I have got to come up with a short title. As you may know, I’ve been saving up and hiring a personal trainer to help me work out in an attempt to get a superhero body in time for a comic convention in November. This past week I’ve been on my own and I’ve been working really hard! Here’s my weekly (maybe weekly) update on my personal training mission!

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Coming into the gym is scary. Everyone looks like they know what they’re doing. It’s funny because as soon as I walk out I see how things are divided. Women are running on the treadmills, or using the bike machines, or in the studio room doing yoga. Men are at the weights section lifting stuff, or pulling stuff or pushing stuff. That’s the section I have to be at, the lifting and the pushing. I’m shorter thane everyone there by about a head and broad, muscular shoulders. I see this one guy and he has more muscles on one arm than I have my entire body. I’m sweating, but it’s ok because everyone’s sweating, just for different reasons.

I go over to where there are those bars and benches. I don’t know what they’re actually called. All the benches are taken up and guys are pressing what looks to be my weight in weights. It’s crazy. I go over to the circular weights and pick up a 15kg one. It’s round and bigger than my face. Then I move to a clear area of the floor. I put the weight on the ground, take up the squat position and lift it up. First i lift it to my chest, then I lift it above my heads. 15kg doesn’t sound like much, but I thought it was really heavy. I concentrated on keeping my back straight and lifting with my legs. Back down to my chest, then I place it on the floor again. It’s really important that I do this all in the same way I would do a squat. I can almost hear my trainer saying “Squeeze your bum Harriet! You’re not squeezing!”. I do 10 of these then put the weight down. I rest and drink some water.

Next are the lunges. Now I feel really silly being in the midst of everyone lifting weights, and I’m just lunging. Lunges are harder than I remember at school. I was told “Take a big step. If you think you’ve stepped too far, you’ve probably just stepped about right. And don’t forget to squeeze your bum.” I don’t know why I don’t just keep my bum squeezed at all times, that seems to be the whole jist of things. I never thought lunges would be hard, but I do 10 lunges each leg and it’s not easy by the 10th one. Another minute rest and I pick up the weights and do the ground to over-head lifts again.

Basically I alternate between the lifts and the lunges so that I do each three times, lifting or lunging ten times. I’m sure the trainer calls them reps or sets or something, but I can’t remember which. I have to save up so I can do another session with him next week, and he can remind me. After I finish the sets of those, I move onto doing pushups. I still can’t do a full pushup, and so I use one of the blocks so I’m not completely flat on the ground. I can only do 5 of these before I want to cry. I stop after five and then do 10 step ups on the same block, ten per leg. Then pack to pushups. The step ups.

By this point, I’ve drank half my water bottle, and it’s turned straight into sweat which has drenched me. I’m pink in the face and my body is going “Nooooo!” So I do the easy thing. Sit ups. Sit ups are easy, but I do 60 of them. By the time I hit 40, it hurts. At 50 I’m really struggling and when I do the 60th one, I fall backwards, on my back panting. It’s painful But I’m glad I didn’t give up. 60 is really pushing it for me at the moment but I hope to get to the point where I can 100! Finally I decide to do hip lifts before finishing up. This is where I rest my shoulders on the bench, have my legs out in front of me, put some weights on my lower stomach, dip so my bum nearly touches the ground, then lift up, lifting my hips has high as I can. Obviously I’m squeezing my bum. I do only 10 of these, because I get  a lot of weird looks, I think it’s the most embarrassing exercise to do!

I call it a day, and I feel proud of myself. I’m sure my trainer will tell me I’ve done a good job. When I get to the changing room I notice I don’t actually look any different. It’s tough to stay motivated but I think I can do it! I hope you’ll all keep supporting me on my personal training mission!