My first meeting with a personal trainer went like this:
Amanda (a 20-something perky girl:) Now I will assess you. [measures, tests, interprets] You are in poor condition.
Me (a basketcase, of late:) OK. [fights back tears. loses fight.]
Amanda: What's wrong? Do you want to talk about it? Ignore it's happening and move on?
Me: [chokes out] It's something I know, it's just hard to hear reality. Plus, I'm being treated for high anxiety and depression now so this crying happens a lot, and now I'm embarassed.
Amanda: Don't be embarassed. Sometimes in my client's sessions people lose it and I become trainer/therapist.
Me: Well, I have a therapist, so there's no need for that. I think.
Afterwards I thought GREAT. Now I'm "the basketcase client." But then I replaced that thinking with "Fuck you, nobody-in-particular, at least I went through with it instead of sitting on my couch with a pint of ice cream and a giant spoon."
My second meeting with the personal trainer (a session with her is a fraction of the cost of a massage, and less than a mani-pedi) went like this:
Amanda: Get on this machine. Go. You can do better. Get on that machine. You can go faster.
Me: I just got to the point where I can go at this speed. You can't make me run, I tell you, I won't run yet!
Amanda: Lift this heavy ball and twist and squat and lunge and squeeze..... now 20 jumping jacks! Go!
Me, doing jumping jacks in the middle of the gym's freeweight area full of guys lifting things up and putting them down. I hadn't done jumping jacks in 10 years. Bouncing hair, bouncing boobs, afraid I'm going to pee myself a little. Girls over 40, you know what I'm talking about. I start to fight back tears while jumping. Aaaaaaand lost the fight again. COME ON!
One of my friends told me that working with a personal trainer can be very emotional. It's more than just "grab this giant ball and do something weird with it to work your abs." It's personal. All of my weaknesses were on display.
The funny thing was I didn't care what other people in the gym thought of my moves or my jiggly Jell-o butt. I wasn't embarrassed by that. I was distraught by feeling dizzy, which is a side effect of one of the drugs I'm experimenting with. I was upset by feeling like I physically couldn't do what I could do 10 years ago, even though mentally I know I have it in me.
But most of the feelings weren't pathetic.
It was almost impossible to think of anything else for a whole hour. An hour of twisting with medicine balls and doing push-ups in a circuit with Amanda alongside me teaching and correcting and encouraging me, as we try to strengthen my core. I'm following doctor's orders, it's not just for my physical core, it's for the core of my whole being.
That's why I'll go back. Even though, she said as I was leaving, "I didn't work you that hard today. It'll get harder."