Last week I was contacted by Gillian Thomas, a personal trainer in the midtown Toronto area, who said she was a fan of my blog and noticed that I had written recently about wanting to work out more regularly. She asked if I would be interested in complimentary personal training sessions with her twice a week for four weeks.
I know, right? Huge score! I was so excited to receive her email because I have still been feeling very unmotivated this summer when it comes to exercising. I do try to squeeze in active activities like walking around the city and hiking, but I have only been running one to two days a week, about 5k, at a pretty leisurely pace. I know it’s better than nothing, but strength training? Forget it. I haven’t picked up a weight or done a squat in at least six months. Gillian seemed like just the motivation I needed.
So on Monday after work I headed to a park close to both of us with a pretty awesome track (Gillian’s suggestion) to meet up with her for a session. She was a stranger, but don’t worry parents, I googled Gillian and confirmed she was who she said she was and her plan probably wasn’t to murder me.
But she may as well have. My lower body has been dead since.
Sitting down, getting up, and stairs are just the worst.
You know how when you hire a maid you pre-clean your house before the maid comes because you don’t want the maid to see your house all messy? Well I thought about pre-training before I met up with Gillian so she wouldn’t see how horribly out of shape I am, but our appointment happened so quickly after her original email I didn’t have time. After really slacking on exercising over the past year, I feel like I’m starting over from square one, am now a weak fool, and I am pretty sure Gillian got me at my worst. Well, four years ago probably would have been my worst, but it still wasn’t ideal conditions.
We mostly worked on my lower body, with a bit of running, HIIT (high intensity interval training) and core work thrown in. I struggled with absolutely everything.
It probably didn’t help that I was eager and running late so I half ran/half speed-walked to the park so I was already tired, but my legs were jello after about 3 squats and my lunges were shaky to say the least. Near the end of the workout she got me to sprint for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds, then repeat twice more, and by that point my “sprint” was a slow jog. I could barely stand.
I have also never really had a personal training session before (once when I signed up for my gym, but they didn’t seem into it and they didn’t really push me). I have only done group exercise classes and a few bootcamp classes. With Gillian, it was really noticeably obvious that I could not slack. In group classes I am embarrassed to say that I am sometimes a bit of a slacker because there are so many people that the instructor can’t pay attention to me all the time. When they’re not looking I tend to half-ass things. Or just lay on the ground when I am supposed to be doing pushups.
But of course, the only person I am hurting by slacking is myself. Gillian was ON me. She got me to do things that I never, EVER would have done myself. Never. I never would have pushed myself that hard. It was the hardest and best workout of my life, and during I felt like I might die several times and I did debate just quitting right there and telling Gillian thanks, but forget it, I’m not coming back, and then running (or slowly hobbling) away.
But somehow I powered through, and I am so glad I did because I felt amazing afterwards. Like instantly more svelte. I know it doesn’t work like that, but if it’s possible to take inches off your thighs in one workout that workout would have done it. So I walked home afterwards feeling really happy and proud of myself. And kind of like an invincible beast. And then I got home and I immediately faceplanted into my bed of pain.
Gillian herself was extremely cool and friendly. I liked her instantly. She was the type of person I felt like I could be friends with, so all good on that front.
I am meeting Gillian again tonight to do the upper body thing. Thank God, because my butt is on fire and I can still barely walk. I told her that lunges are my weakness, but I conveniently left out that I can barely do a pushup, so…tonight should be fun. I’ll let you know how it’s going over the next few weeks.
If you live in Toronto and are looking for someone to kick your ass workout-wise, hit Gillian up. I know I’ve only had one session, but my thighs will vouch for me here…she knows her stuff.
Oh, and Cely, Gillian said she originally found my blog through you linking to me, so I am blaming you for all my pain. Muahahaha. My buns of steel may be thanking you in a month though…
Oh, and Gillian…THANK YOU!