Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Irritating trainer

I recently had some sessions with a corrective trainer at the gym.  It's been three weeks since my last session, but I am still irritated.

I signed up for the discount priced 5 sessions because I was convinced she could show me how to alleviate the considerable pain in my neck and the worrisome weakness in my right knee.  And she did.  Within the first 2 sessions.  And for that, I thank her.

What I do not thank her for is the disparaging and condescending attitude she had.  My next three sessions were spent listening to her diss the fitness choices I've made.

When I rejoined the gym in February, I was evaluated by a trainer who felt I was pretty strong and very determined. 

Cut to 7 months later and this trainer tells me it's a miracle that I can make it through one Body Combat class, much less the 4 classes a week that I take.  Apparently, I am a walking disaster despite working out. 

I pointed out that I enjoy the classes and they keep me motivated.  Her response?  She said a trainer could keep me motivated. When I replied I cannot afford a trainer, she suggested I hire a trainer for twice a month.

Now, in what world does a trainer twice a month equal the motivation of a class taken 4 times a week?  I pointed out - again - that I enjoy the Combat classes and the cardio has decreased my blood pressure and cholesterol. 

She actually shrugged and told me that eating right would solve my cholesterol problem.  Which is contrary to what my doctor told me. I didn't bother to point out that the foods she was suggesting I eat are migraine triggers. 

As for my cardio requirements, she suggested the stair stepper, which has to be the most boring, painful exercise device ever created! 

Many of her statements are suspect because I know differently. 

As in, Body Pump does not work the triceps.  Fact, each time I’ve taken the class, there has been a triceps track.  I agree that it is possible to injure yourself.  But there is just as much possibility when doing exercises on the machines or the floor without trainer supervision. 

As in, the calorie burning benefits of Body Combat expire immediately after the class ends. Fact, I read a recent study that states otherwise.

As in, the classes work the same muscles every time.  Fact, the classes change quarterly.  The tracks are varied to work both arms and legs.  The instructors modify the classes weekly.  These classes are much more varied than working a routine on the machines without a trainer.

Even after I made it clear I would not be buying more training sessions, she denigrated the Les Mills Body Combat, Body Attack, and Body Pump classes as being hard on the joints and bad for you.  She grudgingly admitted that RPM and Body Flow were "okay".

Mind you, this is a trainer who works in a gym featuring the Les Mills classes.  A gym that spends considerable time and money preparing and promoting those classes. 

I know personal trainer have a bias against fitness classes, but this left a bad aftertaste.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Home repair misadventure

So, I was sitting at my desk in the loft on a telework day and the broken window blinds started bothering me.  One string had broken and the slats listed drunkenly on the right.  I keep forgetting to check from outside, but I imagine it isn't an attractive look.

Let me set the scene first.  The window is fronted by a custom made counter just shy of 3 feet high with drawers underneath and bookshelves on either side of the window.  The counter covers the bottom 8 inches of the window.  The bookshelves overlap the window by 6 inches on either side.  So the blinds are a bit boxed in.  Add to that the 1993 Magnavox television sitting on top of the counter in front of the window.

Now.  The blind damage isn't recent.  The string has been broken for a few weeks.  But today I decided to remove them, figuring no blinds would look better than defective blinds.  I got a folding chair and used it to step up onto the counter to reach the blinds.  I was standing on the counter with a foot on either side of the television.  I had a little trouble getting the blind latches loose, but I finally managed.

While trying to maneuver the blinds from behind the bookshelves, I pulled on them.  The blinds came from behind the shelving more suddenly than I expected.  I slipped off the counter, missed the chair and landed on my butt on the floor.  Unhurt.  Empty-handed.

The blinds ended up on the floor next to me, scattering a thick cloud of dust and broken plastic parts all over the loft.  And the TV fell face down on the floor.  It fell slowly and may have been deflected by my body.  Nonetheless, it ended up on the floor.

I vacuumed and dusted off the fallout.  I threw the blinds away.  Also the folding chair was damaged, torn and bent. Either the television or I must have hit it. So the chair went into the garbage as well. 

The TV.  Well, that was a problem.  It’s a large CRT television.  Weight alone probably wouldn’t be a problem, but weight and bulk is.  I couldn't lift it from floor to counter.  I thought maybe I could raise it in stages.  First I moved it to a foot stool about 14" high.  And took a break, partly because I was winded and partly because I was due at the vet.

The vet took longer than I anticipated and I was annoyed.  The annoyance seemed to give me strength.  I got home and tried to move the TV to stage two, an armed chair 2 feet high.

I only got it partway onto the chair.  As I was standing there holding the TV to keep it from slipping off its precarious, partial hold on the chair, I managed to muscle it onto the counter.  Whew! 

Not brave enough to try the television yet, I had a sandwich out on the patio. Courage and energy restored, I came back to the loft and turned on the TV.

And it worked!  A 3 foot drop and it still works!