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I used to laugh at forwards, until it happened to me… or the perils of exercise.





I hired a personal trainer.  I’ve been fairly active for the last two years, but kind of freely and sporadically, and I really wanted to step up my game, and get off the weight loss plateau I’ve been stuck on. What better way to achieve that, than to find yourself accountable to a well built man who will encourage you, motivate you, yell at you or give you advice as the situation requires, right?

So I had my first workout two Fridays ago. It was a full body workout, at about half capacity, so as not to cause undue damage to my lazy muscles. By the time it was done, I was drenched in sweat, red faced, absolutely fatigued, and could not raise a glass of water to my mouth. Still, I felt good and oh so virtuous as I limped home. And then my body rebelled in the most spectacular fashion.  I don’t know if it was hormones, age, if I’m simply far more optimistic about my physical fitness level, or what, but it was sad, funny, and painful at the same time.


My girl friend sent me one of those email chains about women and personal trainers. You know the one I mean:




This is dedicated to everyone who ever attempted to get into a regular workout routine:


Dear Diary,

For my birthday this year, I  purchased a week of personal training at the local health club.  Although I am still in great shape since being a high school football cheerleader 43 years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try.

I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer named Christo, who identified himself as a 26-year-old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear.

Friends seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started! The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.



Started my day at 6:00 am. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Christo waiting for me. He is something of a Greek god– with blond hair, dancing eyes, and a dazzling white smile.  Woo Hoo!!

Christo gave me a tour and showed me the machines.. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which he conducted his aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring!

Christo was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time he was around.

This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!!



I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Christo made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air then he put weights on it!  My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile.  His rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT!  It’s a whole new life for me.



The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it.  I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals.  Driving was OK as long as I didn’t try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot.

Christo was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. His voice is a little too perky for that early in the morning and when he scolds, he gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying.

My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Christo put me on the stair monster.  Why the hell would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators?  Christo told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life.  He said some other shit too.



Asshole was waiting for me with his vampire-like teeth exposed as his thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl.  I couldn’t help being a half an hour late– it took me that long to tie my shoes.

He took me to work out with dumbbells. When he was not looking, I ran and hid in the restroom.  He sent some skinny bitch to find me.

Then, as punishment, he put me on the rowing machine– which I sank.



I hate that bastard Christo more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anemic, anorexic, little aerobic instructor.  If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat him with it.

Christo wanted me to work on my triceps.  I don’t have any triceps! And if you don’t want dents in the floor, don’t hand me the damn barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich.

The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher.  Why couldn’t it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?



Satan left a message on my answering machine in his grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today.  Just hearing his voice made me want to smash the machine with my planner; however, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the Weather Channel..



I’m having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over.  I will also pray that next year my husband will choose a gift for me that is fun– like a root canal or a hysterectomy.  I still say if God had wanted me to bend over, he would have sprinkled the floor with diamonds!!!



And this was my reply to her – pardon the language, I was too sore to care.


I used to laugh at stuff like this until last Friday…


Friday – came home shaky and wiped out, and passed out until Saturday, no dinner, NOTHING.


Saturday – woke up in enormous pain. EVERYTHING hurt. A lot. Stairs were painful, sitting down was painful,  brushing teeth – painful.


Sunday – more pain. Popping advil, can’t put my hair in a hair tie – hurts too much. Asked James to wash my hair. Evening I said fuck it, and took methocarbomol with codeine – didn’t really help.


Monday – still can’t do ponytails. Called and cancelled Tuesday’s workout as I’m clearly not moving yet.


Tuesday – only the most persistent muscles hurt, the weird small ones that you didn’t know existed.


Today – residual pain around elbows and butt. Should be okay for Friday….





And this my friends is why I haven’t posted lately. It hurt too much to move my fingers.


PS – On a serious note, I’ve had a few workouts since, my recovery time is getting much better, my diet is inching closer to where it needs to be, and believe it or not, I’m having fun.




7 comments to I used to laugh at forwards, until it happened to me… or the perils of exercise.

  • jen

    Your prolonged pain probably means you did too much too soon. Whenever incorporating any sort of new workout or strength training, we have to slowly introduce our bodies to this change or we can end up injuring ourselves.

    I had to learn this the hard way last thursday when I tried out kettlebell training for the first time. I had never tried it before and the instructor insisted I use a certain weight and NO lighter (which I had a feeling was too much for me).

    I ended up having to book an appt with the chiro next day cause of my lack of mobility and experienced extreme pain of even sitting up right. The next day it got worse (I find muscle soreness peaks after 72 hours). Then my arms couldn’t fully straighten and my quads and glutes ached. I didn’t fully recover till a week later.

    In conclusion, the body needs time to adapt especially when working muscles we don’t normally work that hard. Plus I don’t think its an age thing, cause I’m still in my 20’s and the pain reduced me to feeling like a 90 year old.

    Anyway, thought I’d let you know you’re not alone in the suffering in working out. So glad to hear about your progress and that you’re enjoying it! 🙂

  • admin

    Oooh, I feel for ya – kettlebells can be brutally effective! And you’re absolutely right, I overdid it to the point of injury. The thing is, some of the exercises like an incline press – I only used 8 lbs! Didn’t think nothing of it. And the sorest muscles, my arms, we didn’t even train directly. They got injured just doing bench presses and rows. I was taken aback, but got through it by not moving for two days…

    I find soreness peaks around 48 hrs for me, by 72 it was easing a bit, and luckily I didn’t need to see chiro or massage, but lesson was learned for sure. I totally understand about arms not straightening – it sucks, and I’m glad you didn’t have a more serious situation. And in a way, I’m glad I’m not alone in my pain 🙂 actually my massage therapist also injured his quads doing an ambitious hill climb. So quite a few people had a rough week there.

    And isn’t it funny, how no matter how fit and trained you are, the minute you try something new, the body acts all surprised, like it’s never used the back muscles before, nope, no way. In a way it’s good for not plateauing, but in a way it’s easy to get injured as you expect to carry over fitness levels from one thing to the next.

  • jen

    It is funny isn’t it, muscles that I think I use all the time when running and clearly are NOT as strong as I think when it comes to weight training, even with small weights.

    Even hurting something seemingly as insignificant as one of your baby toes on one foot (damn those new high heels) has such a big impact on our daily functions.

    Live and learn I guess 🙂

  • Ha ha…I loved ‘A WOMAN’S WEEK AT THE GYM’! I’ve actually never run across it.

    Getting into a regular routine can be tough, but it is well worth it. Now that I’m in my 40s, I find that exercising is a must. It makes me feel great, and keeps my body strong.

    I’m glad to see that you are feeling better and having fun. You pushed a little too hard in the beginning, but it gets better. Enjoy!

  • admin

    @Jen – new shoes can cause the worst kind of pain! I’ve been hobbled more than once for my vanity. Live and learn indeed!

    @Martha – glad you got a kick out of that, I’ve seen it before, but have never felt it so viscerally… I’d love to learn more about your workouts – what’s your routine like? I do indeed think it’s necessary as we go through life, my desk job does not afford much opportunity to move, and my lifestyle is usually not nearly active enough, so I get inspired by other people’s activities.

  • I had a trainer a couple years ago and loved it! Once I lose some pounds, I’m going to do it again.

  • admin

    @Teena – awesome! They sure are great, I haven’t had one before, but am loving it – I work out much harder when someone’s there.

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