My Journey to Strong: Chapter 1
Chapter 1: Fear is an Excellent Motivator
The day I met my personal trainer, my ankle was still swollen and blue from the fall I’d taken the week before. I wore work-out clothing and furry slippers. My husband chauffeured me to my appointment as I hadn’t driven since my mishap. Indeed, I had barely left the couch.
We pulled up to a small office building where the first thing I noticed was the stairs leading to the upper floor. Thankfully, the gym is tucked behind the stairs on the ground floor. I hobbled in and Jonathan greeted me with energy and enthusiasm (two things I lacked).
“We’re lucky you’re on the bottom floor,” I said. “And, by the way, I’m so nervous that I need a drink!
He laughed and offered me something to drink. I declined feeling sure that he meant to bring me nothing more potent than a glass of water. And, of course, it was a joke (sort of)! I had come ready to talk about getting in shape. We began by discussing my goals. They were as follows:
- Fall less often
- Fall less often and
- Fall less often
I told him, what only those really close to me know, that I fall with some regularity. My last meeting with the pavement really scared me. I explained that fear was my primary motivation: fear of injury, fear of doctors and hospitals and fear of aging badly. I was anxious to know if my goal was doable and he assured me that it was.
“Balance is strength,” he said, and “strength is balance.”
To prove his point, he asked me to attempt the 1-legged standing balance test. I passed! I was even able to balance on my still recovering right ankle! He explained that strength would determine my ability to respond to challenges to my balance. I could offset my inherent klutziness and my tendency to spend too much time dreaming, plotting and planning rather than observing my surroundings. I was elated… for a brief moment.
Then it was time for me to be weighed, pinched and measured. I turned away when Jonathan checked my reading on the scale. I did not peak at my measurements as he listed them on my chart. And I displayed no curiosity about my fat to muscle ratio. I just submitted to the process. I was focused on getting stronger. I’d worry about getting thinner later. That brings me to my first bit of newly acquired wisdom on my Journey to Strong:
Wriggle into your black leggings and check your vanity at the gym door!
Just do it!