When I got off work I rushed home and changed into some comfortable workout clothes.  Not too short, not too tight, I didn’t want to worry about feeling self-conscious in addition to a rigorous new workout.  Sometimes I’m late when I’m meeting my Gym Cousin but, since I’m paying for a personal training session, I knew that I shouldn’t be late.  My low gas light in my truck popped on at lunch time, but I figured I had enough gas to hold me over until after I finished working out.  The gym is only a few minutes from my house, so in my quest not to be late, I decided to risk it.

I made it to the gym without running out of fuel, but the parking lot was a battle zone because it’s shared with so many other restaurants and businesses.  This other car looked as if it wanted to zoom into the spot I had been waiting for.  Thankfully, they didn’t steal my spot. I was about ready to start my boxing warm-up routine before I even made it inside the gym.  I decided put the “crazy road rage lady” back in the box and made it into the gym two minutes before my 6 PM appointment.  To my surprise, as much as I like my trainer, I couldn’t really remember what he looked like.  That’s crazy, right? I had a whole session with him.  I saw a few people that I knew definitely were not him, but I didn’t see anybody that I was certain was him.  I asked the guy at the front desk for Dan and he pointed him out and told me that he was finishing up with a client. He was one trainer that I had mentally marked as a “maybe that’s him.”  I walked on the treadmill for a few minutes and then Dan was ready.

He said “Okay let’s go outside!”

“Outside?” I asked surprised. “Yeah come on,” he said as he waved me toward the door.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but we went to a section of the parking lot that wasn’t a war zone.  I did running sprints from one end to the other.  Between each sprint I had to do 10 toe touches and reach up toward the sky.  I was so winded after just a few minutes of this warm up.  We climbed the stairs back to the gym. I did arm and shoulder presses with the free weights and bars. I don’t even know if that’s what they’re called “bars?” The metal poles with the weights on each end.

For most of them he had me do three sets of 10. It was tough, but doable. Then we moved to the floor for core strengthening exercises. These are pretty hard.  He’s a super nice guy but I was getting a little tired of him and his 30 second count downs  at this point. He told me it will be all worth it and that I was losing inches around my waist, and burning fat with the core exercises I was doing at the time. He even said it would improve my posture and make me look taller! Well, that motivated this short 5’3 girl. I jokingly told Dan that I had better be tall and skinny by the time he finishes with me.  When I was tired and out of breath he just stood there patiently and waited. You don’t get to quit and go home when someone just waits for you to catch your breath to start up again.  Last and certainly not least it was time for cardio. I thought that meant jumping on the treadmill. Nope. I had a 30 pound bar I had to raise above my head and a 30 pound ball I had to lift up and throw down. He looked at me and said it didn’t look like I was sweating enough. “What?!”  My T-shirt was wet, I could feel it clinging to me. I told him “next time I won’t wipe it so you can see it, trust me I’m sweating.” The 30 pound lifts and squats were followed by boxing and hitting his hands.  Dan is a real easy-going guy, he told me all the sessions would be like this and he reassured me that he would never yell at me.   His approach is more support and encouragement.

After the workout we sat down at the table and he asked what I had for breakfast. I told him I had chicken sausage, two eggs, and a protein shake with fresh fruit. He was thrilled that I was eating a bigger breakfast, more along the lines of his recommendations.  I confessed, “Well, unfortunately lunch was not so good, I had McDon—“ He cut me off before I could finish, he said it didn’t matter, we’re focusing on breakfast. I said “but no, you don’t understand I had French fr—“  He cut me off again, were focusing on breakfast I asked you to focus on breakfast, and you’re focusing on breakfast.  Breakfast was good today, great job, one step at time.  Wow, he makes it so doable. Here I am worried about a freaking fries instead of celebrating that I’ve been able to drastically change my views on breakfast and even implemented them on most days.  I can’t wait to see results!


  1. That sounds harder than Insanity!

  2. Reading this post about your personal trainer almost made me cry! I have been working with my personal trainer for about 14 months now and Dan sounds a lot like him. Jayson has been challenging and encouraging me all the way. I love what Dan said about ‘focusing on breakfast’! Celebrate the victory!! I weighed 258 lbs when I began and was diabetic. I am now at 205 lbs and blood sugar is now normal. I decided to train for a 5K and found your podcasts. I absolutely love them! and I love your story. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. You are a blessing and an encouragement. I am excited to spend the next 9 weeks with you (via your podcasts)

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