So, if you've been following this blog, you know that I started trying to get some regular exercise, starting about the time I knew I'd be going back to school in the fall. I struggled with feeling completely overwhelmed and intimidated about even going into the gym and it constantly felt like I was taking one step forward and two steps backward.
I hired a trainer, who showed me some machines, stretches and designed a program I could work through.
A couple of posts ago I mentioned that the last training session left me a little frustrated. That was an understatement, actually.
That last session has been playing on my mind ever since it happened last Tuesday. There's something that I can't put my finger on, but I'm very close to throwing in the towel, so to speak, and just saying, "Screw it! I'm quite happy living in my head. To hell with trying to have a fit body, too!"
The problem arose when we were going through the workout and I was attempting to do the one free weight exercise I'd been shown.
I don't do it right.
Worse yet... I don't know what is "right" (as in, correct form or position) and what is not. I struggled with it. Chris struggled to get me to understand. And it didn't work.
He asked something to the effect of, "Can't you feel whether it's right or not?" ("It" being either the weight or my body or both.)
In any case, the answer was, "Er... no!"
I made the mistake of telling him that I simply try to mimic what I see and memorize what's written down on my sheets of notes. The thought of trying to "feel" anything never really crossed my mind before.
My trainer seemed flabbergasted. He took it for granted that I "felt" when things were either "right" or "wrong". I took it for granted that I memorized my sheets of notes and perhaps "heard" (as in, replayed in my head) the verbal tips he'd given me for corrections in our sessions. We simply took different things for granted and realized that we had completely different understandings of "training".
I asked, "What's wrong with just memorizing what is written down on my sheets?"
He didn't really seem to know what to say, other than, "That's not where I want to go with this. You should feel it." He did say that was something that came so naturally to him that it was hard for him to understand that it wasn't that way for me... kind of looking at me in a way that said, "How can you not get this?"
Those words were never said... but...
I felt about two inches tall. I felt like saying, "I'm not stupid, you know!" But I didn't... I did, however, "feel" embarrassed... even ashamed. I suddenly felt as if I'd let out some deep, dark secret... that I didn't even know was something bad!
Don't get me wrong... Chris is very professional and is a good trainer. I am quite sure he had no bad intentions. He just seemed genuinely puzzled.
This has been playing on my mind a good deal. I have come to the following conclusions:
1) I always knew that my "learning preferences" or "learning styles" were primarily visual and then auditory. I prefer to gather information by reading, then by hearing it. (This is probably one of the reasons I like having my iPod with me when I exercise... the auditory input of the music helps me to focus and enjoy the activity more...) Kinesthetic learning is not something that comes easily to me. I simply do not process kinesthetic information very well -- and apparently, I'm worse at it than I thought!
2) I really have no idea what it means to "feel" whether I'm doing an exercise right or wrong. (Do any of you? Am I really a freak?!)
3) I am completely frustrated and I feel even more incompetent now than when I started training. No one told me about this part of "training"! I thought training was just that -- training -- as in, train the muscles to do certain things. No one said anything about "feeling" it. I don't get that -- and I feel nauseatingly stupid that I don't get it.
The fact that I have a new throbbing pain in my left knee has got me thinking that this "feeling" in my knee might be a sign from above that maybe getting fit is not for me after all...