By the time I finally met my first Better Living personal trainer I was on the verge of giving up on fitness again; this time, possibly, forever.
Two months before I'd fallen off my bike, hyper-extending my knee in the process. I was barely able to climb a flight of stairs, and was resigned to the idea that a cane, walker, or possibly even a wheelchair would be in my future by the time my sixties rolled around.
I was fifty-one, and I was tired of banging my head against the brick wall of trying to get and stay in shape.Even growing up, I'd thought that true physical fitness was probably beyond my reach. As a child I was both asthmatic and clumsy to the point that the other kids didn't just pick me last for teams during gym; they fought over who would have to take me!
As an adult I'd occasionally decide to try to get into shape, but generally with the same results: one or two dozen trips to a gym, an inevitable injury, and back I'd go to my “fat clothes” and totally sedentary lifestyle.
Or, on the occasions when I tried fitness classes, being unable to keep up left me feeling so self-conscious and inadequate that my first class was always my last.
In my forties I discovered martial arts and finally found a physical activity that gave me real joy – but the injuries (inside and outside the school) piled up to the point that my opponents had to help me off the ground after sparring with me.
With all of those disappointments behind me, I honestly didn't expect much from training with Better Living. At most, I thought, I might lose a few pounds and put off the day my knees would need replacing by a year or two.
Was I ever in for a surprise! Today, I can get up off the ground not only without assistance, but without using my hands. I can walk for miles without feeling sore or stiff the next day, picking up thirty-five pound bags of litter for my two cats is easy, and in February I attended a convention where I was on the dance floor for four straight hours.My legs will press over 200 pounds, I can bench press fifty-five pounds without help, and even the exercise I dread the most – lunges – are well within my reach. I'm over ten pounds lighter, too.
I've stopped worrying about needing a cane or a wheelchair or having knee surgery in my sixties. Instead, I'm planning on doing my own grocery shopping, and cleaning my own home, and hitting the dance floor, well into my nineties and beyond.
Better Living has worked for me because every Better Living personal trainer emphasizes proper form – and proper form while exercising doesn't just prevent injuries, it helps heal them.
Not only that, but Better Living is a friendly community of people who support and encourage each other. I couldn't keep up during my first Full-Body Fit session, but it didn't matter – Mark and the other exercisers helped me without making me feel the least self-conscious, and now I offer that same support to every new person who joins us.
Today, thanks to Better Living Fitness, I have solid and lasting confidence in my body for the first time in my life.