New Day, New Trainer

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So I’m finding that I go through personal trainers faster than I go through dance instructors. I’m not really sure how the whole process works. I know that we outsourced the staffing of the fitness center to another company and that makes sense because we certainly aren’t the experts in personal trainers. They have a couple of people who seem to be on staff and basically permanently assigned to our facility but they seem to bring in others just to teach classes or to do training. My trainer on Friday talks about working at other places so maybe those people just float around to wherever they are needed.

I got an email about 30 minutes before my session telling me I’d be working with a new trainer they just hired. The good news is that I gave my story to the one trainer and she passed it on. It saves me from having to discuss goals and limitations (stupid knees). Again, I’m not the person looking to bulk up and wanting super intense workouts. The good news is that most of these people get that. In a corporate environment, you are going to see all kinds so I suppose you have to be able to deal with people at all levels.

The funny thing about our fitness center is that it was the one thing that kept popping up on employee surveys about what people really wanted. And when they had an opportunity to build one from the ground up, they must have had a huge budget given all the equipment we have. I know it is sort of busy early in the morning and at lunch – I don’t stick around to see if it gets busy after work but I just don’t see a lot of people taking advantage of it. Of course, our workplace doesn’t exactly encourage it so that’s probably one reason.

I have found that having sessions with a personal trainer is a pretty strong incentive to get myself over to the fitness center. You pay a monthly fee to belong but you pay extra for training (but it is heavily subsidized so it is cheap). Just knowing you’ve already spent money is a pretty strong incentive to get to the sessions. Oh, work intrudes every now and then but, for the most part, the meetings are kept at bay and I get the opportunity to go work out.

It is always interesting when they find out that I’m a ballroom dancer. I think they are probably used to all kinds of athletic goals but not so familiar with dancing. It really probably isn’t that much different – you kind of need to work on everything.

You might be asking whether you really need to be an athlete to be a dancer and the answer is no. If you’ve been to a Famous Franchise studio, the crowd is going to skew older and, at least in our part of the country, there are lots of people who are looking to dance because they want some kind of exercise and dance is a way of doing something together. So we’ve got a lot of non athletic types and they can dance just fine.

But ballroom is a journey of continuous improvement. There is always something that can be done better. There is always something that can be improved and a new and better way of doing things. As the saying goes, you have to crawl before you can walk and you typically have to show some mastery before they start moving on to bigger and better things. I mean if your frame is always a mess because you lack the strength to hold it up, then that is always going to be an area of focus.

And that also depends on your own personal situation and goals. The couples who are just looking to have a good time and be able to move around the dance floor without falling down aren’t going to need as much as someone who wants to compete. Or someone like me who has set a pretty high standard for myself even though I don’t compete that often. I still have it in me to want to be the best I can and to continue to improve. So the workouts help me get there.

I was going to mention one thing we did which had a name but I can’t remember it. She put a foam roller on the floor and I stood on one side and lifted the leg nearest it – bending at the knee. Then I had to step over the foam roller with the lifted leg and bring the other leg up to the lifted position. Back and forth over the foam roller for 10 on each side. Lots of balance and ankle work but I also was able to tie it to dancing. To make it work, you really had to be grounded in the plant foot. So the step over required landing on the foot and getting weight into it to be able to balance as I brought the second leg over and into the lifted position. I have a tendency at times to be split weight when I shouldn’t be and this was a nice reinforcement of committing to a given leg.

Tonight I have my first lesson of 2019. Not sure what we will work on but I’m sure it will provide a story or two.

2 comments

  1. I’ve joined a gym just for the treadmills, but I’m about to start paying for a trainer too. I hope you like your new trainer!

    And, for the record: I think dancers are athletes. I’ve seen dancers do stuff that Lebron James couldn’t do. Ballroom dancers have to have some serious core strength to look as graceful as they do. So you are an athlete in my opinion

    1. She was a little hardcore but pretty cool. I also like working with trainers because they focus on the correct technique which keeps me from hurting myself. Hope you find a good one!

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