How Robyn used the accountability of a coach to help her create a set of healthy habits.
Why did you initially start exercising?
I’ve always been active but I realized 4 years ago that I wanted to do a little bit more. People at the office were doing different things on their lunch hour and I wanted to join too, so I tried a few types of programs like yoga, pilates, and other group workouts. Over time I found that I wasn’t motivated to attend these group sessions so I decided to try a smaller studio with a personal trainer. That’s how I came to start working with Alive & Well.
What were your goals for working with a personal trainer?
I was hoping to mainly focus on core strength, muscle strength and endurance. I had a nice conversation with Janet before I got started; I met up with her and we spoke about some of the things I’d like to change and I told her I wanted to start what I call my “training for old age”.
What were your biggest concerns prior to exercising more?
The biggest barrier for me was definitely the commitment. I’m not completely self-motivated when it comes to exercise programs – whether it’s yoga, pilates, barre – any of those types of programs. I’ve always been athletic and done a lot of paddling and swimming, but I really wanted to focus more on my strength and balance and I needed somebody to sort of hold my hand to make sure I got it done.
How has Alive & Well helped you to overcome these barriers?
Right off, after chatting with Janet and then getting involved in the studio, it was clear that the trainers I was working with were really engaged in what I had to say. It didn’t matter my age or my abilities, they were really confident in what they were doing and they knew they could help me to manage my journey through this.
They were also really good at asking questions and knowing how to move forward from there. They knew what I needed to get past a certain wall or barrier that would come up, and that was really very helpful. I find the people in the studio to be really supportive and there’s no judgement!
How did you get to the point of being so consistent today?
I think it really is a result of, not only my own commitment, but a commitment to Alive & Well also. What started as a way to able to say “yes, I’m doing it” (as I knew that next time I saw my trainer they’d know if I’d been doing it), gradually just became a habit.
It’s kind of like runners – they run because they have to after a while. Because they don’t feel right without it. That’s sort of the way I look at it too.
Did you ever think you would stick with this for so long?
I think that has to do with self-care. I’ve had a very busy and stressful work schedule and my training sessions are sort of a release from that. I find that when we’re doing studio work or when I’m doing my own workouts at home, I can turn that part of my brain off.
I’ve also just realized that exercise is a really important piece to me and my aging and, while I know I only look 30, I’m actually much older :). So I really committed to that as well.
I mean some days I do think “oh I don’t want to do this” – some days I have to talk myself into it, there’s no question about it – but then I get started and I really enjoy it.
What do you find yourself doing now that you never thought you would be able to?
I find that my strength has greatly improved. I know that I had some muscle strength in certain key areas before I started because of the activities that I did, but I find I’m using way more of my body with this program than I would have been with just my regular types of activities. That’s been obvious to me, which is great.
Do you have any tips for someone who is considering personal training?
I would say give yourself time to try it and really commit to a few sessions to see how it makes you feel, because I can guarantee that it’s always positive support. I personally welcome all the corrections and adjustments that come my way as I know that, if I didn’t have a personal trainer, I could be doing something that is detrimental to my muscles or my joints.
I notice too that my trainer, Bettina, knows when I’m not squeezing this muscle or that muscle. And I’m fully clothed so I don’t know how she knows, but they seem to know when you’re not doing it right. That’s very important because you often see people in the gyms who are doing something on their own that are putting their bodies at a bit of a risk.