I’ve been going to the same personal trainer for pretty much three and a half years now (except at the end of my pregnancies and for the first few months after birth) and he really has knocked me into shape. I started training with him to get in shape for the wedding and he put together such a great training and dietary package that I lost six kilos in time for the big day.
When I started training with him, however, I was in poor shape. I had terrible problems with my shoulders, was out of breath running for the bus and had next to no strength.
I clearly remember not even being able to do one squat properly in our first session. Now, we do a good 20-30 as part of the warm-up.
Getting in shape
Inititally, my goal was just to get in shape for the wedding. Then, when I got pregnant shortly after, I continued going because I knew it was good for me to try and stay fit (especially to counteract all the chocolate and peanut butter I was eating…).
I stopped training maybe 6 weeks before Little O was due and then did not start again until he was 5 months old. It was tough at first: my trainer had moved to a new CrossFit gym (which terrified me the first time I went as he’d been at one of the big gym chains here before) but I returned every week as I knew that I needed to do it. However, for the few hours before each training session, I would dread going, and for the first 10 minutes there, I would wish I was anywhere else.
Then something changed…
I started training again when Baby E was about 11 or 12 weeks old and I began to look forward to the weekly sessions. I am not totally sure how this breakthrough has come about but I am so very pleased about it.
The training is tough and I typically ache for the following two days but in a good way, in a way that feels right and that tells me that I am getting stronger.
I train with him at a local CrossFit gym and, as I said, at first I was terrified crossing the threshold. I’d always been put off going into the weights room at gym where I had been a member before and really only went in there with my trainer. It seemed to attract those big, burly blokes who spent hours pumping iron and looking at themselves in the mirror.
At CrossFit though it feels so completely different. There is a feeling of being part of the group, even though I am only there for an hour a week. People smile and say hello and encourage each other. It isn’t intimidating. Maybe that is part of the reason why I love going so much now; maybe the endorphins are finally having an impact. Whatever it is, I love going to my training sessions now. I love seeing the changes in my body. My arms are nothing compared with Madonna’s but there is definition of the muscles now (and who wants to look as sinewy as she does anyway…?). I also love that we try something new each week. For example, this week, I mentioned to him that Husband had asked me to help him move a bookcase still with items on the shelves across the room. I had few problems with the weight of it but I could not grip the narrow edge at the back properly. The next thing I know, my trainer is making me walk backwards and forwards across the gym carrying 28kg kettlebells in each hand!
I haven’t really written about my training before but now I am feeling inspired to do so by Amelie’s webpage. She actually trains at the same gym as I do and she is also a Pilates queen. Check out her website to see what I mean (Swedish-only, I’m afraid, but the pictures give you some clue of her training). After reading about her training, especially the post about how long she can maintain the plank for (up to 3 minutes – go, Amelie!), I’ve realised that I am really proud of my strength now and what I have achieved.
Find something you love
So, if you want to get in shape, feel fitter, get stronger, try something knew, something that you might not even think is something for you, and who knows, it might turn out to be the training programme for you. After all, if you had told me some four years ago that I could carry 28kg in each hand across a room and back (five times as well – yep, now I am bragging!), I would have laughed out loud.