Sunday, December 14, 2008

Joe the Trainer

Remember when I did a trial workout at the gym and broke the treadmill Well, I went back a few weeks later and joined. I even signed up with a personal trainer, "Joe".

From the looks of him, Joe the Trainer would not be first choice for a trainer: he's young. I want coaches, trainers, and doctors to be old so that I'll feel young in comparison. Find me the guy who placed third in the Boston Marathon in 1978 and THAT'S who I want for a trainer. (Apparently it is "Esa Tikkanen" from Finland, 2:11:15, but I don't think he's available.) I was nervous about joining a gym but Joe the Trainer put me at ease and gave me a low-pressure tour so I said what-the-heck, he can be my trainer. Poor guy.

To his credit, Joe the Trainer is very good with dealing with my... idiosyncrasies. When we first started he said "OK, will get you on some machines, do some free weights..." and I was like "Um, no, we're not doing that." I don't want to be standing next to some moose lifting a Volkswagen while I struggle with an empty bar. So it's all machines and self-body-weight stuff.

Now, the good thing about machines is that they can help you with your form; you lock yourself into the contraption and do the motions. But I think Joe the Trainer underestimates just how uncoordinated I am. He'll bring me to a new machine and say "OK, this is an easy one" and show me what to do and then I just spaz out when I try it. I've worked with bad swim coaches who would watch me massacre a stroke with no chance of doing it right and they just tell me "oh, just keep going." Joe the Trainer will stop me before I embarrass myself too much and just say "OK, let's move on to something else." And then we never speak of the machine again.

And you'd think someone who does triathlons would be good at doing something called "bicycles": not so much.

So once a week Joe the Trainer beats me down and as a result so far I have threatened him with strangulation and running him over with my car. Luckily for him I'm too tired and sore after a workout to go through with it.


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