Hail Mary

I am not a very religious person.  Actually I am not religious at all.  I can’t remember the last time I went to church.  And I am not planning on going any time soon.  But I can say that I am a spiritual person.  I pray every night as I lay down to go to sleep.  I thank God for all he has given me and for keeping my family safe for another day.  When I can’t sleep at night, I will pray the rosary.  I usually fall asleep after the first few Hail Marys.  Never getting to the Our Father.

I have found when I am working out at Gold’s Gym saying a Hail Mary is mentally easier than counting to 10, 15 or 20 reps.  That is what my trainer is there for. She counts. I pray.   When I am in the zone, I let my mind escape by reciting the Hail Mary.  It takes me 13 seconds to comfortably recite the prayer.  I can say a lot of prayers during my work out.  It is mentally very soothing.

I have been working out with my trainer since September.  I absolutely love her.  Chantille is so kind but relentless.  What I love about her is that she sees my weaknesses and will work on them.  Currently my shoulder movement is very limited.  I broke my shoulder years ago and my arms just don’t want to go back.  So every training session we do a set of shoulder presses to strengthen my shoulders.  Slowly my flexibility is returning.

Another weakness of mine is step ups.  I know you all know what I am talking about.  If you have been to a basketball game or football game one needs to step up onto risers to get to their seat.  I did not want to be that person that has to watch a basketball game sitting on the first riser because I could not step up any higher.  So Chantille has me hold a kettle bell in each hand and has me step up on the step up stool for at least a whole rosary.  Actually it is 20 reps – 3 times – but it seems to take forever.  So one day I thought if I go a little faster I would get over this awful exercise quicker.  It did not work.  My foot caught on the edge of the stool and down I went – kettle bells and all.  I have learned that fast prayers do not work – just like fast work outs do not work.  Slow and steady is the best means to the end.

There is something to the adage The Power of Prayer.  I truly believe in it. I pray hard during my workouts.  I pray to pass the time and I pray that I won’t die during my workout.  So far my prayers have been answered.  I am getting stronger.  And I am still alive.  I actually have muscle tone in my arms.  My body is being reshaped.  Keep in mind that I do have saggy baggy elephant skin from the weight loss but underneath those flaps of skin is muscle.  I love it!

So I will continue with my prayers and my workouts.  I don’t want these last months to be that Hail Mary pass – like a touchdown pass in a  football game.  I want to continue strong and steady.  I will never be a power lifter or a body muscle model but I know for sure that I will be able to climb up the risers comfortably to be able to watch my grandsons play football and basketball.  I will be able to lift my camera bag without my back not going out on me.  I will be able to walk/run at a decent clip and not be totally winded.  I will be able to get down on the ground during a photo shoot and be able to get back up.  I am just looking for simple strength.

Now I wonder what I would be able to accomplish if I started to pray the Our Father.


Conquering Fear

I am a bit of a scaredy cat.  Sometimes I am afraid to try new things.  I am more comfortable looking from a far.  I have a tendency to stare at people.  I am convinced it is because I am so enthralled as to what they are doing.  And I wish I could do what they are doing.  When I go to Gold’s Gym I catch myself staring at people doing weight lifting.  I am amazed as to how easy they make it look.  I love to watch through the window at the women doing the classes.  And I found myself wishing I could do one of the classes.

I have been a member of Gold’s Gym for three weeks.  I have a trainer who I absolutely love – Chantille Anderson – and works my butt off.  Before I joined I longed to use one of those weight lifting machines but I was too afraid to try.  I did not know how they worked and was afraid that I would hurt myself.  But every training session I have, I am getting more and more comfortable with the machines.  Chantille makes sure that I do not hurt myself.  And she pushes me to exhaustion which I love.  I am by no means an expert on any of these machines but at least I am overcoming my fear of them.

The other day, I found myself looking through the door of a Spinning Class.  It looked so hard.  It looked much harder than leisurely riding my bike on a Sunday afternoon.  Chantille on a couple of sessions had me train for a few minutes on the spinning bike.  I thought I would die.  And I felt I would never be able to do a spinning class.  But the other day I saw a woman my age on the spinning bike.  She made it look pretty easy and I thought if she can do it, certainly I can.  So this morning I gathered up my courage and went to my first spinning class.

