Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Trainaversary Blog! 1/3 - How it all Began

January 26th, 2014 marked exactly 1 year since I started on this adventure of working with a personal trainer. It's when I first stumbled upon the mad skills of Trainer Guy. (Click here for the aftermath of that first blog).

In case you don't want to bother with the link click down memory lane, here is a quick summer of my first impressions of Trainer Guy.

  • The resume alone is frightening to a newbie. This is straight from his web page. 
Represented Scotland in rowing
Head Coach of the Tacoma Nomads Rugby Club
Competitive cyclist and multiple State Championships medal winner
Experience and training with British Special Forces
Competitive runner and triathlete

I read that and very clearly remember thinking, "There is no way I'm training with THAT guy!" Well, I'm not sure how it got all mixed up, but I ended up with Trainer Guy. I was sold on that very first 1/2 a session. Turned out he couldn't have been a better fit.

Me, the Lady in Grey, Trainer Guy, and Sunshine at the Strongman in August, 2013.

He's not the type of trainer you see on The Biggest Loser. There isn't any screaming. There are not hours feeling like a gerbil on a treadmill. There is just an hour of awesome 3 times a week that I wouldn't miss for the world.

Here's the funny thing…. I planned on only doing 1 month. (Which I find wildly entertaining as I figure out how to pay for the next month's worth of sessions.) I planned on doing what a lot of people who sign up for personal training do - suck all the knowledge out of the trainer's brain, and somehow continue to do it all on my own. I wanted to lose about 18-30lbs. 'Weight loss' was my goal. My obstacles? Hormonal imbalances (PCOS and severe Endometriosis), flat feet, weak ankles, and (honestly) lack of confidence in my ability to figure it out on my own. After all, I'd crash dieted (Medifast, Slimfast, Weight Watchers,, etc.) my way into this situation to begin with. Now, my poor metabolism had NO idea what it was doing (or supposed to be doing). Eating 800 calories a day? I can do that. Not lose weight while eating only 800 calories a day? I can do that too. Crazy, eh? For me, 'starvation mode' really does exist, and I am VERY good at it.

When I started, the bar was 'heavy' at 45lbs for most lifts.

I couldn't do a lunge that touched my knee to the floor.

I couldn't sit back on my heels without intense pain.

I couldn't run a mile in under 10 minutes.

I couldn't do a lot of things, but I was more focused on my looks. I couldn't fit into the sizes I wanted to fit into.

Within 2 sessions, my idea of pretty changed dramatically.  (Click here for the Pretty blog.)

The first step is admitting that you need help.

Not that you've lost the battle -  but that you need some direction and a helping hand. Most of us are pretty good at negative self talk. Changing the way we treat ourselves comes from the inside out.

It's laughable to think I thought I could get the knowledge and skills I'd need in a month. This whole experience has taught me that there is still a lot I have to learn. An infinite amount actually.  The constant influx of science, theories, and the fact that I'd love to pass on how I feel to someone who's felt how I felt when I started, has really resonated with me. I know I need to get more training and some more 'street cred' (competitions) under my belt. But I now know where to find a lot of the resources and support I was missing.

Since starting with Trainer Guy, there is now a lot I can (and do) implement for myself.  I have a new respect for all that my body is capable of - and I'm still learning (and pushing) my limits.

So let's go back just a little bit more to one of the biggest lesson that has been reinforced in me this past year...


The only thing that happens overnight is making the decision not to give up. Once that commitment is made, everything else works itself out.  The obstacles are just things that you figure out a way around.  I won't say it's easy. There are A LOT of days when I didn't feel like going. And I had A LOT of legitimate reasons  to quit. My dad died of cancer. My Sailor deployed. I work full time. Adoption paperwork has taken on a life of its own. My friends are staring down losing the lives of their children. Let's not go into being tired, or traveling. None of that leaves me unaffected.

But I've rarely had to cancel an appointment in the year we've been at this.  Sometimes it's all about not giving up.

As we went through puke-worthy work outs (which were pretty much all of them that 3-6 months), I realized that, though Trainer Guy's goal may have been for me to complete a certain amount of rounds, reps, or minutes, my goal was simply not to "PPQ" as my mom says. That stands for no Puking, Passing out, or Quitting. I've yet to do any of those (though the only reason 1 has been avoided was because I didn't open my mouth… I'll let you use your imagination which one that refers to).

I've had some of the best support in this journey even before I ended up with Trainer Guy. AndiGirl has been incredibly helpful just by sharing her journey with me, as have several others I'll be talking about in my upcoming post.

Beware, it's going to be a very honest review of the year in relationships…. and how they've changed with my newfound passion and progress.

Next installment - Sling It With Support coming later today! 

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