Friday, September 18, 2009

Personal trainer/torturer

On Wednesday, I had my first personal training session with a very, very nice young man named Robert at the club I joined. He is twenty-five, a grad student, and fit as you can imagine. He is also very personable! So, what did we do? We talked about goals and he talked about the importance of strengthening "your core." That's an important concept in physical training, and I got to wondering why they call it that instead of "torso," which it is. I keep thinking of an apple with the word "core." Apparently, though, all good things come from strengthening this part of your anatomy, so that's what we are working on (or I am).

We started with a little five-minute warmup on the elliptical, which I had seen but never used. It looked and seemed really easy, easier than running, but that turned out to be an illusion. I could hardly do five minutes, because it was killing my quads. When I finally did finish, I could hardly walk. My legs were jello, rubbery jello. I'm sure Robert wondered what took me so long to catch up with him, but I feigned some excuse.

Next we did static exercises, those you pose and hold, like a pushup, a bridge, and another on the side. Again, they look easy, but just try holding them for 45 seconds or so! I immediately began to sweat and drip onto the mat, but Robert assured me that was why they people to clean up after me. All of that takes time, with repetitions, rests between sets, and instruction on form over and over. From there we went on to squats (a very unnatural movement, I must say, until I made the connection between them and peeing in Sicily where there are no toilet seats) and then modified pushups. We ended with a few stretches.

So, I felt pretty good after all of that, and I felt like I really did something. But it wasn't until the day after, and the day after that, today, that the magnitude of it really hit me hard, in the quads. I can still hardly go up and down steps, sit down, stand up from sitting down, or much of anything else. It was all I could do to walk to the mailbox and back, and I forced myself. He wasn't kidding when he said to wait about a hundred hours before doing this again. That's another two days . . . we shall see if I can do anything by then.

Luckily, I don't see Robert until late in the week next week, so I hope to be fully healed by then and ready for more torture . . . er, training, I mean.

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