Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Safety Net

Despite my initial reluctance, I think I'm really going to like working out with a trainer.  I'm one of those people who believed that you couldn't get much of a workout at home, but wow, was I wrong.  I'm also one of those people who didn't really think the 5 lb dumbbells I had would do a whole lot of good.  Wrong again.

My trainer is all about the idea that people can get in shape with a minimum amount of equipment--and I'm starting to believe him. (And had I known earlier, maybe I would've began working harder sooner.) I wonder how many times I've chosen to do nothing, because I didn't have time to go to the gym. Blrrgh.

One of the things I think I love about working with a trainer is the fact that I will let him push me harder than I would push myself.  And not just in a "Go! Faster! Harder! Higher!" sort of way. But in a way that I will trust myself into his hands.  I have full confidence in him and his knowledge, and I know he is paying more attention to what my body is saying than I know how to do yet.  It kind of sets me free to go really hard without worrying that I'm going to injure myself or go harder than I can go.  I guess it's like how trapeze artists feel knowing that they are working with a safety net under them-- like they are free to fly and flip and soar without having to worry.

Did I particularly enjoy working out with my heart rate hovering in the 190's? No.  But I loved the feeling of being able to push and challenge myself without having to worry about my body.  When I couldn't quite do something (ummm... hello ab exercises) he was quick to adapt the plan to what I could do.  When I worked myself to the point of muscle exhaustion, he was keeping a careful eye on me, making sure that my body could handle it. If I were working out on my own, I wouldn't have gone nearly as hard.  I would have treated my body more gingerly than I should.  I would've cheated myself out of the feeling of giving it everything I had.  What a freedom to not have to play it safe, because you know someone has your back.

During this taxing season when I seem to be really bad at taking care of myself, I'm glad to have the freedom to go harder than I would on my own. I need the outlet.  Exercising at such a high intensity has a marvelous way of clearing my mind.  (Uh-- but next time I've got to finish the sermon before I train with him-- my brain, and my shaky arms, were both pretty much done last night-- and the sermon wasn't. It was an early morning for this pudgy parson.) And wowee, am I sleeping soundly! Like almost hibernating soundly.

So maybe this is what I've been needing during the High and Holy (i.e. manic and frenzied) seasons of the church: a person to push me, a person to stay on me about taking care of myself, a person to act as my safety net until I learn to fly.