Last week officially marked six months until my wedding. It's time to get down to business. After easing down a pound past my plateau weight, I am more motivated than ever to get in better shape. Because of my job as a cook in a health food store, I have access to the all the best foods I can eat. By now, I've found that living a "90/10" lifestyle is working well for me...that is, eating organic and healthy ninety percent of the time, and then having whatever I crave the other ten percent. It seems that increasing my gym time is what has pushed me past the plateau. Now I admit, I don't usually look forward to going to the gym but I find that I feel great after a hard workout. The hardest part is getting in there and figuring out what to do on that particular day. This is where Sandy comes in.
Sandy is my personal trainer at the gym. Before you go thinking that I must be pretty well off to afford a trainer, let me explain how our relationship came to be. I met Sandy at the first gym I joined when I moved home. I could usually catch a glimpse of her putting one of her clients through interesting workouts as I chugged along on my dreaded treadmill. It seemed that personal training was the way to go for someone like me who needed a bit of extra motivation. It didn't make sense though, financially. One day, I decided to just talk to her about my goals and see if she had any pointers. She reminded me that I had one free session due as part of my contract at the gym. So I set up our meeting, never knowing that this would be the beginning of something special (and painful). After the gruesome session, which had me sweating like the devil on the fourth of July, I knew I had to keep seeing her. As hard as it was, I knew I had to do it. My friend Natalie agreed to do partner training with me, which took the cost down considerably, and we started meeting once a week.
Soon, Natalie and I were learning the best tricks to working out. Who knew that spending forty minutes on a treadmill was basically like doing nothing if we weren't incorporating some strength training? We began to workout in shorter, more intense sessions using interval training to burn things up. Instead of spending the entire time with cardio or weights, we did short bursts of each. Soon, I began to notice my muscles getting stronger and my weight going down. I was thrilled and happy.
This went on for about a year, then one day, Sandy dropped a bomb on me. She had received a great offer from another gym and would be leaving in a week. I was devastated. After she left, I went back to that feeling of dragging myself to the gym, instead of being excited to learn something new with Sandy. I still had Natalie to work out with, but even she knew it wasn't the same. I began going to the gym less and less, and feeling worse by the minute. One day, I decided to go visit Sandy at the new gym and check things out. I was happy to see her, but she could tell I was feeling down. We talked to a while about some options, and then she made me an incredible offer: switch gyms, and she would train me for free, as a wedding gift. I was really torn because Natalie and I had been workout buddies for two years, but I knew I had to do the best thing for me. She supported my decision.
Sandy and I work together when she can fit me in between paying clients. Because she is so popular, that often means I don't get to see her for weeks at a time. But when we do get to have a session, she makes sure to write down the workouts so that I can continue doing them on my own. I have enough now that I can usually get through the week without needing her help. But the best thing about Sandy is that she is always willing to give me a little push, even when she is busy. She'll see me standing there, staring blankly at a machine, and say something like, "Ok, do ten reps of this at this weight then run a quarter mile then repeat four times," and I'm off like the wind.
I cannot thank this woman enough for what she is doing for me. Although there are plenty of times when I want to strangle her for smiling sweetly as I'm gasping for air through yet another hellacious squat or kettle bell swing, I know deep down that without her guidance, I wouldn't be much closer to my goals than I was two years ago. She has taught me how to maximize my workouts so I get the most out of each one. She is incredibly supportive and generous. I feel extremely lucky to have found her and never take a moment for granted...even when I'm cursing her silently for making me hold a side plank for what seems like an hour.
Published On: April 23, 2010