One day while talking to a friend (and secretly admiring her amazingly toned and athletic body - in a non-creepy way of course!), the topic of conversation worked it's way around to exercise (go figure!). I told her my woes about how disgusted I was with my perpetual laziness and that I needed someone to kick my ass back into shape Jillian Michaels style. She then told me about a personal training gym that she and her husband (a Brazilian jui-jitsu guy) had frequented and that she had just blogged about a week or two before. It sounded intriguing and so upon arriving home that afternoon, I went straight to the computer to look up her blog. The gym ,called SVPT, looked really different than any gym I had been to before. It emphasized strong and athletic lifestyles, simple yet effective exercises combined with conditioning (what's conditioning you ask?, I'll get to that in just a little bit). I decided this was the place for me and sent an email off to book a consult.
The following week on the morning of my consult I walked into SVPT. I didn't know what to expect walking through the doors and was a little nervous. As I walked in I was greeted by a young woman with a kind smile and bubbly personality. She introduced herself as Erika and informed me that she would be my trainer. We spent the next hour going over my medical history, lifestyle, diet, injuries, etc in detail. This woman now knew my life history, so I was committed. She then took me on a tour of the facility. This was were the second guessing began. As I walked past the gigantic wall filled with pictures of MMA fighters, girl boxers, and elite athletes standing beside Shara Vigeant (the owner and namesake of SVPT), I wondered if I was in over my head. I was not, after all, an "athlete". Heck I wasn't even that active. We continued into the main workout area and this is where the top of my head blew off! As Erika talked about the facility showing me a variety of torture devices with names like "the sled" (more on that later), and the versiclimber (that too), and kettle bells (well, you get the picture), I started to sweat. What the flipity-flap was I thinking! I couldn't do this! No way! I AM NOT STRONG! But I had signed the paper work, and paid the lady so I had to at least try.
THE FIRST SESSION AKA - SLED DAY
I had pumped myself up in the car on the way to SVPT with my best pump-up music (Pharell's Come Get it Bae, Hedley's I Can Do Anything, and Fitz and the Tantrum's The Walker) and was ready for the first day. Erika started out with simple exercises checking to see my range of movement, coordination and general strength. 45 minutes in I was feeling pretty good, and then she took me over to THE SLED. For those of you who are not familiar with THE SLED, it is a rectangular shaped device with 4 poles coming up out of it and as the name depicts, sled skis on the bottom. You may know it as the training device that football players push, or pull across the field (and make it look easy, I might add). Erika explained to me that I would simply need to push this sled topped with some weight to the wall (way down there on the other side of the gym) and back several times. But I would get to rest in between sets so no big deal right? This, by the way, is called conditioning. Spurts of intense exercise repeated several times. Or as I like to call it - HELL. The first time there and back was hard but not terrible, the second I started to feel short of breath and my quads burned like a mother, the third I felt like an asthmatic 80 year old, and on the fourth I think I died and came back to life, barely. By the end I could not only not catch my breath, but I also felt like barfing and fainting all at the same time. And these feelings continued on for another half hour! At one point while I was slumped on the floor with my head between my legs Shara came by to see if I was ok. All Erika had to say was "It was sled day" and Shara understood. Now don't let this freak you out, I have since become friends with the sled and now almost look forward to it. You see the biggest thing I have learned from my time at SVPT is that I can do anything. It may take a while, it may be incredibly hard, I may want to quit, barf, faint, scream, but if I persist, push through it, I will do it. And I will surprise myself every time.
When I first started on that day several months ago I was weak and frustrated, and had no faith in myself. Now I leave the house excited to train, my husband calling "have fun sledding!" to me as I head out the door. Now I go into my sessions with Erika happy and excited to see what challenge I can overcome that day. I have gone from terrible form and low weights, I'm talking 3 - 5lb weights to 60lb plus weights. I can now push the sled there and back 1 time loaded with 360lbs! Or several times there and back with 160 and then add in farmers carries with 80lbs into the mix. My attitude has changed, I am much happier and my family, especially my husband, are loving the changes!
Please don't take this as bragging, it's not, I'm just so dang excited! And what I'm saying is that SVPT and Erika have given me a very important gift, possibly the most important gift I could ever be given. The gift of empowerment and self confidence. To be able to know that I am strong, to know that I can overcome obstacles, and that if I put my mind to it, and break down all the walls of self doubt, the possibilities are endless. I am excited to see what comes next! Until next time...
My personal favourite rules: Number 4 "Everyone pushes sled, everyone"
and Number 20 "Be positive, it's easier to be awesome"
If you think it looks easy, try pushing and then let's talk.