A New Goal Takes Form

Fitness Model posing with dumbell. Photo by Gl...

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I did it. I got through my first real yoga class.  Not part of the beginners course, but an actual open-to-the-public yoga class!

It was long.  It was hard. It was sweaty. It was inspiring!

And no, I could not do any of the poses correctly. 

And no I still cannot touch my toes without bending my knees, or rest my chin on my shin.

Yes, I was shaking like a leaf for most of it.

But I’m getting there, only a couple of weeks in and my hamstrings are starting to give a little, my heels inching closer to the floor in my downward dog. After years of running, deadlifts (probably done incorrectly, I might add), hamstring curls, squats and some minimal, half-hearted stretching, I think I can finally see some promise that I may regain some flexibility.  Maybe then I will be ready to tackle another marathon training schedule.  No, I haven’t given up on the dream of New York, or Berlin, but after about a week of telling myself I don’t have to have done it all yesterday, I am beginning to feel calmer about shifting my focus to other things in the short term.

Plus after reading Julie’s blog today, I am feeling like I need to show a little more love to my own trainer whom I respect and trust, greatly.

Rob is extremely passionate about what he does, he is more dedicated to his clients than any other trainer I have ever had.  He is the only trainer I have ever had who regularly reminds us to keep a food diary.  He is certainly the only trainer I have ever had who has ever read my food diary (then provide feedback).  He is also the only trainer I have ever had who makes a point to ask me for feedback.  He also pulls no punches, if I walk in having completed all of my training that week and consuming the requisite protein and vegetables, he tells me I look good. If I look run down and tired, he says so.  If I put on a couple of kgs, he notices, and then follows it up with some motivational statement, promising me its a minor setback. 

Rob takes my training personally.  That is exactly what I want in a trainer, because that provides an additional emotional link between me and my training. My first link is my desire to reach my goal, and my belief that I can achieve it.  Secondly, I try to look at the big picture, to understand that this is a long term thing, as such there will be days/weeks/months when I fail, or move backwards or plateau but, in order to keep moving forward, I have to forgive myself if I fall off the wagon (as I did this weekend just gone), and tell myself I will try harder next time.

My emotional links to my training are what keep me motivated to continue training.

I am not a great sportsperson, I am not the fastest, nor the strongest nor the leanest, but I enjoy it and I hope that it shows.

So, at the risk of replacing the pressure of marathon running with another thing to stress about, and in light of my recent decision to focus more on yoga (and a couple of other motivating blogs such as this, this and this to put a rocket under me and set some goals)- I am going to couple this with a greater focus on strength training and my old fave HIIT.  The strength training should help the yoga, and the yoga should help prevent injury but the biggest change will be – a significant reduction in running. Not just because I had already decided to do this, but because Rob is dead against running.  He believes there are few forms of exercise that can cause greater injury, and he also believes I can achieve my aesthetic goals by not running (though, obviously not my marathon goals, or my sub 6 hour half ironman goals).  I have just waxed on about how much I trust and respect him, so, I’m going to show him the love in the best way a client can – follow his preferred training method!

Only I’m not going to tell him.  I think I’ll wait to see if he notices 😉


6 thoughts on “A New Goal Takes Form

  1. Hello, Serene. I love this post. Funny — just yesterday I returned to yoga (in my room) and I’m delighted, like I’ve come back home. I applaud you on your efforts, which are paying off beautifully. Your trainer, Rob, sounds absolutely wonderful. As you are well aware, you have found yourself a gem…. Glad Rob’s against running — gives me more reason not to sweat over having decided to discontinue it….but that does pose as a bummer with your running goals 😦 . Thanks for discovering me and for the wonderful insight and inspiration! P.S. Fab pic — Talk about inspiration!

    • Thanks Julie!
      Ah yes Rob is rather enthusiastic- sickeningly so sometimes but that’s what I need and he obviously enjoys barking orders! 🙂
      I’m so glad you are back to yoga, I’m really loving it.
      The running goals will keep for a while, I’m starting to learn that it doesn’t really matter what I do as long as Im enjoying it. I need to fill my days with more things that make me happy, so I feel less burdened by the things I have a true obligation to engage in.
      I’m very glad I discovered your blog!

      • “I’m starting to learn that it doesn’t really matter what I do as long as I’m enjoying it.” BINGO. I feel the same about your blog!

  2. big love for the mention…. needless to say, Julie is amazing and I completely agree with your assessment of her. As for your trainer…I like the fact he’s blunt and will tell you when he feels though you’re slipping. he reminds me of some of my high school coaches. They push you hard, they yell, scream, and blast you even when you’re doing osmething the right way…you hate them in those moments, but once you’re out performing, you love them for pushing you…for making you into the machine that you are now…


    • T — Getting back to the machine that I am and it’s feeling groovy. Thanks for the reminder! — and all the love. Ah yeah, and discovering the gem that is Serene.

      • Wow you have made me blush, thank you for the kind words!
        T- I don’t feel much like a machine today- but I guess it’s a work in progress! 🙂

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