It was at the end of 2011 that I thought I needed to take my fitness to another level. Yes I had lost weight but I wanted to be strong and versatile, a mixture of cross fitness. At the time I knew a couple of personal trainers but wanted one that understood my journey and where I had already come from.
My zumba instructor is a personal trainer but wasn’t actively looking for clients at that stage. So I asked her if she would consider taking me on as a client, once a week, and if we could start in the new year. I think she said yes out of pity but warned me that every session would be outdoors.
At the first session I was bloody terrified of what she would make me do – I had heard of horror stories and I knew she would be punishing me. It was like the day I did my first weigh in, but this time she had a tape measure… oh no! I can’t recall what my measurements were, they will be written down in her book somewhere.
We started with a warm up which was easy enough. Then she started to test my limits. She asked me to do a push up. I couldn’t do one lousy push up on my knees. Pathetic, useless, lazy, they all went through my head. She said to me “it’s ok, you need to start somewhere and we will work on it together”. I thought she was talking rubbish. If I couldn’t do one, how would I ever do 20, 30 or more?
Over the following weeks and months, I progressed and got stronger. I loved those training sessions, even when it was pouring with rain, frost on the ground or glorious sunshine. I got dirty. I got sore. I got beaten up. I wanted more.
This is the kind of routine we do in a half hour session and it generally involves me looking like this:
I still see her every Saturday morning, except a handful of days a year where one of us can’t be there for what ever reason. There was one session where I was really angry about something in my personal life and she brought out the boxing gloves and I just about broke her arm as I was throwing punches that hard. I’ve tasted bile but never thrown up, although she keeps wanting to tick that off the list. I’ve cried, twice in one session and that was during one of my dark days.
She is a key part of my new fitness regime and I couldn’t imagine having anyone else push me beyond my mental limits. Yes I joke that she is pure evil but hopefully she will read this and know that she has been a huge part of my life and I love and appreciate her more than I can express.