I did it again. I signed up as a client-volunteer in the Kinesiology class PEKN 4P22 “Therapeutic Applications of Physical Activity” at Brock this winter term (see my post about my first experience here). My team of 5 personal trainers worked hard with me and they have now wrapped up all assignments. The 6 weeks of training (12 sessions in total) aimed at improving a number of things for me. This year, the team targeted improving my strength and balance as well as my cardio (although I was left on my own to work on this one). My flexibility was not to be improved since I can already fold into a pretzel to everyone’s amazement. Although this sounds like a good thing, it is a problem see my previous post on stretching here.
Last year I had learned that I was much better at many things than I had always assumed. This year’s experience also had its stock of surprises. First, I am amazed to find out that I am in the 90th percentile in my age group for strength. Who would have guessed? Not me. I always thought of myself as rather weak and last year I learned I was stronger than I thought. That made me think of myself as perhaps middle of the pack strong. To find out that I am as strong as I am is quite interesting and makes me really proud of myself and actually want to get even stronger. Can I get to the top? Let’s see about that! Perhaps I can now that I have learned how to breathe properly while lifting. My team did a good job of teaching me that.
I also rank as “very good” for muscular endurance although I did not improve on core strength as much as my trainer would have wanted. My bad for doing a circuit training with core exercises the day before my post-assessment. What I did dramatically improve over these 6 weeks though is my balance. They made me do all kinds of stability tricks on the Bosu ball and stability board. At first I could barely stand still a second. The progress I made was amazing. I even became comfortable doing the staggered stance on two Bosu balls: one foot on each and hold! Now close one eye, close the other, close both! Funny and challenging and hard but I managed to do it. I never thought I could achieve something like this.
So what have I learned this year? That I can do it. No matter how skeptical I am when introduced to something new, I can do it. I don’t like not being able to succeed right away but persisting leads to success. Improvement, even if small in some areas, shows that I can do it and that it is entirely worth it to try and push oneself.
I will continue working out on my own until the next iteration of the course. I will continue to integrate new things in my routine and feel good about myself. And knowing I am strong, I will get even stronger.
Christine is a feminist continental philosopher who lives with spouse and cat in the Niagara Region. Biking and training are favorite activities as is gourmet cooking and reading gore thrillers when she travels to conferences, taking a break from writing her monograph on Nietzsche.