My trainer is waiting for me; the sweat begins to accumulate under my arms. I have a tank top on, so in this case, it runs down my side. I am not sure what I have signed up for, but I know that a 50+ year old women in pants that fit like a sausage casing generate looks, and I don’t mean good looks.
We sit down in his office at the Highline Athletic Club and begin to discuss goals. Goals, what goals? I just want to get fit again, muffin tops are fine if you hang out in the Costco bakery section but the excess poundage is certainly not a good look hanging over the top of ones pants. At a rather reckless time in my life, long, long ago, I completed the Mattawa 100 dirt bike race almost in record time, or at least before night descended on the dessert. I finished dead last and my fifty-year-old mother finished second to last. We were two of eight women who entered the race, the remaining three hundred were men but that is another story. Maybe my goal should involve another race like this? Of course, the race was twenty years ago, before my left hip cramped up with bursitis and my rotator cuff began to give me pains. I can think of no short-term goals besides fitting into my pants again. My new trainer shakes his head at his lame pupil and searches for his calipers, the dreaded fat pinching torture instrument.
He removes his calipers from his belt and begins squeezing my skin in all sorts of places where fat is likely to hide, or not hide, in the case of muffin tops. None of this is comfortable, the calipers pinch I am standing in front of a mirror. Trainer boy says he will add it all up later and get back to me.
We begin an innocuous seeming workout; lunges, squats, lat pull downs, and simple stuff. Unbelievably, these seemingly innocuous exercises are difficult if you perform them the CORRECT way. Each exercise should be done slowly and then…right when my legs are beginning to shake and tremble, I PAUSE at midpoint. I wonder if the precursor to becoming a trainer involves devising exercises that persuade the subject to confess or recant their guilty food pleasures. “YES, YES, I did eat a Krispy Kreme donut yesterday, but it was before noon”.
My mind wanders and I begin to think of pseudonyms for trainer boy. His initial demeanor is rather Marine Sergeantish. I wonder if I start to balk if he will get right up in my face and shout at me, “ARE YOU LISTENING, YOU KRISPY KREME EATING JARHEAD?” As I look up in a sweat-drenched glaze, I see he is standing with his arms behind his back and counting. The counting, the counting, I cannot stand it anymore. I feebly mutter, “Are we done yet?” I know it is pathetic but I am done for.
At the end of the workout, Trainer Boy/Sergeant hands me a sheet with all of the torture exercises written down in perfect order; he wants me to complete the workout two more times before I see him again. To make matters worse, the next time I see him there will be a caliper follow up with the totals of my fat percentage. My heart begins to beat rapidly again; this is not due to aerobic exercise.
To Be Continued: What REALLY goes on in the women’s locker room.