Monday, April 19, 2010

Meet My Trainer

This is Alberto. He’s my personal trainer. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Alberto reminds me that he is not my friend. He invents new and creative ways to torture me. And every day, I’m thankful for it.

There was a time when I could not bend my knees. Imagine. I couldn’t put away cookware that went in the lower level cabinets - couldn’t pick up a piece of paper dropped on the floor, or bend to take a picture of my beautiful children. As my RA meds began to work (and Lord knows, there are many), my ability to use my joints again improved dramatically. Still, before I began training with Alberto, I could not do a free-standing squat. And now? I can do a one-legged squat. I can do weighted lunges. I can step up onto a bench that’s two feet off the ground. I may moan and groan – especially during the last set. But every day I thank God that I can do these things. I will never take it for granted. I know what it’s like when you can’t.

I sought Alberto as a trainer because a friend trained with him, and cut her clothing size in half. I learned that he was a physical therapist by profession, and that he specialized in sports rehab. I wondered if he would be able to transform me the way he did her – despite my RA.

Well, I’m still no supermodel – and probably never will be. But I can kick a bag at chest level 96 times without collapsing. I can do step-lunge combinations. I can put away all the pots and pans, pick up a piece of paper from the floor, and take pictures of my kids. I can even train to run a 5K. So thanks, Alberto. Because even though some people may not see what’s special about this, I consider it a miracle.

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