personal training

Landslide & Bike Ride

I started off my weekend right! On Friday afternoon I got another chance to hang out with Suzanne and got a mini personal training session right on the streets of Portland. She wanted to check my form on some movements. She said I was pretty good but there were some tweaks I needed to make on a few. The big one was squats. I thought I had been doing them correctly because my physical therapist had corrected my form. But I was still putting too much pressure on my knees. Suzanne fixed that and I had a lightbulb moment.

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Basically I need to put ALL my weight on the back of my heel and not be putting it on my my whole foot. After work on Friday I went to yoga class and then home to some beer and pizza! Woohoo! Way to go Michael. It’s been ages since we got Papa Murphy’s (since Michael went gluten-free) and it was a nice treat to have it again. He got the deLite pizza (low calorie) and I enjoyed my beer on a hot summer night.

On Saturday morning I went out to test my bike and the changes the fitter made last weekend. It was already in the 80’s at 10 a.m. but once I was on the bike it was pleasant. Michael joined me and we drove to Sellwood, parked the car and picked up the Springwater Trail from there. There were just too many hills near our house in order to test my bike on a flat trail.

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My goal was to do between 8-10 miles of easy riding to test my knees. I had to remind myself a few times to slow down. Once I got on the trail I definitely pushed it a few times because I think I forgot what I was doing. I got on the trail I was so used to taking into work and it was like my body took over and my mind checked out–biking fast and hard like I used to. So I slowed it down. We almost crashed right out the gate because some walkers with a dog weren’t paying attention and let the dog have a super long leash. Michael stopped short and I was able to stop before crashing into him. Sigh. People.

The other annoyance: apparently there was a charity 3K walk on the trail that morning. Probably 100 people were walking, which would have been fine had they cared about anyone around them. The trail is narrow and very very crowded and these walkers decided to walk 7 people wide so no one could get around them going either direction. So frustrating. That is definitely something I don’t miss about the trail–inconsiderate people!

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We got to downtown on the east side of the esplanade and called it good. I was feeling really great. I had no knee pain during the ride–but honestly, this past year of bullshit knee stuff has taught me that I RARELY have pain during an activity–it’s always later. So I was still unsure if I was okay. We stopped in the shade to rest for a moment before turning around.

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During the ride my heart rate was pretty high–between 140 and 150 most of the time. That was pretty high for me. When I was riding consistently I definitely had a high heart rate at certain points of the trail, but not the entire time. I don’t think I was working extra hard on Saturday but I do think it was a combination of not having the cycling fitness and also nerves. Either way, I had a decent calorie burn for the one hour ride!

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We got back to the car and I was dripping in sweat. Thankfully the ride back didn’t have any charity walkers and the trail was pretty clear. I was so glad I went out and tested my knees. I don’t really know where to go from here–only time will tell.

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We got home and did a quickie strength routine together–Michael showed me a few kettle bell moves and then it was time for lunch. It was such a nice day I wanted to sit outside so we went to Cartlandia to get lunch at the food carts. We both ended up getting salads from the Good and Evil Wrap cart. And of course I got the same thing I always get– the Buffalo chicken salad. I am obsessed with that salad. It’s so good though!

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We lounged in the shade and ate our delicious lunches and discussed our next move. After lunch we ended up going to see Man Of Steel. I was disappointed. I felt like the movie lacked soul and passion. There was no chemistry between Superman and Lois Lane. The store was absurd at times. I won’t say too much else because I don’t want to give it away but it could have been so much better. Oh well…

The Next Day

How were my knees? They were okay. I wasn’t in pain but I was definitely tight and uncomfortable. I don’t know yet how to distinguish between normal feelings and abnormal in my knees because things have been so IFFY for so long. I *think* it was just normal soreness because Monday I woke up totally fine.

Speaking of the next day…I had a FANTASTIC Sunday night! I’m still glowing. I met my cousin Anna at Slow Bar for dinner before we went and saw FLEETWOOD MAC!!!! One of my all-time favorite bands since I was a little kid (the other being Michael Jackson, of course–when I was 4 years old and got my very first record of Thriller).

We shared a few laughs, some Bloody Mary’s (fantastic Bloody’s at Slow Bar!) and split a veggie burger, salad and some fries. It was the perfect amount for dinner on a 95+ degree day.

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The concert was at the Rose Garden and it was a sold out show. We got the middle of the road tickets and had great seats! There was no opening band and Fleetwood Mac (minus Christine) was all there and they played nearly 3 hours straight with no breaks. They also told lots of stories and stuff in between some of the jokes. It was very cool to hear about how certain songs came to be.

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The video isn’t great, I took it from my seat at last night’s show, but the audio is fantastic. Enjoy Landslide!


