Overcoming obstacles

In which I learn that change comes with two steps forward, one step back; that obstacles are often best overcome by going around, taking a different route, rather than plowing through; that the biggest obstacles are internal; and that the most limited commodity is willpower.

I spent the morning trying to sign up for personal training at the Y. Yesterday I picked up the required forms, medical history etc. I brought them home, filled them out, and discovered a permission-to-exercise form to be signed by my physician (even though I already show up at the Y several times a week and exercise with nobody’s permission or oversight).

This morning I called my doctor’s office and asked if I could bring in the form and wait for it to be signed. Sure, I was told, but no telling how long that would take. I took in the form–well, first there was a Senior Moment. I drove 8 miles to the doctor’s office and discovered I had left the form at home so I drove back home, picked up the form, and returned to the office. This time the receptionist told me that getting the form signed could take up to 7 days. What?

I took the other forms to the Y and asked if the doctor’s signature was really necessary before I signed on with a trainer. Yes it was.

I did my intervals on the crosstrainer while I was there (no permission, nobody worrying about me suing them if I dropped over when my heartbeat went above 140, which it does regularly when I do intervals) and then made yet another trip to the doctor’s office with the form. Pleasantly (I think), I said if it took anywhere near 7 days to get this form signed I would be looking for another medical practice. The doctor, I was told, would be informed of this. I left the sheet with instructions to call me when it is faxed to the Y. Like that will happen.

All this is because, after my initial flush of enthusiasm about ramping up intensity and strength training in my exercise regime, and doing it on my own, I am experiencing a lapse of willpower. I’ve decided I need a coach.

I was doing fine until I took a trip and was out of my regular routine for 10 days. (One of my Facebook friends had warned me that the real test of any exercise program is whether it survives travel.) When I got back, I found that only half of my regime had survived–I could easily get back into the cardio intervals, but the full-body exercises with weights, aka “torture,” had not. I simply could not get myself to look up the prescribed exercises, decide how I had to modify them to make them doable, and then do them till I was sweating, panting, and red in the face. I tried doing them just a little, for shorter times, but the rebellious little slacker in me said Nyet! Hapana! Iié! Nein! Non! No! every time and would stop after a few lifts and pushes.

Since my adult self was not much help in dealing with this stubborn resister, I decided I would submit to the guidance of someone who might be gentler and more encouraging and patient than I was with myself. A personal trainer. Just don’t make it too hard for me to even sign on, or I might give up on that, too.

The good thing is that my initial six weeks of self-training raised my fitness level enough that I might not be embarrassed to work with a trainer and do whatever routines she assigns me in a public place, rather than the privacy of my bedroom.

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