Today I went to a gym to have an assessment done with a personal trainer.
I know. I’m just as surprised as you are.
I don’t really do gyms except for the few times in university that I went to the campus gym and sat on the stationary bike to watch television. But I understand that it is time to take my health into my own hands so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to do a free assessment to see what this working out thing is all about.
My anxiety level was an 11 out of 10 as I entered the building that houses the gym. I walked around for a few minutes trying to find a way upstairs to the gym entrance. I stopped and drooled at the new Caramel Flan Latte at the Starbucks on the first floor. One word: caramel-whip-cream. I come to this building on a regular basis but I already knew where the Starbucks was so I didn’t think I’d ever need to find a way to get to another floor. I found an escalator that was under construction. “This is a sign, Lisa,” Inner Lisa told me. “This is too hard and too scary so you should give up now. You can’t even find a way to get into the gym for chrissakes!” But persevere I did and I eventually found a stair well. That stair well had a sign directing me to an elevator near it so I walked past it and pressed the button to go up to the third floor to the gym. I got in the elevator and pressed the 3 button and then six or seven other humans dressed in business suits got in and pressed a bunch of different buttons and I was cornered in the back. When the door opened for level 3 they all looked around to see who had to get out and I figured it would be easier to just look around and act confused like them and ride the elevator up to the floor they were getting off at so I wouldn’t have to make them all get out to let me off and cause a scene. So I got to floor number 5 in my yoga pants and holding a pair of sneakers, when surely they all knew I was trying to go to the gym, and then I casually walked out of the elevator and turned a corner like I belonged on that floor and then I snuck back to the elevator and rode it back down to the third floor in peace.
I saw the glass doors to the gym and my heart started pounding a little. “I don’t belong here,” I thought. I took a deep breath and opened the door. Instantly I looked lost and the man behind the front desk asked if he could help me the same way he would ask a small child who looks lost in a grocery store. I told him I had an appointment with a personal trainer in a few minutes and the whole time I was saying this to him I was staring at the Women’s changing room sign. It’s literally a giant W symbol for “women” next to a giant M for “men.” He told me I could go get changed and then meet her back out front. I then asked him where I go to change, as I was staring directly at the freaking change room. He pointed out the obvious and I crept towards the giant W.
I walked into the W room and right away I was met by naked women proudly showering and towel drying their hair. “Nope, this is too much,” I thought. “I am not comfortable with how comfortable they are being naked.” I consider myself a progressive modern woman but I was nervous enough without having to change my rubber boots in a room full of naked body builders. I watched them drink their protein drinks and put on their mineral makeup and I put my rubber boots in a locker and took out my bottle of iced tea. I immediately regretted bringing iced tea to the gym. Who does that?
I left the W room and found my personal trainer waiting for me at a table near the entrance. She had a booklet with a list of questions she had to ask me to tailor my work out routine to my needs.
Trainer: What kind of physical activity do you do?
Me: A lot of this! *I mime eating a bag of chips and laugh*
Trainer: So that’s mostly an upper body work out.
Me: Ha! Okay in all honesty I do walk places.
Trainer: How many times a day do you walk?
Trainer: How long do you walk for?
Me: About 25 minutes. That’s how long it takes me to get from my house to Starbucks and back, if you factor in the couple minutes it takes when I notice I’m walking past Freak Lunchbox and stop in for some candy.
Trainer: I am now going to read a list of health problems and ask if you have any of them.
Me: All of the above!
Trainer: On a scale of one to ten how would you rate your nutrition?
Me: 5. Definitely 5.
Me: Well like I eat healthy meals sometimes and I have healthy smoothies.
Trainer: Then why as low as 5?
Me: Chocolate….so much chocolate.
After I failed the questionnaire my personal trainer brought me into a room where she weighed me and used this fancy hand held machine to tell me how much body fat percentage I have (lots), how much of my body is water (lots) and what my BMI was (lots). That part wasn’t so hard. Except after looking at the scale I decided I needed to lose approximately 1 trillion pounds.
Next was the fun part. We went into a work out room with some mats and she asked to see me do a push up. HA!
I don’t know how to do a push up.
I tried one and she asked me to lower myself as low as possible. I figured that meant it was okay for me to just drop to the mat. It wasn’t okay.
She got me to do a couple push ups from my knees so that it wasn’t just a series of movements where I lift myself up and then promptly drop myself to the mat like a dead weight.
Then I had to do a squat. I made her show me what kind of squat she wanted. Apparently I just kept leaning forward and calling it a squat. In the end I figured out what a squat was and did a few. The whole time I could hear my iphone going off in my pocket with Word Press notifications and all I could think about was checking Word Press.
Next I had to do a plank. She had to show me twice how to do it and even then I sat there frustrated and defeated and had no clue what I was doing. I used to always do planks but they were the kind where my hands were clasped together. The only difference with this plank was that my hands were not clasped together. Apparently that makes all the difference in the world and my brain couldn’t figure out how that could be possible. I finally did one and then had to push my thighs and my “glutes” (which I wish people would just call my butt) together and hold it for awhile so she could see how strong certain muscles were.
She told me she had everything she needed and I proceeded to drop to the mat and lay there motionless. She told me we had to leave that room now so I jumped up and shouted “Have I lost 20 pounds yet?!” trying to be funny. I didn’t realize that while I was planking and laying motionless on the mat other gym members had come into the room to work out. They smirked at me a smirk that I assume meant “you are not worthy of being in my perfectly chiseled presence.”
After all of that was done she sat me back down at the table to tell me my results.
“Did I fail?!” I eagerly asked. Apparently it’s not actually something you pass or fail. But I’m pretty sure if you could fail it I would have failed it.
In the end I decided that having a personal trainer would be a really good idea for me, even if it just meant that those 3 times a week I will be busy with another human in public so I can’t spend those 3 hours eating chocolate.
My only real concern with going to the gym, other than how scared and intimidated I am by professional gym goers, is that I didn’t see many outlets near the stationary bikes where I could plug my heating pad in. But if that’s my biggest complaint I guess I should probably start going to the gym. So it looks like I’m going to try working out at a gym! My personal trainer is a lovely human so I feel slightly less terrified by the gym now.
I figure worst case scenario I’ll just end up using the tables in the corner of the gym overlooking the harbour to sit and drink my caramel flan lattes. It will be like a fancy expensive country club full of lululemon models and naked ladies. I will probably never get used to the naked ladies though.