The thing about proper gym training is that the relationship you build with your trainer becomes so much more than that of a task manager. The thing about being with someone who really knows what they are doing is that at a certain point they know your body and its limits better than you do. Darrell stepped up our training by taking me to the area of the gym where the big boys train. That part that I dared not tread in the past as I felt this area was off limits to me. I am not sure if this is the former fatty talking or just someone who happens to have a vagina rather than a penis. But, there is something about the testosterone fuelled weight lifting floor that scared the hell out of me. But, full of excitement and a bag of nerves I followed Darrell into belly of the beast, also known as the body building floor.
Today we were going to do dead lifts. I was going to do deadlifts!! My form was good and I felt stronger than I ever had my whole life. That’s the thing about living in a fat suit, when you are in it though you are pushing every possible physical boundary with the sheer mass you are carrying you don’t feel strong. Quite the opposite, you feel weak and at the mercy of something you need for survival yet can’t control. So, this new feeling of strength was something almost spiritual. Having spent the better part of my life hiding my body the idea of lifting weights was a bit cathartic. The “big boy” room thick with testosterone and heaving with the kind of men that I feared would judge me actually respected my effort. It was another stamp to add to my “passport” of places I felt I was not allowed to enter as a fat girl. Whether societal or self-imposed there were just some things that were off limits to me in my old body.
But, this wasn’t all about my head. Under Darrell’s expert guidance my body so beaten and scared from weight loss and plastic surgery was toned and taut. The results were hard to dismiss and furthered my original hypothesis that it was all about excuses. Once the barriers were dropped and I really took on board what Darrell was teaching me I had complete faith in the process.
Since this was written Darrell has moved. What is a huge loss to me is a massive gain to clients in Leeds. Darrell is so much more than a trainer. He helped me in ways I could not have imagined. You see the last thing I had wanted in the beginning was a male trainer. Men in the gym generally had been something I tried to avoid at all costs. But, the idea of working one on one with a male PT was something of nightmares. It was my own jaded view of men in general I suppose, but in my mind they represented everything that kept me weak. These were the kind of guys that mooed at the 16 year old Melissa. I suppose I stereotyped all “fit” men in this way. But, Darrell changed all that. He showed me that my only limitations were self-imposed and anything was possible. He pushed me continuously and encouraged me to lift more and was always there to spot me when I needed it, whilst at the same time knowing when to hold back and let me take care of business. The sessions we had were about pushing the limits I had and helping me attain a strength I didn’t think possible. We had many a conversation that started with me saying “I want to be able to do Tough Mudder or I think I want to enter a charity boxing match or I want to be able to do pull ups unaided.” His reply was always “you can do it” “we can train for that”.
So, Darrell I can’t possibly thank you enough for what you have given me. You are a credit not only to your profession, but more importantly to your gender.
I will continue this journey with a new trainer. So, this is not over yet!
Watch this space…