No way. I've always wanted to be a personal trainer!
"I can do it," I say to Lucy casually. "I can start training you."
Lucy eyes me up. "You can train me?" she asks. "Do you even work out?"
Ouch. "Of course I do," I say a little defensively. "I train three to five times a week, moving between cardio and strength training for sixty minutes." Ok, that's kind of a lie. But, I know that's what you're supposed to do.
She agreed, yes! We start training tomorrow morning at 7:00am because I suggested Lucy start the day on the right foot. How else will she meet her goal? Now, I just need to pop over to the shops and get some gear.
Gosh, I never realized how much workout equipment there was! There are tons of really intimidating machines called things like the Boflex and Matrix then there are bikes, treadmills, ellipticals, step machines, and some weird thing that looks like two skis sliding on plastic slopes. Lined neatly on racks according to size and color are the free weights. I pick up a ten pound weight and start to flex my arm toward my chest. Wow, this really hurts and I've only done it five times. Maybe I should try the five pounds? Yes, that's much better. I've already done ten reps. I grab a set of five pound weights and put them in my buggy. I'm already feeling lighter and more fit. This will be a synch.
My alarm goes off at 6:15am and I crawl out of bed. I hate waking up when it's still dark out, and the bedroom is freezing. I shiver and pop into the shower. I could stay under the hot water for hours. When I was in high school, I had to get up at 5:30am every morning. I remember sitting on the shower floor and just let the water fall on me. I even fell asleep a few times and my mom would bang on the bathroom door yelling something about money and trees. Now, I had no one banging on my bathroom door. Henry was fast asleep and wouldn't be waking up for another two hours. I slide down the shower wall and close my eyes. A few minutes go by. Why did I agree to wake up so early? I pry my eyes open. That's right! I'm a personal trainer. I am very fit and active. I, Anna Brody, am a tough, high-energy, motivating personal fitness trainer!
At 7:05, I pull into Lucy's drive. It took me a little longer than I thought to pull my hair back in a headband and ponytail. It's difficult to make bangs look cute when working out. Lucy looks so cute, though. She's wearing a black sports bra with purple and pink stripes and black leggings with purple piping. Even her tennis shoes match with the same pink stripes. Her blonde hair is french braided, why didn't I think of that?, then tucked under the nape of her neck. It looks more like an up-do than a sporty french braid. Lucy's eyes are bright and she starts jogging in place.
"Ready for a few warm up miles, trainer?"
"Sure," I croak, "I'm ready." Did she say a few miles and warm-up in the same sentence?
I'm dying. I really 100% feel like I am going to die. My legs are aching and I'm having trouble breathing. Sweat is running down my face and my Adidas tee is sticking to my back. I look over at Lucy and she has one single drip of sweat beading up near her temple. Her hair is still perfect.
"I think this might be enough, Lu," I say and trot to a holt.
Lucy looks at her watch. "But, we've only gone a half mile."
What?! Oh God. "Well, I'm quite warm. Aren't you?"
Lucy starts but I cut her off, "As your trainer, I feel it's necessary to boot up your metabolism with a variety of exercises. I have a lot planned and I want to start engaging your core so that you can build muscle and burn carbs throughout the day." Engaging your core is by far the phrase used most in exercise magazines.
Last night I bought Self, Oxygen, Women's Health, and Shape. I cut out the "Flat Belly in 10 Days" plans and the "Shed Five Pounds in Five Days" exercises. They looked pretty simple. Squat here, lift there, roll on the big ball and hold it for a few seconds. I pasted all of the various workouts on a large poster board and numbered them. There are about twenty different exercises so I figured we could run through them two or three times and Lucy will be spent by the end. And I'll be a genius! A personal training genius! And all the magazines say that if you do the exercises three days a week, you will see results within five days! I'll be such a star, Lucy will recommend me to everyone she knows!
We walk back to the house and I pull out my chart pointing to various places and explaining which part of the body the exercise targets.
"Take for example, this one." I point to the girl squatting down with her back against the wall, "This exercise works the buttocks and thighs while engaging your core."
Lucy nods enthusiastically. "And look at her thighs! I'd die to have my legs that toned." She says.
I look down at the picture. She's right. I'd die to have the girl's slender legs too and they're so tan that it looks like she lives on the beach. I've always secretly wanted to be a surfer so I could have gorgeous tanned and muscular legs like Kate Bosworth in Blue Crush. Maybe we should have gone surfing instead? That would be so rad, carrying surfboards onto a Hawaiian beach and everyone looking at you like you're a pro. Ugh, I wish I were in Hawaii right now.
"I don't know though, Anna. It looks pretty intense," Lucy says wiping her brow.
"Not at all! Let me show you." I move over to the wall and press my back up against it. I squat down and shrug. "See, it's easy and it's very effective. Now you just have to stay here for two minutes." I adjust my weight and ask Lucy to time me.
"How much longer?" I squeal.
"Another minute and a half, I'm afraid."
I look at her gobsmacked. I've only been squatting for thirty seconds? Thirty! Seconds! I can't take it. My thighs are burning so bad that they've started to shake and, to be honest, I'm starting to feel a little faint. Did I eat anything this morning?
"Well, you've got the point. Right?" I say slowly unhinging my knees. "Easy as pie."
Lucy presses her back to the wall and bends her knees. I hit the stopwatch and root her on.
"Brilliant, you're doing very well. Keep it up," I say enthusiastically. Finally, the watch hits one minute. Lucy's legs are starting to shake and she's resting her hands on her thighs. She bends forward.
"How much longer? I can't take much more," she says.
"You're done! You did great." Well, I think a minute and ten seconds is pretty great. "Let's go on to the plank pose."
We check the poster board picture and I instruct Lucy to lay on the floor.
"Ok, now up!" I say and Lucy tries to raise her hips off the floor.
"I can't!" she says frantically.
"Just lift!" I raise my arms in the air. I watch Lucy struggle to lift her behind in the air. She gets it an inch off the ground then collapses. "What's the problem?"
"Ha!" she huffs. "If you think it's so easy, why don't you try it? Miss Personal Trainer."
Well, alright. If she's going to be snooty about it. Oh God. This is hard. I just can't seem to lift my stomach off the ground more than an inch. I'm pushing my brows together tightly and willing myself to do it. It's like when someone has their arm bitten off by a shark and they have all that adrenaline and determination to swim five miles back to shore. If someone can swim five miles with an arm bitten off, surely I can will my bottom to rise off the ground a few inches.
"Huh ha!" I say as I'm finally able to lift myself off the floor and stay in the plank pose. "See, Lucy. Simple." I look up to find Lucy storming out of the room. So, maybe personal training your best friend isn't the greatest idea in the world. But, as I hold my body in the plank pose and stare down at the carpeted floor, sweat dripping down my face from effort, a smile spreads across my face. Take that, Lucy!