They played all the hits, some older stuff that wasn’t as well known and two new songs. Everyone sounded absolutely fantastic. I was just blown away by how real and amazing they sounded. Hands down, one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. I am still glowing with happiness! 🙂

QUESTION: What was your highlight of the weekend? Favorite live show?

I Can’t

I’ve written a few posts about negative experiences with personal trainers, my own or observed, and I’ve also written about positive experiences as well. One of the things I haven’t talked about was the CLIENT. Which is you and me!

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You Can Do This – a post I wrote about wanting to encourage someone during their first workout. I had an overwhelming urge to approach him and say “Keep doing it. Don’t quit. You can do this.”

Don’t Get Discouraged – Sadly, not all personal trainers are good ones. Don’t ever let someone diminish your efforts.

What NOT to Do as a Personal Trainer – This was a post sharing a negative experience with a personal trainer.

My Ass-Kicking and Reshaping Your Body with Weight Lifting – Some POSITIVE experiences with a personal trainer!

My fitness has evolved over the years. I go through cycles of intense cardio and then switch to weight lifting (which is where I am now). I see a lot of things in the gym that make me shake my head or wonder what that person is doing. Granted, no one’s form is absolutely perfect 100% of the time but some of the things I see people do just make me cringe. When I spend a lot of time in the cardio room on the treadmill or elliptical, I don’t see much of the scratch-your-head-in-confusion stuff like I do in the weight room. There was this guy who stacked weight plates on a bench taller than himself (seriously) and then proceeded to jump on top of it. I finally had to move because I just couldn’t watch the potential train-wreck. I was scared for him.

Despite the occasional weirdness I see in the gym, most of the time I see decent trainers doing their best to give clients a base to start from. Since I’m spending 95% of my time in the weight room near the personal training area, I get to see lots of things. I’ve gotten some ideas (poached of course) from other people’s sessions. I’ve also started to notice that there are three types of people getting personal training. Obviously this is based on my own assumptions/opinions and observations.

The first type of person is the one that is genuinely excited, determined to do a good job and wants to be there. They have a goal that they want to achieve and they are the ones that are going to try their best to do what the trainer teaches them. I thinks that is awesome!

The second type of person is the one that seems bashful. They are awkward and seem uncomfortable with the whole situation. I’m guessing they feel embarrassed. I don’t know if it’s embarrassment about wanting to lose weight, embarrassment about people SEEING them workout, or embarrassment because they are struggling with what the trainer is teaching them. This is not a judgment, just an observation. I can totally relate to this. I am mostly the first type of person (above) but when I was new to the whole thing I was definitely shy and unsure of myself. I felt uncomfortable having a trainer watch me. I was uncomfortable with other people in the gym watching me struggle (even though I know they DON’T CARE and aren’t paying attention!). I ended up wasting my time with the trainer by half-assing it in order to be a shrinking flower.

The third type of person isn’t one I see often. This type seems like a petulant, miserable teenager that is being forced to be there. I saw someone like this at the gym the other night and then a week later saw another person like this, and I was completely baffled as to why they were spending the money on a trainer when they looked so miserable and clearly didn’t want to be there.

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The first one was a man, probably in his early 20’s. He definitely had the vibe and look of someone who wanted to be home playing video games instead of working out. His shoulders were hunched, he looked absolutely miserable, and as such the trainer seemed disinterested as well. The second person was an older woman and the entire time she was working with the trainer, she kept saying “I can’t do that” and “I can’t.”

Seeing a personal trainer is definitely awkward, I understand this. It’s most likely a new situation, we feel uncomfortable, we are unsure of what we are doing, maybe we’re worried about it being too hard or ending up with an injury. It’s important to trust the trainer and follow their instructions. Most of us can’t afford to work out with a trainer every single time we go to the gym, so we have to learn the moves and remember how to do them correctly on our own.

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I think it’s important to change our attitudes regarding fitness. That woman that kept saying “I can’t do this” stuck with me for awhile. I wanted to ask her, “Why do you think you can’t do this? Is it because you don’t understand the moves? Or are you scared to try something new?” How many years had she been telling herself “I can’t”?

Before I actually started losing weight, I told myself all the time I CAN’T. “I can’t lose weight.” “I’ll always be fat.” You said I CAN’T often enough and you start to believe it. Thank goodness I finally TRIED to lose weight for real and realized I COULD.

My suggestion for the “I Can’t” people is to fake it til you make it. Tell the trainer honestly why you’re uncomfortable with a particular move. Do you feel like it needs to be modified? The trainer should happily do that. We don’t all start out with the ability to do a move perfectly. Sometimes it takes modifications to get us up to that point. (For example, I suck at push-ups. They are hard, they hurt my wrist, I can’t do very many. So I modify them. It’s better than not trying to improve!) Figure out the WHY and change that.

What do you think? How often do you find yourself saying “I Can’t”? Can you change that? How can you change your attitude towards the gym?