Friday, September 02, 2005

Stability check!

Well, you'd think with a title like that, this post might have more to do with being mentally stable and the like. But no... (though now that I've thought about it, I'm sure there are some metaphorical parallels).

"Stability check!" are the words that tumble around in my head, like clothes in a dryer, while I'm in the gym.

Yes, gym.

Me. In a gym. Go figure.

I started going in June, thinking (rationalizing?) that if I could get into the habit of being active before I started school, perhaps I would continue to go once I got stressed out with papers and whatnot.

So far, so good.

I have realized that although I appear confident to the outside world in most facets of my life, get me into a situation where I have to get out of my head and into my body and it's like my confidence checks itself at the door and is replaced by a big knot of fear in my gut.

So, I spent the first month going into the fitness centre at the university, keeping my head down and doing my best to stay out of everyone's way, as I huffed and puffed through about 20 minutes on a stationary bike. I also hoped that if I started going in the summer, when there were fewer people around, I might be comfortable enough to keep going once it's packed with students in the fall.

After that first month or so, I had enough courage to try a few of the machines, after having watched people use them (though trying not to watch too obviously, of course...) and occasionally asked someone who worked there for some rather in-depth pointers.

Well, it's been about three months now and I'm still going three or four times a week, so at least for now, I'm in the habit.

I thought to myself, "If you're going to keep coming here, you should really learn how the hell all this stuff works..." So, I signed up for training.

Yes, me. Training.

Just one session... to learn a few things here and there... but still...

My trainer's name is Chris. He was one of the people who had shown me the odd machine here and there. And although I was hemming and hawing about possibly wanting a female trainer, ultimately I thought that this fella had been nice enough to me, never treating me like I was taking up too much oxygen in the gym, and has a relaxed way about him, so I scribbled his name down on my form, hoping that I wouldn't be turned away for being too unfit or something... This is a university fitness centre after all... there are real athletes there!

Next thing I know, I'm setting up an appointment.

What have I done? I ask myself, near panic.

So, I went in for my session. We spent a good deal of time working on posture, before moving on to actual exercises. Apparently, my posture stinks. (My words, not Chris's.)

His words were "Stability check!" Over and over again. After only one session, those words stick in my head, as I forcibly suck in my gut, pull my shoulders back and down and draw my head back into "garlic breath" position. Seriously, that's what he calls it...

I must say, this feels entirely UN-natural at the moment. I feel horribly, horribly conspicuous... even if it is more stable.

I'm supposed to keep this posture through my entire workout. Then there is the matter of breathing. Must remember to do that... I do tend to forget...

I appreciated Chris's low key character. I couldn't be doing with a "No pain, no gain; do it 'till it burns, man!" type of trainer. Low key is definitely better. (There you go, Chris, you've been immortalized in a blog... Stay low key though, OK?)

As for me, another small hurdle is over... I now have a semi-plan to start the school year with. And so far, it doesn't hurt, which is good. I'm actually thinking about signing up for more training... (Students get such a good deal, it seems worth it...)

Classes start in just over a week. That'll be the real test. Not only will the gym be packed, I'm guessing, but since I'm also teaching a Spanish 201 class now, it is likely that I will see some of my own students in the gym... Oh dear...

Just keep thinking... "Stability check!"


Emz said...

Ure so funny, u should be on the stage! U've made me laugh and cry in the space of 10 minutes and two posts!
This one is hilarious! We're so alike, I could see myself behaving like u in the gym...U know one time, Rach joined a private gym and I went along (occasionally) to 'work out', well this one time another friend came along (yes, another one of the 'skinny, but I still could shed 20 lbs brigade') I went on this stepper, does arms and legs at the same time and Rach set the program on it, 20 mins it said... Well, I started off, all guns blazing, got thru 10 mins, thought, damn I'm doing so well (huff puff wheeze!) 15 mins... Jeez! 18 minutes pass, Rach comes back and says 'Are u still on there? You don't have to do the full program time, you can get off when u want!' ha ha ha ha!!!!
I thought 'what the hell, I've done 18 minutes, might as well finish the program!' It's one of those changeable ones, did I mention that? One that goes up hill and down dale!
I got off this machine and no exaggeration...I could barely walk, my legs, I couldn't feel them! Rach and Lian were killing themselves laughing and all I could do was step from one foot to the other saying 'ah, ah, ah' lol. I stuck to swimming after that!

Emz said...

Oh, forgot to mention...Slap 'Chris' up the back of the head for me and say 'Speak English Boy!' whenever he says "STABILITY CHECK!!!"

zouzou said...

Hellooooo! you missed the most important part: aforementioned Chris, hereafter immortalized, is a TOTAL hunka hunka. (popular opinion, not personal experience) I think eye candy is a great motivator. You go, grrl!

Sarah Elaine said...

Zouzou! That was *between us*!! Since this is a public website and Chris may well have seen your comment by now, I won't bother deleting it. (Needless to say, it's true...)

But I will counter by saying that this is stricly *professional* -- and since I've just signed up for 10 more sessions, I'd like to keep it that way!! (You know, like, check those hormones at the door with that confidence!!)

Besides, I've seen the girls at the gym hanging off him like Christmas tree ornaments and I would never, EVER want to be considered an "ornament"! ;-) Love ya, Zou zou -- but DOWN, girl!

ami said...

I thought about you when I had my first training session on Monday. Apparently I need to watch my posture as well. So flexing abs I don't quite have yet & remembering to breath are also problems for me. Here's to us both not passing out . . . yet.

Sarah Elaine said...

Hey Ami,

Indeed. You'll have to let me know if you've also tried to incorporate said posture checks into every day life. I have... and have woken up in the middle of the night with my abs and those (previously undiscovered) muscles between my shoulder blades positively screaming at me.

I think to myself, "A double shot of tequila would make you feel better..." But I'm too sore to crawl out of bed to go get it.

It's O.K. now, but last week was pretty much hell.

Hang in there, girl! Remember, you're my hero!