Our View From Here

Perspectives of Five Women

Back to the Gym


Image by yuan2003 via Flickr

I had such high hopes last year when it came to working out.  I had a gym membership, an awesome trainer who not only pushed me but motivated me too, and a schedule that usually allowed a couple of workouts a week.  I was making plans to run my first 5K in November!

It’s November. I will not be running my first 5K for a number of reasons.  First of all, I lost my trainer when my gym was sold and all the high ranking staff was fired.  I worked out with another trainer who was fine, but only lasted another two months before she took another job with better hours and more benefits.  Then I was finishing my degree, trying to find a job, and generally getting pretty depressed. I have to admit, out of all those issues, the last one was what did me in. I could hardly get the energy to get out of bed some mornings, let alone go to the gym or for a run. I stop working out all together.

Until this past Tuesday. It’s been a stressful week at work.  There’s a staff member who is making my job even more difficult than it usually is.  I had it with him that particular day and came home angry and stressed. I needed to get it out somehow, so I laced up my shoes and hit the treadmill.

Unfortunately, I hit it a little too hard. Not having any major exercise besides daily walks with my dog had definitely taken its toll.  I pushed it harder than I probably should have, but at the time, it felt great.  I came home less stressed and rather exhilarated from the workout.

Wednesday was a different story. I was okay in the morning, but by mid afternoon, I felt some pain in my knee when I went up and down stairs (hard to avoid since I both live and work on second floors).  By nighttime, though, I felt it everywhere – my left calf, my shoulders, my back, my arms.  It’s like every muscle was making itself known to me. I climbed out of bed this morning and I felt like I was 90 years old.

I don’t regret it though. I did the hard part – I got back onto the treadmill.  My schedule may be erratic, but I know how that workout felt and how I can feel if I keep it up.  So, maybe my first 5K will be this Spring sometime! I can hardly wait!

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Trained to Motivate

Personal trainer showing a client how to exercise

Image via Wikipedia

About 18 months ago, I had a plan. I’d done the diet thing and had lost some weight, but I knew that nothing was going to help me more than regular gym workouts. Fortunately, a new gym was opening out about seven minutes from my house. My mom had worked out at another branch and had liked them, so I figured, “Why not?” I signed up – even had my activation fee waived because I was a teacher! – and was ready to start.

I knew, though, that just signing up wasn’t going to be enough. Sure I could run on the treadmill, but that gets dull quickly and I wanted to do more than just cardio. So, my solution was to sign up with a personal trainer. Thus enters Allison into my life. I met with her once a week, usually after work on Fridays.  She pushed me hard. I would ache pretty much all weekend, but it was that good kind of hurt. She kept things interesting – we rarely did the same thing two weeks in a row. My hour with her went really quickly, but I knew it was really working. I lost a little more weight and definitely toned muscle.

Things were great for almost a year. We took a couple breaks – I was out of town for a chunk of the summer, took some time off around Christmas – but for the most part, we met every week.  Then February happened. I was getting my stuff together to head to the gym when Allison called me. She had to cancel our session because of a last minute emergency staff meeting. We rescheduled for the following Monday.

That evening, I got a voice mail from Allison saying the club had been sold and most of the staff, including her, had been fired.  Over the next few days, I found out she was able to get a new position in another gym, but it was in Kirkland, a 35 minute drive from me. My remaining sessions were transferred over to another trainer, Malorie. She was good, but no Allison. About a month later, though, she took a job with another company because she wasn’t getting enough hours to make ends meet. That was the last training session I ever had.

So, since April, I’ve been winging it. I learned a lot during the time with Allison and Malorie, but I cannot replace one thing that they both supplied – motivation. The whole experience with that gym (which I left not long after due to their VERY shady business practices) sort of soured me on the organized gym part. I try to get over to the treadmill in our condo clubhouse, but I often find myself coming up with excuses or just forgetting. I’m hoping that once my life settles a little bit, I can get back into some sort of routine. Maybe I’ll find a new trainer that can kick my butt and help me with my motivational issues.

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