Thursday, May 29, 2008

Training Day

I've never been one to work out. My idea of staying fit has always involved sustaining on one meal a day and a Pepsi for breakfast. This was fine during my twenties, but when I hit my early thirties, I knew that at some point I would have to change my game plan.

My first experience with a Personal Trainer came to me by chance. I was employed as an Executive/Personal Assistant for a retired CEO of a major hotel chain. I worked out of the guest house of his $11 million dollar home and my job included a lot of typing, phone calls, speech preparation, and house managing. It also involved going out to lunch every day with my boss and his wife and cutting out early to exercise with them and their personal trainer 3 days a week. The Trainer was a young guy named Tim who clearly thought he was god's gift to mankind. Tim was actually a great trainer and, despite calling me "skinny fat," was likable enough and did help tone my physique over the year that I worked with him.  At some point, however Tim's personality began to change. He started missing appointments and behaving erratically. When Tim began to act like Pete Doherty in spandex, I began to question his approach to fitness. If Tim could go through six personalities in the span of an hour, then certainly I could go back to my morning 32 ounce Pepsi once and a while. We knew there was trouble when Tim didn't show up one day and then called my boss and his wife to ask for bail money.  Turns out that "Trainer Tim" had been caught selling  and obviously using GHB (also known as the "Date Rape Drug"), and was in clinker. Since Tim really wasn't my bosses problem he took the "Tough Love" approach and did not post his bail. Tim eventually served time and we ended up with a new Mormon trainer named John. 

My husband was relocated to a different city and I had to leave my amazing job o' perks  shortly after Trainer Tim's drug mess. I went back to my  meal substitute  plan of a Pepsi for breakfast, a Baby Ruth (or a baked potato) for lunch and daily 45 minute naps. This worked for me for a while, but my frequent headaches and long windedness when I ran to get the ringing phone told me that something had to change.

I joined a gym called "The Crunch" which seemed trendy and hip. The truth is I joined because the stationary bikes each had individual televisions attached to them. I would have been happy spending my future at The Crunch on the stationary tv-bikes and occasionally an elliptical machine, but alas my new membership came with a complimentary training session! Never one to  pass up a freebie and feeling confident after having worked out with a trainer before I eagerly set up a time to meet with a trainer for an hour.

I arrived in full makeup, pigtails, black stretch pants and a pink tee shirt. My trainer was the tallest, most ripped bald black man I have ever seen. He stood approximately 6'8 and you could bounce a  quarter off any  part of his body (actually the quarter would probably shatter). I can't remember his name but to this day I call him "Djimon" because he may have actually been Djimon Hounsou picking up some extra work between movie roles. Djimon was clearly in no mood for chit chat and immediately put my ass to work. 

Djimon  proceeded to humiliate me right off the bat by handing me a 10 lb. medicine ball, have me hold it in front of me and do lunges around the gym. I could see looks of both pity and disgust from fellow gym-goers as I serpentined through the machines, mascara running, arms shaking like a crack addict, holding what felt like a large toddler. We moved on to a quick rotation of the machines with no breaks in between - aside from when I had to take a break between the arm presses and hip flexers in order to throw up. When I told Djimon that I had just hurled he looked at me like I was a cockroach and told me to keep going. I did my best to finish the session. At the end Djimon had me lay down while he stretched me out. I can only imagine that it must looked a little like a large black boy playing with a Stretch Armstrong doll. Its a miracle he didn't break one of my limbs. 

As I limped towards the door, Djimon began his sales spiel. For only $600, he could be my trainer for the next 2 months! I knew that if I stuck with Djimon I would be dead within a week. It was time to cut my losses and bid him aideu. 

I recently decided to hire a new trainer at my current gym. I specifically asked for a woman. I was issued a lady in her fifties named "Betty." Betty seems to be drug free (except for popping a Boniva or two) is about as fierce as a kitten and I'm pretty sure I might be able to kick her ass if she  makes me vomit. We'll see how it goes.


No comments: