Wednesday, July 23, 2008

In Training

So, after all my protestations, excuses, crying, whining, and the like, I just had my second training session with my friend, S., the personal trainer. You remember her—the one who told me that in order to lose those extra five (ten?) pounds that I’ve been wailing about incessantly, I should cut out the Chardonnay, some carbs, most of the sugar, and a host of life’s other delights. After which I banned her from my house. We have since made up (how could we not? She is without a doubt one of the kindest, most generous people I’ve ever met) and began training last week.

And now for the most surprising part: I like it.

I am as surprised as you are. Because let’s face it: I would rather sit at my desk and write , talk on the phone, and surf the Web all day than go outside to pick up the mail. I would rather have root canal, really. Talk about taking me on a two mile walk or leading me in a spirited session of a hundred crunches and I’m heading for the hills.

But all this stuff that I previously thought was gobbedly-gook like the “high” you get from exercising and the “sense of satisfaction” is all true, by golly. S., the most enthusiastic and invigorating of personal trainers, has gotten me moving again and it feels good. She checks in periodically after our work outs to find out how I’m feeling. The truth? After yesterday’s session in which she had me making sweet love to a five-pound medicine ball, I couldn’t raise my arms to cut my son’s ham sandwich. But, in her inimitably positive way, she assured me that that was “GOOD!” Because everything S. says when it comes to training is in ALL CAPS and delivered with much enthusiasm. Why? Because she has about ten training sessions per week, so she is on a constant high from all those endorphins flowing through her veins. And you can bounce a quarter off of her abdominal muscles; who wouldn’t be happy about that?

She called to check on me again this morning. I was still feeling pretty good—actually, pretty smug—about my state of being. But the muscle soreness has increased in the last several hours. Some of these muscles haven’t been worked since we played the fake Olympics in my childhood home’s backyard in 1976, so I can see why they’re protesting. But all of that soreness means that in three months time, if I keep S. in my life as a trainer and not just as a friend, those muscles may make a reappearance. And I may just look a little bit more like S. and a little less like Ernest Borgnine in “Marty.” And that is all good.

I don’t think I would have begun this training regimen had I not been bombarded with constant images of Michelle Obama in sleeveless dresses and blouses waving at the adoring voters who visit her husband’s rallies. Because the difference between me and Michelle Obama—besides the fact that my husband is not a Presidential candidate and I'm not a five foot ten gorgeous lawyer—is that when I stop waving, my arms don’t. There is a little bushel of fat right in the underarm area that says “But wait! We’re not done waving yet!” That doesn’t happen to Michelle Obama. When she stops waving, she just stops waving. Everything ceases moving. And that’s my goal.

S. is an amazing cheerleader. Yesterday, our session seemed to last ten minutes when in actuality, it was an hour. We exercised while talking about our sons (who are very good friends), our weekend, our week to come, and our love of Target. All the while, S. was telling me that I could do it, I was doing a great job, and that I only had another fifty crunches to go. (I know! If anyone makes me laugh or god forbid I have to sneeze, I’ll have to take a pain killer. And change my underwear.)

I don’t want any more junk in the trunk, I don’t want fries with my “shake,” I don’t want a “muffin top” to spill out over the waistband of my jeans. I don’t delude myself that my nearly 45-year-old body will resemble the one that I had twenty years ago but I think there’s still time to make some minor adjustments, a couple of improvements. If S. and her killer abs are any indication of what awaits me, I’m in.

Stay tuned. I might still be on that endorphin high.

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