I have been in a terrible funk lately. And it’s the kind of lousy “stinkin’ thinkin'” as my dad calls it that permeates every part of my life. I don’t want to workout, clean house, cook, study or any of the other myriad of things I need to do. And to make matters worse I lie in bed at night tossing and turning while berating myself for being such a wimp. How can I motivate others to be better when I can’t drive myself?
Luckily I met a great trainer a few years ago (and I say luck because I was paired with him prior to us ever meeting and we turned out to be a great fit) that I have developed a very important relationship with.
There are lots of reasons that even the best professionals have their own coaches. For one working with my trainer I can concentrate on putting every ounce of energy into my workout. I don’t have to think about reps, sets, weight etc. Trey also keeps an eye on my form which with my injury history is very important. I love working with and motivating my clients, but when it comes to my own workouts I very often need my own motivation source. Someone to keep reminding me why and to give me that push when I forget.
Trey is that guy for me. He doesn’t pull punches but he finds ways to work with whatever physical and mental state I am in that day. When I walk in we assess where I’m at and no matter how bad I feel at the start, I never fail to leave the gym smiling. Just as I expect from my clients, we have agreed that when I show up I am there to give it my all no matter what. I can say with complete honesty that I have cried and cussed through more than one workout. Not because what we did hurt me physically, but because I was mentally exhausted and frustrated that I wasn’t meeting my own expectations.
When I got there today I was truly acting like an old woman. My back hurt, my knees hurt, basically every movement caused pain somewhere. Honestly the only reason I showed up was because I didn’t want to let him down. As I said before, I’m back to basics and doing the rehab sort of stuff that is intensely boring and does nothing to motivate me. I think of a gym as a place to move hundreds of pounds. I understand the need and value in what we are doing, but I don’t always get excited about it.
Trey ran me through the usual rehab paces today, but since I hold in my heart the belief that the secret to my knee pain is quad work, we ended with leg extensions. I don’t remember whether we started with 5 or 10 pounds, but I know I had mixed emotions torn between hating the low weight and the knowledge that physically my knees couldn’t do any more.
We did fairly high reps and with each successive set the pain was reduced. That was a great feeling, but Trey knows how much I love and need a challenge and I would not have been happy with just being pain free for a few hours so true to form he pushed me harder. When I finally got high enough in reps and sets that my quadriceps were burning the same as a 70 or 80 pound set I was beaming.
Of course there was one downer. After Trey went to his next client and left me to finish my mega round of extensions, there were a group of men lifting nearby. One of them looked at me sweating and grimacing as I did my fourth set of 30 reps with 20 pounds and said “you look like you are dying there”. It was true, but hard for me to swallow. I take great pride in my strength so while I can heartily cheer on someone reaching a PR no matter what it is, I have much difficulty with what I feel is myself appearing weak.
The important part though is that I got myself there, I pushed myself within my present limitations and I left smiling (albeit on wobbly legs).
Never underestimate the value of a good trainer and if you can’t afford one then find that person or group that knows what it takes to make you smile and can get you through that workout. I’ve heard it said so many times “You Never Feel Worse After A Workout Than Before”.