24 hour fitness is amazing. It's absolutely clean, has a lot of equipment, offers many many classes, and has a pool, which is what I wanted to dive into (yep, pun totally intended) to make sure my injury was nurtured correctly. Also the hours are great (24 hours) and it's about 20 minutes from home. Sure Derek Jeter owns it and his name is every where,but I tend to ignore that when trying to focus on the goal at hand.
I had spoken with the manager of 24 hour fitness, letting him know I had this hip injury, so I needed a trainer who knew what they were doing. I also wanted someone who would not take my whining crap too seriously, and someone who would, quite frankly, yell at me (more on that later).
Enter stage left: Amazing Jason (aka - AJ)
I made my way to my first "Amazing Jason" appointment one Tuesday after work. Palms were sweaty and so was my confidence. I hadn't so much as endorphined a fingertip in the last 7 months, and I was about to come face to face with a MMA specialist whose sole purpose in my life was to make me work off the fat I had so gracefully absorbed during my sweet and salty sabbatical. As I approached the entry to the gym, I found myself starting to breath heavier. What the hey? If this was occurring now, just because of anxiety, imagine what was to come when he would ask me to do 1000 situps or something.
Nonetheless, I made myself go in. I signed in and made my way to the trainer area. It was about 7pm and I was in SHOCK and how incredibly crowded the gym was. It was a vision of Lululemon workout gear and ipods, attached to a butt load of twenty/thirty something corporate fanatics who seemed to enjoy the boring entities of treadmills, stair masters, and ellipticals.
I was starting to panic. In a matter of 5 seconds I came up with one thousand reasons to about-face and run for dear life:
- I am meant to be curvy. I'm latina
- I'm injured
- It's my destiny to be overweight and fabulous
- I'm the biggest person in here, which is never fun
- I'm gonna have a snickers bar for dinner anyway
- Sweat is bad for the skin
and so on, and on, and on. However, the one reason why I was there hit me:
- You gotta start somewhere
Anyway, I made my way to AJ and introduced myself. He's about my height with the warmest smile. I felt immediately at ease. Somewhere, in my subconscious, I knew this person was going to change my life. However, I also thought that someone this warm isn't really that tough.
I started to panic again. See, here's the thing about me--I thrive at being yelled at and challenged. It's a complete paradox to my personality, as I can come across as sweet and docile (although my true friends know the bossy, aggressive, and obnoxious Claudia. She is quite the pill). Because I need to be pushed, I was concerned that AJ was going to be too nice. And this thought further confirmed how ready and serious I was about losing this weight. It also confirmed that I am a control freak and this is probably why I will drive myself crazy. This whole thought process was zooming through my brain as AJ was telling me about what the plan was and what his expectations are. Suddenly, it occurred to me he had asked me a question, as he stopped talking and just looked at me expecting something. I didn't know whether to nod my head, shake his hand, start to cry, or pull something out of my butt. I wasn't paying attention, and he knew it.
"Well, AJ, I am on board with what you are saying and I am ready to make this commitment."-Eager Cheesy Smiling Claudia :)
"Um, ok. So does that mean you do want to work out in the morning or would rather an evening time slot?"-Perplexed AJ
"Oh. Um, yeah, well, morning, I guess."----Deflated and Embarrassed Claudia :/
He laughed and told me to relax, that thinking would not be necessary during the 50 minute sessions with him. I felt one of the trillions of knots in my belly loosen. He then took me to get weighed and measure.
The knot reappeared and joined its flock.
The weighing part wasn't so scary, as I get weighed once a week. I knew what to expect. The measurements, though, was just enough to make me pass out. But I knew it had to happen. And with no judgement, Good ole AJ filled in the banks, painted a time line, and talked me off the metaphoric ledge that would lead to failure. So we had a game plan!
I felt prepared, ready, accomplished and elated that it was all starting to come to fruition :) I extended my hand to shake his, and to thank him for everything, ready to depart from our first meeting with the anticipation of changes to come. But he threw a bombshell at me.
"Where are you going? We are not done." -Confused AJ
"Huh??!" -Even more confused Claudia
"Girl, we actually have to work out now." -Excited AJ
"-_-" --Frightened Claudia
Somehow, that thought completely escaped me. Why on Earth would I work out during a personal trainer exercise session? Sure, as I type it now, logic is all over this like Hefner to Viagra, but at that very moment, logic had decided to take a water fountain break, as she was nowhere to be found.
Freakin bitch. I was now feeling dread. However, I made my legs move and we went through about 40 minutes of work out.
While his smile was warm, his tolerance was not! AJ made sure I worked, all the while monitoring my injury. He brought out all these toys, including this one thing called a kettle ball (which, I have to say, when he was telling me about it, I spaced out again, but this time to thoughts of kettle chips. Man those bad boys are good). He also introduced me to pull-ups (the work out bar, not the diaper), and I loved it! I could see he was going to be true to his word and work me hard and ignore my whining.
And whining I did!! At one point I remember saying to myself, "Ay Dios Mio, Claudia. You sound like a batty old yenta. What the hell happened to you?" I was terribly confused, being yelled at not only by my inner athlete, but also by all these muscles that had been enjoying a hibernation of a lifetime. They were not happy.
It was a great first session. I left the gym waddling like a penguin but nonetheless, quite excited. My life was about to change. And I was ready to embrace said change. And even on the days that I would convince myself that I was far from ready, AJ would be there to help me face the truth, that we are always ready!
PS-I did not have a snickers bar for dinner that night. Not only was I ready to control my calorie intake, but somehow the workout made everything hurt, even my teeth.