Posted by: Marie | April 11, 2013

(830) Who’s steering this thing, anyhow? – Part 1 of 2

Post #830
[Private journal entry written on Friday, April 6, 2012]

Today, I met with Kyle, who is now officially my personal trainer.

We had planned to meet at noon, which would have made it a tight squeeze for me since I was scheduled to accompany my mentor, Kelly, at the middle school for her solo in the school talent show scheduled to begin at 1:30. However, Kyle had a schedule conflict and asked if we could move it up to 11:00 – of course, that worked better for me.

Kyle and I started out our time together by sitting down to talk . . .

I had printed out all the documents I prepared for him in advance of our meeting and had them in a folder. I wasn’t sure what our time together was going to look like . . . I wasn’t sure if he was going to “run the show” or if I would get to . . . I wanted to be prepared, either way . . .

When we first sat down, I asked him how he wanted to proceed . . . he said, “Well, my impression of you is that you are very smart, you always do your homework, and you like to plan things out in detail. I already know that you have a picture in your head of what our time together today is going to look like . . . I’m sure you already have an agenda in mind. I have no need to be in charge . . . I’d prefer that we follow your plan so you can feel more comfortable.”

That earned him a bunch of bonus points in my book . . . I almost hugged him, LOL!


Photo by Martin Chen

Laughing at his comment, I pulled out my folder . . .

First, I asked him to silently read the document titled “Marie’s Story” – I figured there wasn’t much value in taking the time for one of us to read it out loud . . . not to mention, we were at a table in the corner of the gym, with other people around – not the most private of settings!

After he finished reading it, I asked him if he had any questions about anything in that document. With an compassionate, understanding tone in his voice, he said, “No.”

Then, I asked him to silently read the document titled “Situations that can be ‘triggering’ for me”. After he finished reading it, I asked him if he had any questions about anything in that document. He said, “No.”

I asked him if there was anything in there that made him feel uncomfortable. He said, “No . . . it is helpful to be familiar with your background so I am aware of what could come up for you. But, no, there is nothing in there that causes me to be uncomfortable with the idea of working with you.”

I told him that the situation that would most likely come up for me was the last one:
“Being instructed on body movement”. I told him I am getting better at handling it when it comes up for me, but that he might notice me zoning out for a few seconds as I process and handle what is happening with me . . . and that he might need to give me some time – maybe even until the next time he saw me – to implement what he is suggesting. I told him it would be difficult for me to try something new without thinking about it first.

He responded with, “What I hear you saying is that you want to know ahead of time what is going to be asked of you so you can mentally prepare for it.”

Oh, my gosh . . . he captured it exactly! I hadn’t even yet processed to that level of clarity what I was trying to say! That left me with the thought, “Oh, yeah, he’s really in-tune with me and what I need! He really gets me!”

At that point, he told me how he had grown up as a chubby kid with all kinds of health issues. In college, had decided he wanted something better and had, therefore, proactively adopted a healthy lifestyle.

In college, he studied corporate finance. After college, he created a great career in that, and made good money. But, he hated the corporate world . . . and, he felt a deep pull to do something that really made a difference for people in a meaningful and lasting way. That’s when he switched careers and got into personal training and nutritional coaching.

He said he knows what it is like to not feel good about his body and what it is like to fight to change his lifestyle and reclaim the health of his body. He said that, while he did not have to work through PTSD as he fought to bring about changes in his lifestyle like I’m having to do, he has had to deal with significant loss recently and he knows what it is like to try to pull himself through a really rough time . . .

Then, he took a deep breath . . . I saw him struggling to control his emotions . . . he started telling me about the death of his sister. He went into quite a bit of detail . . . how he was the one to tell his parents the news . . . how he felt he was so alone in his grief because his parents really fell apart and they depended on him to help them survive . . . there was no one around to be his strength. He said it was one of the darkest times of his life . . . and that he is still dealing with that grief to some extent.

As he was concluding his story, he said he was surprised he had told me all that . . . that he hasn’t talked about it in that much detail with anyone before.

Hmmmm . . . I wasn’t surprised . . . that is happening more and more often . . . people sharing their very personal stories with me . . . sharing their deepest feelings with me . . .

Anyway, after we had paused for a moment to collect our emotions and thoughts, I mentioned to him that I was already aware of his sister’s death because of the background check I had done on him a while back. He made a face and said, “Oh, then you probably know about the scuffle I had here with another personal trainer . . . ??”

I told him that I did, but that I had followed up finding that piece of news by talking to people in the community about him . . . I assured him that he has a stellar reputation in the town and that I had gotten a clear picture of the situation that indicated he had done nothing improper.

“Well, I’m glad the people in the community know the truth about me . . . but, I’m afraid the news reports were way off the mark.” He filled me in on what really had happened . . . I assured him I was not at all worried about him, that I felt I could trust him to conduct himself ethically and professionally . . . that I was impressed with him, based upon everything I knew about him so far. I told him I believed he was a “high quality guy”. He thanked me for believing the best about him.

We then both took another deep breath . . . he light-heartedly asked what was next on my agenda . . .

I pulled out the “agenda” document, which also had the “current stats” info on it. I reviewed what I was wanting to go over today . . . and I pointed out we had already completed the first item, “My story (where I’m coming from)”. Then, I reviewed the “current stats” info and the results of my 2007 fitness test with him. I also showed him the fitness books I purchased a while back.

Then, I showed him my newly redesigned treadmill endurance-building program that now included spurts of higher inclines. We talked about the heart rate parameters I could set up to know when to push harder and when to back off . . . how I could use those parameters instead of, or along with, the time parameters.

Through that conversation, we figured out that he calculates max heart rate a little differently than I do. He doesn’t take off the resting heart rate from bottom. So, if my max heart rate is 175 and if my heart rate averages 135 bpm during a workout, his calculation is: 135 / 175 = 77%. For the same situation, but also taking into consideration my resting heart rate is 75, my calculation is: (135 – 75) / (175 – 75) = 60%. So, we were talking apples and oranges and had to agree to a common calculation so we could speak the same language in our strategizing. We decided to go with his numbers because he carries all his numbers in his head, I carry mine in a spreadsheet . . . it is much easier for me to reprogram my spreadsheet than it is for him to reprogram all the years’ worth of calculations he carries in his head.

It took us about 40 minutes to get through all of that stuff. Then, Kyle asked if I would be willing to spend the last 20 minutes of our time together doing a tour of the cardio equipment in the gym. I agreed . . . and, I told him that, on my own, I had checked out the elliptical machines and the rowing machine and had found them both to be very do-able. I told him I suspected the ones I’ve used in the past were of lesser quality than the ones in this gym, which is maybe why I found them awkward and difficult to use compared to the ones in this gym. He confirmed that the ones in this gym were of very high quality and that the difference in quality would make a huge difference in my experience of the machines.

[Continued in the next post . . . ]

Quotes 740

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