My Workout Compass

I have a personal trainer. Every working class sensibility in my body cringes and I hear echoes of my mother saying how very “Hollywood” it sounds. Three years ago, my husband, daughter and I signed up for a family membership at the Y and I decided to meet with a trainer. In a wonderful, random luck of the draw, I met someone who brought not only her fitness expertise to the table, but also her life coaching skills. These days, I consider her a friend and mentor and a great resource when it comes to helping me create a fuller, balanced life.

It sometimes feels like a confession when I tell people I meet with a trainer. I still feel the need to rationalize and justify it. My embarrassment is more about where I came from, than where I’m going. I come from a long line of “do-it-yourself-ers” that would rather eat their sneakers than ask for help on anything. I’ve learned that doing everything yourself means that you are damned tired and probably taking an esteem beating because you’re in that insane cycle of repeating behavior, but expecting different results.

This is where an outsider, an expert and a trainer comes in, asking questions that never even occurred to you. What does fitness look like for you? How do you want your body to feel and move in the world? My first reaction was “oh crap, not this touchy-feely stuff”. Try answering those questions, though, and it changes your goals and focus from weight loss and being in shape to “I want to feel strong when I move. I want to have confidence in my balance and coordination. I want to be attractive for my husband. I want to be able to have stamina to play with my child.” It changes your goals from “blah, blah, blah” to “this is what I want in my life.”

Since meeting with a trainer once a week for 3 years, I’ve trained in Taekwondo and competed in tournaments, shortened my running times, survived numerous spinning and pilates classes, tried rock climbing, started adult swim lessons (more on that tomorrow) and been rehabbed through a variety of injuries. My workout guide has been there to keep me on the path I want to be on, to remind me that self-care isn’t selfish and to teach me safe ways to train my body. And that’s nothing to be embarrassed about.

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