And then I would beat myself up about it.  And then there would be another “opportunity”.  And then I failed.  And failed.  And failed, until I found myself scarfing a frosted sugar cookie at 9 PM Thursday night after the most epic fail in teaching I could imagine, which was witnessed by my supervisor during her observation.  Lovely.  After this week, I wanted to curl up in bed under the sheets and wait for my mom to come rub my back and feed me soup.

Needless to say, our trainer was displeased with our (lack of) progress.  And when I use the word displeased, I want you to think about a phrase exponentially more harsh than that, and then you might be in the same neighborhood of understanding how displeased he actually was.

Nevertheless, it was double workout Friday, and I was already there, with clean clothes even, so I decided to get everything I could out of it.  I apologize to the people on Horton St.  It must be weird to see people doing burpees in your cul-de-sac.

In doubling down, the definition says a favorable situation arises when the opportunity presents itself.  It’s a new week, and I’m presented with a new opportunity.  I can pick myself up and choose to succeed.  Because I understand now that there were times this week I chose to fail.  And I am looking forward to a favorable situation arising as a result.

I would love some help this week.  Let me know what helps you pick yourself up, embrace the suck, and move on.

Thursday Double & Superbowl Sunday Preview

So I was really looking forward to a day of doubling up workouts this week, since apparently you can’t just go away for the weekend without pre-punishing yourself for the food and drink you *might* imbibe, at least according to one person with whom I do not see eye to eye about what it means to have fun.  That person being my super-fun trainer, whose idea of a good time would include working out, and then some more recreational working out, and then drinking water at a party.  And perhaps nibbling on a carrot stick.

I got to box today, which was an opportunity to display my usual lack of coordination in a whole new way.  I only got hit once, which my trainer thought was hilarious, even though he admitted that he knew I would forget to duck.  It did bring back some memories of going to hard-core cardio kickboxing in Boulder with Amanda.  After which we would reward ourselves generously with copious amounts of drinks on our usual Thursday trawl across The Hill.  And perhaps some Taco Bell.

Good-bye pre-party Thursday.  Hello “pre-punishment” Thursday.  Sigh.  It’s like I can’t even be trusted.  Which I can’t. And here’s a good example why.

We all know that the biggest eating day of the year besides Christmas is coming up.  And my good friend Christine, who perpetually wants to lead me down the path of eating wickedness, has already planned out everything we are going to eat for the Superbowl.  And I am pretty sure there’s not enough room in my calorie spreadsheet for all the good things she has planned.  Of course, there will be carrots and celery.  They just will be mashed under the wings and blue cheese dressing.  Christine believes that everyone needs to have a day off during the week from eating well, which is OK for her because she works out a ton.  My trainer believes that we need to have a day off (and only 1, mind you) too.  Just not from eating well.  So you can see the dilemma.  I hope you all will weigh in on what I should do for the Superbowl, because watching football is just not the same if it isn’t accompanied by processed cheese and cold beer, wouldn’t you agree?

The confessional begins…

So this blog is named treadmill confessional after a weekly exercise I am forced to complete while sweating and panting on the treadmill while my trainer sits there and checks his nails for dirt while increasing the incline and asking probing questions.  I think it’s pretty appropriate since I know that he was a Catholic school boy and probably dreaded confessional time as much as I dread it now.

I am an overweight mom of 2 who likes to imagine herself as an athlete one day, as soon as she gets rid of her muffin top and learns how to run without knocking her feet together (something I have been told will correct itself if I just keep increasing the incline).  This blog is about my journey through weight loss and towards awesome-ness, and while I have to be “positive” and “focused” in my workouts, I get to be snarky here.   So the confessional begins…the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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