A trainer helped me believe in myself

I admit, I was afraid my trainer would be like this.

Last year, I worked at a gym — in the marketing department of a Jewish Community Center.

Sadly, I didn’t use the gym as much as I would have liked to, for many reasons. One was that my arthritis was pretty bad while I worked there (struggling to get the right medication), and another was that when you’ve worked all day, the last thing you want to do is stay at work!

Now that I’ve moved on (and make more money), I’ve become a paying member of the JCC. Going there to work out no longer feels like work, which is nice.

During December, I even paid to work with a personal trainer.

For many years, I’ve avoided paying for trainers. I always felt like I had a pretty good handle on what I needed to be doing, and I’ve never struggled with motivation. I don’t need a trainer to be waiting for me to get me to the gym.

But I have struggled with motivation to lift weights. I’m a cardio girl, through and through. I have no problem walking on the treadmill or rocking the elliptical for hours. I can read, watch TV, listen to music and just zone out in general while doing cardio.

I’ve always avoided lifting, mostly because it hurts. The next day and two days later, my muscles are so sore. And those free weights are intimidating! Big, muscular guys (as one “fitness center” calls “lunks”) are over there killing it, and I’m over here struggling to lift 10 lbs. over my head. Ugh.

At my gym, I had become friends with several of the trainers, so my biggest problem was choosing one. If I chose one, would the others be offended? Maybe. But in the end, I chose the one who knew me best and knew my struggles with arthritis and bad knees.

I know this feeling well.

Ryan is an excellent trainer. He’s very muscular and even participates in strong man competitions. He’s also very smart when it comes to physiology.

I had four one-hour sessions with him, and he gave me so much information! He taught me about working opposing muscle groups and showed me how to use machines that I’d never used before. He set me up with a couple of programs that I could use to get a total body workout, and even worked on strengthening the muscles around my knees.

The greatest thing about working with Ryan is that he taught me that I CAN do things that I previously thought I couldn’t. He would show me a new move, and the first thing I thought was, “Nope. There’s no way I’ll be able to do that.” So, I humored him and tried it. Every time, he was right. I CAN do it!

There’s one machine that is a yoke and a sled in one. It weighs 200 lbs. I’ve been pushing it up and down the hall, and even adding weight to it.

One Sunday, another trainer friend told me that my pushing that sled inspired the client he was working with. His client said, “Wow, look at her push that thing! Maybe one day I can do that!” That was so cool!

I bought a fitness T-shirt from JCPenney that says, “I can, and I will.” While wearing it a few days ago, a man at the gym said, “I believe you will!”

And finally, I believe it, too.

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