Personal Trainers are the topic du jour for Wednesday’s issue of the Perpetual Post.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: I have become increasingly suspicious of personal trainers in general, particularly since I took my new gym up on its offer of a free session with a personal trainer for new members.

The personal trainer who provided the free session seemed like a nice enough terrifyingly enormous muscle-bound man, but it was not long before I realized that we were at cross-purposes. You see, at the time I signed up for the free session, I was in fairly decent shape. Ok, I’ll level with you: I was in the best shape of my life. I had begun training to run a half-marathon. I was working out nearly every day, eating healthy meals and drinking lots of water. I had a confident spring in my step. All my pants fit. I was disgusting. I don’t know what I really expected the personal trainer to do when I swaggered into the gym for my free session. Perhaps I was hoping he would look me up and down and say, “There’s nothing for me to do here. Run along now, I don’t want to ruin a masterpiece.”

In any event, he did not do that. He suggested that I could stand to lose a few pounds. When I let him know that I did not in fact want to lose any weight, he changed tactics and told me that I could bring my BMI down by a few points in order to be healthier. When I shrugged, he took me out onto the weight room floor and had me do a few exercises. Possibly ‘a few’ is not the correct word; that man had me doing endless squats, repetitive arm exercises with heavy weights, and a multitude of sit-ups, all of which I accomplished with a certain amount of aplomb.

“I am doing pretty well!” I thought smugly in my head. “I don’t need a personal trainer!”

At the end of the session I received another Hard Sell. Personal training would help me achieve my fitness goals and enable me to attain the best possible physical shape. I should invest in at least one session a week for three months in order to see visible results, I owed it to myself to seek professional assistance in this area, etc. etc. I nodded and smiled and then skipped out of the gym, whistling.

The next morning, I ached ALL OVER. I felt like a punching bag. But I also felt duped.

“That guy WANTED me to wake up feeling like a ton of bricks,” I thought to myself. “Maybe he figured that if I woke up feeling like crap after just one personal training session, I would realize that I owed it to myself to seek professional assistance in this area.”

Well, his plan failed. In fact, it backfired, because I spent the day grumbling about how lousy I felt all because of that damned personal training session. “That guy thought he could show me I needed a personal trainer,” I thought. “Well, I’ll show him. I’m going to gradually lose focus and interest in working out, slack on my training and start eating badly. He’ll be sorry he ever tangled with me.”

And this is where I find myself today; bloated from excess salt intake, constantly forgetting my gym clothes at home on purpose, my pants once again too tight and my arms weak and noodly. Thanks for nothing, personal training.

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