Friday, June 28, 2013

On Bait and Switch Trainers and Elephant Tails

BEAST Mode Day 13

Do you remember the last time I wrote about my visit to The Training Zone in Costa Mesa? Do you remember how I walked away feeling so empowered, ready to take on the world? Well, let’s just say that this week I was lucky just to be able to walk out of there!

I had been looking forward to it all week; every day doing my exercises with the band that Sean had let me take home. I practiced my lunges, did my squat warm-ups, and made sure to suck in my stomach when doing the couch sit-ups. “You need to remember to breathe,” was what kept me from passing out as I would often hold my breath while doing the sit-ups (even though they are done on a couch…lol).

The appointment time was set for Wednesday at noon. I know how important it is to be prompt so I left my house 45 minutes early to try to avoid traffic. This ensured that I arrived on time for my appointment with Sean. Sean. Sean. Where was Sean?

Joe was on the treadmill when I walked in and he was as excited to see me as I was to be there ready to sweat. I am not sure if he thought I wasn’t going to show up—maybe, just maybe he thought that last week’s workout scared me away. He leads me over to the treadmill machines and says to me, “Listen, Sean is not able to make it today but I thought that if I told you ahead of time, you may have wanted to reschedule and I really wanted you to get in here.” Ok, no problem. In my head this just means that I can be on the treadmill for an hour and still get my walking in. No harm. No foul.

Except that wasn’t Joe’s plan for me. Attached to his iphone 5, on a little blue Post-it note of death, he listed the exercises that HE would be having me do in Sean’s absence. “So I think that Sean took it a little easy on you last week and I won’t be that easy. I think he was trying to see what you can do and I know you can do a little more,” was the next sentence that came out of his mouth. There were three doors open in the gym: one directly in front of me, another directly behind me, and lastly, one in the treadmill room. Don’t get me wrong, I seriously thought about running.

From a logistical standpoint, had I been Jason Bourne, the escape would have been simple; I would have thrown an object into the air, pointed to it, and by the time it fell on the ground I would have been in my car pulling in reverse. However, the issue is that I’m a tad bit too slow (and bulky) to pull a stealth move like that. Plus, the door in the treadmill room was not easy for me to get to, and the door behind me was semi-blocked by another one of the trainers, Trevor, who was busy in a session with a client.

After a few minutes of explanation on what we were going to do and how it was going to be timed, I was confident that the workout was not going to be something so outlandish that I would be crying throughout it.

Jumping isn’t difficult. Lie. Jumping is more complex than it sounds. Truth. “Put your hands up in the air like this,” as he demonstrates by putting his hands straight up towards the ceiling, “and just jump up with both feet at the same time.” I couldn’t help but laugh at myself as my pants were beginning to fall off of me. Down go my hands to save my pants from reaching my knees. This is so not my shining moment.

Next there was the line in the carpet that we used to switch off feet. One foot forward, then switch and bring the other forward. This went on for thirty seconds on then thirty seconds off. Here we are with the jumping again and me wearing my inappropriate pants. AKWARD. Then I begin to sweat like I had already been working out for two hours when in actuality it had been about two minutes. My body was seriously reacting to being put in motion!

What happened next shocked me. I watched Joe walk over to the corner of the gym and grab what to me looked like a small platform. Ok, so I will stand on top of it and do some of my Fandango moves (even though I brought the wrong shoes) is what I thought. But somehow I didn’t think that dancing on the box was the goal for the day. The exercise involved me stepping one foot at a time on the box, and one foot at a time off the box, and whichever was the last foot to step off the box would lead the next round. I know this sounds really confusing. I usually write pretty clearly, but if after 24 hours it still is not very clear what I did on that box, it’s safe to say that I probably wouldn’t be able to do it again even if Elmer Fudd was standing in front of me with his rifle confusing me for Bugs Bunny while saying, “Do it, you darn wabbit!”

Every time an exercise would be over, Joe would refer to that little blue Post-it note of death for whatever was next on the list. I never got the opportunity to look at that list. If I did, I am pretty sure that all it said on there was the following:

1)      Let her know Sean won’t be there

2)      Get her walking (faster than Sean would) on the treadmill

3)      Make her sweat

4)      Make her jump

5)      Make her swear

6)      Make it so she hates me in the morning

7)      Get the box and test her coordination

8)      Kettle bells

9)      Make her sweat

10)   Use resistance bands the width of an elephant’s tail

11)   Remind her that it’s ok to sweat. A lot.

12)   Tell her she needs to come back tomorrow when Sean is here

Maybe I should ask him to send me a picture of it just to cross-reference his list with mine. Mine is pretty accurate. Yep. It is.

When my workout was over, I was pretty sure that I had lost at least a pound in sweat. I could not believe the way my body felt (alive!) and that it was capable of actually doing what he kept asking me to do. In the back of my mind I kept hope alive that Sean would come flying through that door with a red cape and say, “I thought you said you were going to take it easy on her!” But he never flew through. Perhaps he doesn’t even own a red cape.

How did I feel when I woke up this morning? I thought you would never ask. I felt like I wanted to scream. I felt like I wanted to cut my arms and legs off and just roll around using the body parts that didn’t hurt…but then that would only leave me with my head and my heart. Because you see, my head was very clear. My head knew why my body was sore and my heart was thankful for it.

My head knew the value of friendship and what Joe did for me yesterday even though he probably had a million other things that he could have been doing. My heart overflowed with gratitude that despite the sweat falling, and my pants falling, and my lack of coordination, never once did he let me stop believing that I could finish the exercises he asked me to do. And that, my friends and blog readers, is worth MORE than its weight in platinum.

Before we left he asked me if I could come back the following day (today) to do a session with Sean, the original trainer. I jumped on the opportunity and told him that I would make it happen. The little voice inside my head was silently thanking the stars for bringing Sean back; he was much easier on me the week before and my pants didn’t fall with the exercises he made me do.

I went back today. However, my arms are about ready to fall off and you will have to wait until this weekend when I can function normally again.

I learned a very important lesson today: be careful what you ask for. Part two, which shall be appropriately titled, “The awakening of Sean,” will be coming very soon!

Life is good…sore butt, sore arms, sore thighs and all!
Is it just me, or are those resistance bands as thick as an elephant's tail?

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