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My Experience as a Personal Training Client: I Met My Fitspiration!

FitspirationThey say people come into your life at the right time, and I’ve definitely learned that to be true. I suffered a hamstring and meniscus injury at the beginning of the year and was down about myself. My fit friend was down for the count from an injury and surgery as well. For me, I perform best when surrounded by motivation. I love working out with friends, and I leaned on her the most for support and empowerment. So when we both went down, I felt like the gym became foreign. I would walk in and look around, not knowing what I could do — and then duck out of there pretty quickly. Like I said, it was foreign.

For a long time, spinning and running were taken away from me. I called it “taken away” because the physical therapist told me it was best to take time away and so for that, it was stolen. I needed to find a new release. I’m a runner with a triathlon under my belt. I train on three things: the treadmill, the bike and the pool. And yes, you probably just figured out how I injured myself: over performance and not enough change. Unless I was in a Fusion class, I didn’t spend a lot of time focusing on my upper body. The most focus it received was carrying a 30-pound toddler daily. Isn’t that enough?

So during my injury, I was restricted to upper-body work. Another fit friend of mine invited me to try a bootcamp class at Prairie Life Fitness. Of course I went in hesitant and told the instructor, Sarah Gronborg, about my injury and restrictions per the physical therapist. I was a challenge she was willing and ready to accept. The first few weeks she kept me restricted; a lot of my moves were done completely modified and sometimes I was sitting on a bench while others in class were about to pass out from 100 burpees (yes I said 100 — she’s nuts!). I felt very negative, so much so that I had a few tearful breakdowns in private. I was struggling with how far I had come post baby to where I was now. I had worked so hard to get my strength back just to feel like I was losing it again. I kept this to myself for quite a bit; I didn’t want to scare Sarah off.

Several weeks turned into two months, the entire time doing modified exercises, but each week we would add something new to focus on strengthening my injured leg. As my injury began to dwindle and become old news, I started feeling more empowered.

I fell in love with Sarah’s training style and positive energy, so we took the relationship to another level. One-on-one training! Everything about my time with Sarah is positive. If I can’t do the weight, there’s no shame. It becomes a goal moving forward. I went from doing bicep curls with 10-pound weights sitting down to sumo squatting 95 pounds. Yes, it seems like a lot, but it’s been a long time coming. Sarah impresses me every time we are together. Her level of expertise always amazes me, but what draws me in the most is how much she cares. She is kind, no matter how mean she can be with her workouts! Her positive encouragement is what keeps me going. She never compares me, she just pushes me; she’s always pointing out my strengths, never my weakness.

From my time with her I’ve learned so much about myself, beyond weight lifting. I’ve learned to love myself and to take notice in what my body has done for me. She makes sure to remind me what we just did; whether it’s a back and shoulder burnout or leg day (ugh, I really don’t enjoy leg day!), she always reminds me when I tried something new that day.

So this is a little note to say thank you to someone who went from a complete stranger to a fitspiration in my life. Next time any of you see me walking away, be sure to notice my booty by Sarah!

Have you had a fitness inspiration enter your life at just the right time? —Jennifer

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