My Angry Balls are better than your Swiss Balls

Rockin' Balls

Following my Physical Therapists advice I notified Mike that I was pretty limited in my leg exercises.  Apparently Mike took this on as a challenge to see just how hard he could make us work anyway.  Let me tell you it hurts to sneeze today so he accomplished his mission.

There I was 1 minute late to the gym (as was noted by the always punctual Heather) and we started foam rolling and Mike tells us we are going to work with the “Swiss balls”.  My thoughts are “that sounds like fun”, “great that will give me a good workout without risking my injured knees” and “I like balls”.  I guess I was right on certain points and not others.
It looks so easy...

We launched into a series of exercises that I call 
“How dumb can you look while trying to do something simple with a big inflatable ball?” 

Here is what we did:

  • “Sit on the ball and lift this weight” sounds simple enough until Heather loses her balance, I laugh at her and loose mine and we both have to start over.
    Heather's a dead bug
  • “Lift this ball with your feet and then move them up and down" aka windshield wipers.  This works out well until I lose my ball and it rolls into Heathers ball therefore distracting her and we had to start over.

  • “Act like a dead bug” (hold the ball between your arm and knee while ‘hovering’ the other arm and leg) works fine for the first 5 but we have to do 30… 3 times…

Solid Sideplanks

  • “Practice trying to close your legs while there’s balls  in the way” (hold the ball between your legs while you side plank).  Seeing as how I can hold side plank for as long as I can keep my legs closed (a full 10 seconds) this obviously went well for the 10 minutes it felt like we had to hold it for.
  • “Play catch with yourself” Sure I love any exercise where I get to lie on my back and play with myself but lying on your back lifting the ball with your legs and grabbing it with your arms is a sit-up without having to sit-up.  You can’t fool me so easily so I repeatedly threw my ball at Heather in protest as she dutifully completed her “not sit-ups”

Last but certainly not least (unless there are other ones I’ve blocked out):
Yes they were clean
  • “See if Heather wore clean socks" (Plank with a ball under your feet)  My plank looked spectacular the first time we did this.  I was all the way stretched out with my feet were on the ball and I was a long straight supported superhero.  I held it for a minute while assessing my manicure needs as distraction.  When we did this at the end of the workout I confidently rolled out to about my shins before losing my balance and falling off the ball with the grace of a drunken mountain goat.  I tried again this time stopping at my knees and slowly trying for a minute to convince myself that I could go further without falling.  I may have made it to my shins..

The one I blocked out
Then my favorite part of the workout:
  •  “Trick Heather into standing up”. While lying on the gym floor in exhaustion I rolled my ball at Heather (an attempt at a Swiss Ball high five) my ball veered off course toward the hulk on the rowing machine and Heather, using that same adrenaline that new mothers use when saving their babies, jumped up and saved the ball before it lead to my pummeling (or getting a dirty look). 

As I left the gym my thoughts were “that wasn't as much fun as I thought it would be", “what a good workout without my knees hurting” and “I like balls”.  As a special treat when I showed up at my physical therapists office the next morning he said "I think today we will try some things on the swiss ball"  I didn't punch him.  Only cause he has a pretty face not because he didn't have it coming.

  ~ Biz (the Serious one)

Me not distracting Heather at all....

Stand In: A flashback to my first session

I finally got rid of Heather!  Just kidding I love Heather but as she was out of town last week I seized the moment to torture another friend.  Shannon agreed to be my fill in training partner and check out what training is like.  It gave me flashbacks to my first few sessions and a lot of thoughts that I had back then.  So for my first blog I’m going to flashback to some notes I made after my first session.

“Today I had my first personal training session.  I was excited and a little nervous because I didn’t really know what to expect as I’d never really been to a personal trainer before.  Things went well and it made me recognize what the value of having a personal trainer will be.  I will have someone else telling me what to do and expecting me to do certain things which will make me push harder than I would push myself.  Those extra couple repetitions or extra couple pounds of weight could really make a difference.”  

“I think every exercise that we did today was something that I would never have come up with on my own.  We used a lot of different equipment (but not many machines) and had a lot of variety in exercises which I think will be good for me and keep me interested.  At one point he said something about us being almost done and I felt like I hadn’t been there very long so I was obviously into what we were doing and not counting time down on the clock.”

 “I feel like a lot of the session was spent on assessment and trying to figure out for both he and I what I can do and what my limits are for different things.  For example he asked me “how do you feel about box jumps?  Can you do 10 box jumps?” Well, I have no idea cause I've never done a box jump, it's probably something I can do but even if I can do it I don’t know how many.  It was like that with a lot of exercises.  I didn’t know if I could do it at all, how many I’d be able to do or how much weight I’d be able to do.  Mike was good at assessing and everything we did was pretty close to where I needed it to be. He started me a little easier which is fine with me because there was no defeating moments where I couldn’t do what I was asked to do and instead I got to do more.”

“I’m sore and I’m not really very excited about how I’m gonna feel tomorrow.  Overall I think a lot of today was about not knowing what to expect, being nervous, getting kind of over that and he and I trying to figure out where i’m at.  That will help us figure out where to go next.”

One of the hardest parts of personal training for me was getting over the fear of getting started.  The anxiety, nerves, self-doubt, fear of failure, etc. etc. etc.  By my third session or so I had dropped most of those and instead look forward to training days as the days that I do something good for myself.  Training is still hard but the fear and anxiety is gone.

My newbie Shannon handled the session like a Rock Star and by the end I was exhausted on the floor and she was still smiling.  As I was the first time I'm sore and tired but glad I take the time each week to go see Mike for my "me time" in the gym.