“Let’s Go Ahead” – Getting Creative in a Fitness Desert
When strength training became part of my life two years ago, and I mean really a part of my life - like having that 3 pm caffeine hit even if it’s made by a bad barista – I needed to figure out how to incorporate it into vacation time or work travel. Sure, these are often times where I can’t go all out and am purposefully taking extra time to do things that don’t get daily (or even weekly) attention. But my muscles don’t know that and still crave attention, like toddlers who call out for love and care.
This weekend, I was at a writer’s conference. And all the spare time was used for, well, writing, talking about writing, and then more writing. But my body is not used to sitting still that much all day. I’m a teacher who is on her feet chasing 9-year-olds. I swim 3-5 hours a week. I run and row for another hour. And strength or core training is almost daily in one form or another – be it for 15 minutes or 90 minutes. I needed to get at least one good, solid workout in. (And the 2 inches of snow in Upstate New York wasn’t exactly conducive to a couple quick runs…)
Most conference centers have well-equipped fitness rooms but this weekend, I came face to face with one that posed a challenge. I entered a basement room with the sign reading “Fitness and Games.” Behind a pool table and up against the wall, I found a disorganized bunch of dumbbells thrown to the ground next to a slowly deflating Pilates ball – all squeezed in next to a ping pong table. There was barely room to even do a side lunge. This was one fitness desert.
But then I got excited! It’s an opportunity. I can work with this, somehow, I thought. Life is testing me to be my own trainer today. Then, on closer inspection, I saw that some key weights did not even come in pairs. There was a pair of 5s, a pair of 10s. No 12s. No 15s. A single 20. A single 25. A Pair of 35s. And so on. You get the gist.
This obstacle could have been a final excuse to walk away, to dampen my open-minded eagerness. But there is a wonderful quote from BKS Iyengar, lauded leader of Western yoga practice and pedagogy, that goes like this: “Sometimes the body says, ‘yes’ and the mind says, ‘Excuse me today.’ Sometimes the mind says, ‘Yes,’ and the body says, ‘Excuse Me.’ I always say, “Let us go ahead.’”
In this room, it seemed like the weights were saying “Excuse us today!” So, I said, “Let’s go ahead.”
I’d have to be truly intentional with the exercises I chose, given my materials. I pulled from routines I’ve followed with my coach, took ideas I got from a couple articles I read this week, and used a fitness app I had handy where I could record my activity. Here’s what I did.
First, I lined up the dumbbells so I could see exactly what was there and then I thought about exercises I could manage in a narrow, long space. And I pulled out a yoga mat to keep nearby for active rest and stretching.
I used to think I should take a break when I’m away – like, 100%. And this conference weekend was the ultimate test of that. But now I realize, that’s not necessary and it’s no fun. With fitness always in my life, I actually look forward to finding out how I’ll incorporate it away from the gym. It’s a time to be creative. And instead of making something out of nothing, it’s really about discovering what’ll work best with the options I find before me.
Written By: Daniele Sahr
Here are some of the main benefits you may wish to know:
– You no longer have to go into a gym. Lots of people don’t like gyms. They’re not always comfortable, welcoming environments. They’re not always conveniently located, either. Being able to train anywhere – in the comfort of your own home, for example – can be a big advantage.
– If you do go to a gym. I know many people who go to the gym and perform the same routine every week. Some people use the elliptical, some use the stairmaster, others do their usual bodybuilding routine. When you train with me online, you will have a program that you can follow with new exercises, new reps and tempos, and easy to follow instructions.
– Personality types. Because there are many personalities with different backgrounds, online personal training allows individuals to take advantage of their own mindset during training. Here are two examples I could quickly think of for a shy introvert person who would rather put on head phones, lower their cap and workout alone, or the outgoing social fitness enthusiast who loves to mingle and talk to everyone...well maybe not everyone.
For the shy person, this type of training allows you to follow a program using your phone without having to socialize (if you don't want to). It can be difficult to talk to people and by going to the gym ready with a program, your mind can be focused at your current tasks instead of the many people that could be around. On the contrary, because of your program, you may actually have some people come and to you to talk about your exercise routine. This could be a good thing if you are choosing to be more sociable. Yet, totally not necessary.
For the outgoing person, you can be sure to know that you are well prepared with a great program that you can talk about or keep to yourself. It also allows you to stay on track if you are a social butterfly who tends to socialize a little bit too much instead of working out. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it does give you some accountability and you could potentially finish your workout sooner.
Nonetheless, you can be sure that online personal training fits any personality type.
– Scheduling is a non-issue. For those of you who work regular hours, booking with a trainer from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. can be a headache. Additionally, a strict appointment time can put undue pressure on you. It’s frustrating to show up 5 or 10 minutes late for an appointment because of traffic and miss part of the workout that you paid for.
– Stronger accountability and support. Because I have more time, I can offer you better support. Additionally, I offer the benefits of an online community, where you can enjoy the support of other people who are all moving towards the same goal.
– More cost effective. In addition to paying a trainer for their time, you also have to pay for club overhead. You can get a better trainer at a fraction of the price by working with me online.
– Can now work with the best. Because the trainer can be anywhere, a client can now seek out and find “the best” trainer to work with. When my clients believe I'm “the best,” they’re more likely to trust the process, adhere to my program, and get better results.
– Free client app to track progress. A nice value-add for you is the ability to see stats, track progress, and communicate with me in real time.
– Loved ones can be taken care of. Unfortunately there’s a lot of variance in our industry and not all trainers are good. People can now refer those they care about to a great trainer (someone they trust and respect) because location is no longer a factor.
Written By: Coach Ozzie