Growing up, there were certain things that came easy to me.
I was a better than average student, though not excellent, but I realized very quickly I could get pretty good grades without having to work too hard. This was excellent news as I will (still to this day) go nuts if I’m told to sit in a room and study something just because someone else thinks it’s good for me.
I began piano lessons the summer before second grade with a teacher that had a long waitlist to become one of her students. So, when she had an opening and I was next on the list I began lessons with her……even when just 2 weeks prior, I had broken my wrist and was in a cast. I learned about musical theory, was able to identify notes just by sound, and went on to study with her for close to 10 years where I won State Competitions every year except for 1. That 1 was a fluke – and I was robbed, I tell you.
My parents let me take art classes during the summer and it was discovered that my oil painting wasn’t too shabby. I remember doing the assigned painting of Victoria Falls on Saturday afternoon in a back room at Michaels and my mother took me to show it to my Grandparents. And, I distinctly remember proudly showing it to my Granddaddy who met me at the door of their home and the look in his eyes when he saw it. It was one of surprise and pure pleasure……and gave me so much excitement to see.
I was in band throughout middle school and high school. Always trading out first chair week after week with two other girls who shall remain nameless. (Ahem….you know who you are) On one particular day, I was asked to do the chromatic scale on the Clarinet, and after I finished I remember the very difficult to please Band Director whom I suspected never really liked me because, well, I had an even bigger mouth back then, say, “Hmmm…..who knew those short stubby fingers could do something like that?” I proceeded to give him my best smirk – which was my way of saying – “That’s right! I know you like these other two better, and I’m fully aware I don’t have the hands of an excellent musician…… but I WILL rock this and show you where you can shove it.”
All of these things also add to the reason of why I’m also such a people pleaser. I have a smart mouth, talk a big talk, but if I can make someone be proud of me….or force them to compliment me even when they don’t want to…..I still get giddy inside.
Now, I’m not telling you all this to brag or be boastful……..I’m telling you to show a stark contrast to how much of a struggle it is to conquer things that absolutely do not come naturally to me.
I was NEVER good at sports or anything having to do with athletic coordination. I loathed gym class….even more hated dodgeball day…..and when it came to summer camp when most of the people were out during free rec time doing actual recreation? NOPE. Not me. No way, no how. (Luckily I had the sense to have like minded friends.)
So, tonight, when we had this episode of Conversations with Mr. Trainer……I couldn’t help but want to do a happy dance. This new stage of my life is a LOT of hard work, failures, tiny wins, and pure determination that is hard to come by even on the best days.
Mr. Trainer is always encouraging and never fails to miss an opportunity to do it, but we’ve also hit a point of frustration with this process, and he knows it’s part of the gig to be honest with me about it. The dang scale has NOT MOVED a centimeter in a couple of months and we both have our opinions on why, but his are much simpler than mine of course. And, while being an encourager and excellent coach – he doesn’t hand out superfluous compliments. Which, with my Type AAA personality added with the need to please can be even more frustrating to say the least.
So, he’s decided to change things up………A LOT.
A few months ago, he decided it would be fun to watch me do squats on a Bosu ball. Don’t know what that is? Take a look!
It’s a ball that when you flip it……..then stand on it……..it takes every ounce of your being to not fall of the dreaded thing, much less do a squat on it.
It was AWFUL. He held on to me the entire time and it sucked eggs. Truly.
Tonight – he decided it was high time to try it again. And amazingly, I did about ¾ of them without having to hold on to him like my very life depended on it.
Mr. Trainer: “Well, look at that. Even I didn’t know it could be possible!”
Me: “Thanks so much for your faith you weasel.”
Mr. Trainer: “That’s what I’m here for.”
So, the evening continued and the deadlift portion of the program began. I’ve mentioned before that I really do like deadlifts. Man, they are ROUGH - but they strangely make you feel a little powerful….like my completely non-athletic body can actually be good at something. But they are, for me, a TOTALLY, embarrassing thing to do in front of actual human beings.......your chest HAS to stick out to one end of the continent....and your butt to the other. Ridiculous, I tell you.
Then the 3rd round began…and another trainer, Simon, whom we workout next to occasionally and I’m always surprised at his super sweet, gentlemanly manners when he speaks to me, entered. (It's a gym after all and there's LOADS of testosterone raging)
Mr. Trainer to Simon: “I’m so proud of Mofabulous – look at THAT.”
Simon: “Man, she has awesome form. You must be a proud papa, huh?”
Mr. Trainer: “Well, let’s just say….she’s not the most coordinated of people in the gym. But everytime I see her do this, she nails it and I’m always surprised. It’s one of the best things she does. I have two clients that have worked out with me for years and I can’t get them to have even close to perfect deadlifts. It straight makes my day.”
Mr. Trainer: “Yes. Of course. Now, go run some stairs – 3 up, 3 down - and we’ll do another rotation.”
So, for the first time in my 8 months (this time) of working out with Mr. Trainer…..I didn’t give one dramatic eye roll, not one bit of hesitation…..and ran those stairs like I was Rocky himself.
I hadn’t realized how much I needed that one bit of encouragement and recognition. I suppose that makes me a person with a tad bit of an ego issue, but there it is, and this is all a process of recognizing what moves me and what I need to work on.
I can, and will, not only do this – but will finish it. No matter how long that dang scale decides to ignore me.