My Trainer made me cry!
Not in a cruel kind of way but a breakthrough. I am being seriously pushed outside of my comfort zone. I am not afraid of being pushed, in fact I respond to being pushed. After all, this is the first trainer in many years, to take on the challenge of training me.
We have bonded. I respect him as a trainer and we are starting to open up. He is starting to see my weaknesses and my strengths.
So back to the story - he made me cry. Today's session was upper body. After a quick warm up, I did a quick set of bench presses and then on to the arm crank machine for an active recovery. ARM CRANK? LOL. So far so good. Then time to move on, lat press downs and then pull ups... PULL UPS? Seriously? You have got to be fricking kidding me? So this "boy" wants me to pull up my vast body weight upwards and to make it worse he has offered to support my body weight!
This is by far the worst moment of my life! A man wants me to rest my heaving body on his leg as I struggle like a sloth to lift myself off the ground. I am complaining and muttering under my breath. Worse still, it begins... he is pushing (with one hand) the machine upward to assist my sizeable curves. OH MY GOD I AM IN HELL. It is like a scene from Bridget Jones' Diary. I am horrified at the unfolding scene around me and it doesn't end there.... another gym user (very buff) is not only watching me, but commenting that I am doing well.
The machine in question has brought confusion to so many over the years, you know the one, the more weight you put on, the heavier you are, the one where people actually fall off! I can see me loud and clear, the big heifer, and I am dying inside.
I've done ten assisted pull ups, I am not resting, I am now hanging off another machine and he says "round 2". My nostrils flared and I'm now whimpering, saying I can't do it. He is now offering me solutions and suggesting we try it with me standing on his knee on the A Frame. FFS!!!! This is now hell. Imagine. The only man I completely trust in my life is my Tony and I can't imagine him lifting me up, albeit I would probably pee on him with laughter. I don't know this trainer well enough to allow him to see/feel exactly how much I weigh. I don't even know. I know what dress size I am, I know when I have gained and lost a few pounds. I am simply mortified at the idea of anyone lifting me up!
Round 3 - I am now seething - my begging and negotiating is failing miserably, I feel exposed and insecure. More threats from him. We finally agreed 6 reps and he then conned me, I did two extra!
I clambered off the machine and fist pumped! Put on the boxing gloves and beat the shit out the pads, probably due to utter embarrassment and relief... and then creeping in was the sense of joy, success and achievement.
So what are the lessons here? Firstly, I preach body positivity all the time, I promote that all shapes and sizes are fabulous and yet today I failed me. I didn't practise the very thing I stand by. I failed all those curvy girls, all those creatures who lack confidence that they think I exude. I stand for those women who are struggling to keep within the conventions of society. I live on the outside of convention and embrace all my femininity. I am strong. I am not thin. I have encouraged so many to stop worrying and in that tiny moment I had a breakthrough. I can't always hide behind my curves and talk myself out of doing things. It shows that sometimes we all have chinks in our armour. We can all be vulnerable. We all have moments of throwing ourselves, Diva style onto a bed and weep. I simply worried about everyone around me in that moment. I found my deepest fear. I am fat and heavy. I will never feel that again.
I didn't trust my trainer, the very person that can take me to a new training level and build my confidence. He recognised that he saw something in me that I couldn't see myself. He knew I would struggle and he knew that I wouldn't quit. I should have had faith in him. I wasn't backing my own horse. He was. You can't break your own cycle if you are not believing in yourself. Sometimes it is ok to turn to others to help us get up the hills. We are not in isolation in this.
It is hard to hold up the proverbial mirror and really see yourself for who you are. I know I am on a journey and it is hard. I am afraid of becoming injured again. I am also afraid that this journey will set me free and I know that the other side of fear is something totally fantastical!
After all we MUST practise what we preach, we must remember that our health is not only what we are eating and exercising, it is also what we are saying and thinking. Our minds can be so toxic that we stop ourselves moving forward.
So as for my trainer, well he lives another day simply because my T Rex arms forbid me from beating him to a pulp. In fact it is lower limb day on Thursday. Joy!
NOTE: This is not about the Trainer's technique - I do not question his method. He is thorough and I massively recommend him. This is also not a cry for platitudes. This is simply me feeling raw, vulnerable and probably feeling like so many others, but that feeling is only momentary. The bottom line is, we must continue to breakthrough these barriers and keep pushing the slight edges of our boundaries, so that we continue to build strength and confidence within x