Personal Training: Day One

What a humbling experience.

How eye-opening.


It's funny how who I was in high school still manages to influence the way I think of myself now.  No, I'm not foolish enough to still consider myself to be a "competitive swimmer."  Those crazy days are far behind me (ack! 11 years!?!?) But somehow all that training has led me to think of myself as a fairly fit person.

Hey. I finished the Portland Half-Marathon a mere 5 months ago.

Alas, it seems sitting on my butt in front of the television for 5 months (practically half a year! oi!)  does little to keep me in any sort of "good" physical condition.

I'm not in good physical condition. Not at all.

My body fat percent is currently 36%. THIRTY SIX PERCENT! That's almost half of my body! It's a mere three percentage points from dropping me in the "obese" category (let's not even discuss my BMI.)  As it stands I'm already at an increased risk for weight related diseases: heart disease, diabetes and hypertension.  Oi with the poodles already.


Last fall, before the SAD kicked in, before my usual "OMG I'm spending Christmas alone again" comfort eating started, before I flew off to Idaho to care for my grandmother, a crazy thought worked its way into my brain.

"You should run a marathon before you turn 30."

That crazy little idea flourished through the holidays, and finally culminated in my registering for the 2012 Portland Marathon.  Two days later I flew to Idaho.

I was in Idaho for three weeks.  Most of that time was spent eating, sitting, reading, taking care of my grandmother, eating and crocheting.  And eating.  (People bring the best food when others are ill.)  I ran twice while I was there (what a waste of the sunshine), and learned it's quite hard to run in the snow.  The last run I did while there was beautiful.  The sun was shining, the sky was so blue, the wind was at my back when I ran up hill and defogged my glasses as I ran back down.  I felt great.  I got back to the house vowing to run every day for the rest of my stay.  My grandma died 45 minutes later.  I didn't run again.

Returning to the rain and life in Portland was disorienting and exhausting.  I barely had enough energy to go to the grocery store, let alone go to the gym.  (Besides, all those Downton Abbey episodes needed watching.)  I spent two weeks in a fog, and then another week angry. I turned 29. And then I finally went to the gym. 

I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things.  I'm happy to say I've been 4 times in the past week.  And today I met my personal trainer for the first time.  She's very nice, and yet still managed to kick my butt in a mere 30 minutes today.


Example: I used that assisted pull-up/dip machine, and wow.  Even though it took 96lbs off my body weight I struggled to do 10.

The good news is I didn't whine at all during the work out.  (Note to self: wear your big girl panties EVERY time you meet your trainer.) No, the good news is I'm excited to see where this experience will take me.  I have two simple goals for this training program:

  • Help me build a routine I can fit into my life, and assist me in making it habit. (Trainer = accountability = what Kristen needs to succeed.) 
  • I just want to be able to finish the marathon. Without hurting my self. Or others. Or doing this.

So I'm going to journal (blog?) my training experience here.  As an added layer of accountability.  I know no one reads this (well, except for me) but why not?

Today's workout:
  • leg presses (110lbs x10)
  • leg extension (100lbs x10)
  • lat pulls x10
  • bicep curls x10
  • assisted pull-ups x10
  • assisted dips x10
  • bicep curls/lunges (10lb weights) x10 each side
  • jack-knife balance ball crunches x10
That's right folks...that's all it took to kick my ass.

Affirmation:  Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall. -Confucius

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