Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Gym Synthesis

What I’m about to describe to you feels vaguely pretentious. But I tell you, it’s as far from it as we can get. I joined a gym in the beginning of March, a month away from my birthday when I always feel like I’m getting old and I need to do something drastic. I realize joining a gym isn’t a drastic change in a life, but getting my butt off the couch and to that gym on a regular basis is. Anyway, everything is going great I’m getting to the gym after work 3-4 times a week for the most part and I am physically feeling a lot better. But at some point I realize that I can’t just keep going in and doing the same thing over and over again because I’ll get bored and stop making all of this progress so I sign up with a personal trainer.

Already, I feel pretentious to mention that I have a personal trainer. It seems that only movie stars or people with a lot of money have a personal trainer… and there’s a good reason for that. Personal trainers can be quite expensive. Somehow I talked myself into employing the services of one because I am not a gym rat and left to my own vices likely would make much slower progress. My personal trainer, who I will call JT, is a 19 year old all-star football player type but a genuinely nice guy.

When I started up with JT he asked me what my goal was, I said I of course want to lose weight, but I want arms like Michelle Obama. He just smiled at me in a way that made me wonder if he knew who she was or even what her arms looked like. I’m sure he would have carried on his marry way if he did or not. So the basic plan for each one hour session is I come in and we work on a muscle group (arms, legs, or core) until I’m utterly exhausted and unable to further use said muscle group.

Yesterday it was arms and shoulders and as I’m struggling through a third set of incline pushups he declares “It is my goal for you to do a full push up.” I can’t help but think, “Well, good for you.” I have never in my 28 years done a full push up and never really had any goals to the contrary. And then I am suddenly aware while doing weight assisted pull ups that he is likely to reach his goal dragging me kicking and complaining the whole way. After all, isn’t that what I signed up for?