Last night I woke  up worrying about the class.  Would I be able to keep up?  What if I fell off of the bike?  What if I was the biggest or oldest?  What if – what if – what if.  This morning I kept thinking I could just not go to the class and go for my usual daily walk.  But then I knew I would be disappointed with myself for not trying.  So I gathered up my courage, went to Gold’s Gym early and walked into the spinning class.  I introduced myself to the instructor and told her I was new.  She was so nice.  She showed me how to adjust the bike to my height and how to adjust the intensity control.  She introduced me to other spinners who were so nice.  They said to just go at your own pace.  I couldn’t believe it.  I have been wanting to do this for years but was always too afraid to.  There was absolutely nothing to fear.

The teacher then turned the lights off and put the fluorescent lights on.  She cranked the music up and started the class.  I found myself keeping up with the other spinners.  I even cranked up the intensity so I could stand and spin.  I have always been so afraid to do that.  I started to look at the other women in the class and I fit right in.  I was not the heaviest.  I was not the oldest.  For once I felt normal.  Like I belonged.  It was a great feeling.

Wasn’t it FDR that said the famous saying.  “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  I have been thinking about that quote a lot lately.  My new goal in my weight loss journey (actually it is now my maintenance journey) is conquering my fears.  I am tired of being afraid.  I want to try new things.  Now I will never bungee jump or parachute out of an airplane.  I value my life too much. But using weight lifting machines and spinning on a bike is definitely the first step in the right direction.

Gold’s Gym

I am happy to announce that I am a new (for the third time) member of Fenton’s Gold’s Gym.  I have been contemplating rejoining Gold’s for quite a while.  And with my achilles tendon bone spur still not healed, many outdoor activities needed to be put on hold.  I also love to swim and Gold’s Gym has a wonderful lap pool.  So I joined.  And because my husband and I do everything together, I joined him up too.

A word of warning if you want to join.  There is no paper work that you can look at while they explain the program to you.  And they talk fast.  And everyone says something different.  I talked to 3 people and got 3 different answers.  I received a card in the mail about a no enrollment fee.  That sounded like a good deal.  But in reality, what they did was charged me no enrollment fee but charged more for my bi-weekly fee.  So it actually cost more to come in on their advertised deal.  And I did not notice it.  My husband caught it when we received the paper work 2 days later.  This is my only complaint about Gold’s Gym.  I really wish that they had some sort of paper work in front of you so one can make an educated decision on what plan to join.

But that being said – I absolutely love Gold’s Gym.  They have amazing equipment.  Treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, stair masters, Jacobs ladder, every free weight imaginable and a ton of weight machines.  A basketball court, a cinema with treadmills (no popcorn or candy is offered in the cinema), a workout room for FREE classes, a spinning room and a beautiful lap pool.  Also a hot tub and a sauna.  And the dressing rooms are huge, equipped with wonderful showers.  And the place is CLEAN!  What more could one ask for?

OVERWHELMED.  When I walked in and saw all of the equipment, it was so overwhelming.  Where does one start?  Which machine should I hop on?  And better yet – how do I work the machine?  The last 2 times I was a member all I ever used was the pool and the treadmill.  This time I wanted to be more adventuresome.  So I decided to get a trainer. Her name is Chantille Anderson.  I LOVE HER!!!!  And wouldn’t you know it – she graduated from Webster Groves High School where all of our children went.  It is such a small world.

Chantille has introduced me to a lot of the equipment and machines.  And she works my butt off (literally) every time we meet.  She sees my weaknesses and strengths.  Every time I meet with her, I feel like I am getting stronger.  And she makes me sweat.  I love sweating. I love that sore feeling after a good work out. She has me using equipment that I was always too intimated to try.  She is patient with me when I just don’t get it.  And pushes me when I need pushing.  And she doesn’t yell at me like the trainers in the Biggest Loser.

So if anyone is interested in joining Gold’s Gym, I highly recommend it.  Gold’s is very reasonable for all that it offers.  My only word of warning is, take good notes when the sales rep talks to you.  And ask questions.  It also wouldn’t hurt to ask for something in writing before they charge your credit card.  You are getting a lot for your money.  But educated decisions are always the best decision.  And ask for Chantille.  She is amazing!