Ramona’s Trainer: One woman’s fitness story

By Peter San Nicolas

The gym just isn’t right for me — or is it?

Many people get the misconception that working out in a gym will be a intimidating and scary thing. I wanted to share a letter I received, not because it promotes my gym, but it promotes health and fitness. Gyms are filled with people who are passionate about fitness and passionate about people, so read on and get ready to take your first step toward health in my gym or any other for that matter.

“I’ve never been one to go to the gym — I always figured I’d served my time sweating in P.E. as a youngster and really never had the drive or the inclination to suit up and drag myself into what I thought would be a stinky, yucky, lonely place full of odd machines, intimidating women and grunting men.

“I had friends who’d been pestering me for years about going to the gym. They maintained that my ‘good genes’ would only carry me so far and speculated on how I would look if I did work out. Well, of course, all the pressure to go just made me dig my heels deeper into denial. Then two years ago, my mother — who’d been a happy, vibrant, active woman — began experiencing health issues that ultimately compromised much of her mobility and independence. I decided it was time for me to take a second look at getting into shape and the idea of ‘what would happen if I tried?’ began to intrigue me.

“So late last June I sucked it up and walked through the door of the gym here in town. The smell of sweat and hard work hit me like a wall, but I didn’t turn around and I didn’t back down. I originally signed up for three months — pre-paid in full — and made the commitment to see what I could do. I wisely booked time with a trainer — it was important to me that I learned to do things right so I didn’t hurt myself. I discovered the fitness industry had changed and was no longer all about weights and treadmills. I started slow — working with the trainer once or twice a week and doing some of the classes offered at the gym on the other days. Early on, I discovered what are called ‘fit group’ classes — hour-long sessions with anywhere from 2 to 12 people where you do stretching, balance, core-stabilization, cardio and resistance training — all under the watchful eye of a certified trainer.

“Finally, I’d found something I could relate to. I wasn’t locked into some awkward piece of machinery or toiling on a never-ending belt to nowhere. Instead, I was jumping and running and pushing and pulling and laughing and sweating and learning that I could do more than I ever thought possible — all in the company of other people who were doing exactly the same thing. Don’t get me wrong — it wasn’t easy. The trainers worked us hard, but always took the time to show us ways to modify the exercises to lessen the impact or, conversely, to allow us to push ourselves just that little bit harder.

“As the months unfolded, I started to notice changes — small, subtle changes that built one upon the other until I was seeing some real, substantial results. At first, it was little things like the time I went to pick a penny up from under a chair and surprised myself at how effortless it was to bend down, reach way back and then stand up again — all things I’d been having increasingly difficulty doing as I’ve been getting older. My clothes started fitting differently. I was able to twist and move and function in ways I hadn’t been able to do in years. My balance improved. I started seeing the shadow of muscle definition. Me! Muscles?! Yes!

“Fast forward to now, 7½ months into my journey. It’s been like a ‘go-back’ machine. I’m finding that my body is looking and functioning more like it did when I was 10 or more years younger. Is it still tough some days? Yep. Do I still get sore after some of the workouts? Absolutely. Do I suck it up and go back for more? Every time. Has it all been worth it? You bet.

“I’ve been so impressed with what I’ve seen and experienced that now I’m working at getting my NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) certification to become a personal trainer. I originally decided to take the course to learn more about the biomechanics of the body so I would be less likely to hurt myself, but as I’ve been learning and studying, I’m beginning to think I might want to work with people who want to become fitter and healthier themselves.

“Anyway – that’s my story. I’m sure everyone’s story differs in the details but with hard work, a can-do attitude and a modicum of dedication and perseverance, anyone can reap the benefits of exercise and fitness. The hardest decision is the one you make to cross that threshold — but once you’ve made that choice, the rest is just a matter of time, effort and faith. I’m talking faith in both the process and especially in yourself. You’re not alone. I did it. You can do it. Just make it happen. Sometimes we just need a little backup, that’s all.

“I want to thank the trainers and staff at Ramona Fitness Center for helping take an apprehensive, skinny, middle-aged woman and turning her into a lean, fit, middle-aged warrior. You guys rock!”

Take that step and start a fitness routine. Thanks, Lorraine, for sharing your experience with Ramona.

Good luck and check out www.ramonastrainer.com for articles, workouts, videos, and how you can get started on your path to you — only better.

Related posts:

  1. Ramona’s Trainer: Fitness for Everyone
  2. Ramona’s Trainer: Back to school, back to fitness
  3. Ramona’s Trainer: Combating Cancer with Fitness
  4. Ramona’s Trainer: Live Your Passion
  5. Ramona’s Trainer: Fitness University, Part 2

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Posted by Karen Brainard on Mar 9 2013. Filed under Columnists, Columns, Ramona's Trainer. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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