Sunday, April 10, 2016

Why I got a personal trainer



Knees bent at a right angle, feet turned ever so slightly outwards, thighs burning and sweat pouring down my forehead and into my eyes, causing a painful sting that manic blinking was only making worse.

“Nearly there”... we both knew that was a lie!


It was my first session with Tim and the self-assured cockiness soon wore off when I realised I was nowhere near as fit as I thought I was. I was under no illusions; I needed to get into shape, but I thought I had attained some level of fitness after the last two years of being guided by my gym crazy housemate Lisa. Halfway through my session however, when I thought I’d been burning my backside quite literally off for nearly three hours, I realised a mere 20 minutes had passed. Being carted off to hospital due to a heart attack became a very real fear.

I was staring myself down in the mirror, trying to tell my legs not to give up. “One more set” he calls, leaning in relative comfort against the rail… I was going to die.

The only thing worse than the looming fear of having a heart attack aged 22, was the pain of walking two days later.

As I went to sit up in bed on Friday morning, my stomach muscles stopped working altogether. I tried to pick up my legs in an attempt to wiggle myself out of bed that way, but they wouldn't move either.

Thus I rolled, lying on my stomach for five minutes, before mustering the strength to push myself onto my hands and knees.

The pain was everywhere at once, shooting through my body like I was on fire. With tears strolling down my cheeks I could hear my mind saying “never again”.

I had my second session a week later.

The truth is, as much as I didn't want to put myself through that again, the thought that I couldn’t hack a straightforward weight routine scared the hell out of me. I’m 22, and let’s be honest, more than likely in the peak of my life… meaning I should be fitter now than I’ll ever be… in which case, I definitely need to be fitter.

I hated being tired after walking up four flights of stairs to my Monday morning meeting, my physical strength was so pitiful it was embarrassing. Firm control tights dig into your groin and make walking unbearably uncomfortable, and most importantly, I never, ever, wanted to feel as bad as I felt that Friday morning.

The only way to ensure that, was to let Tim boss me around every week, and damn he is good at it.

Physical training aside for a moment, personal trainers are pretty much glorified therapists (and really cheap ones at that). They listen to you moan about the morning commute and whinge about why you’re not a millionaire, whilst simultaneously throwing death stares at them for making you do burpees. Or maybe that’s just me?

I leave the gym not only with the inability to climb the stairs to Southwark bridge, but also a clear head. It’s not just personal training, it’s therapy, and it really works. A month without during an insanely busy period left me down, lethargic and irritable. I thought the entire world was against me, when really all I needed was to get myself back into the gym.

If you’re in the Southwark area and you fancy getting your butt whipped into shape, hit Tim up. 

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