I’ve been working with the lovely Tess for just over a year and we had the chance to chat recently about her tremendous progress during the first year of her training program. I asked her to take a moment to put it into her own words so here you go:
So, I have been training with Teejay over a year now, and I can say I’ve loved all of it – well apart from lunges, and that stupid stretchy torture rope…
Tess loves to hate my resistance bands. I love the versatility. There are literally hundreds of exercises you can do with them.
A year ago I was really struggling with my fitness. I didn’t really acknowledge it, but I realise that I was doing so much to avoid walking even the shortest distances by taking convoluted bus routes or getting taxis when it often took longer to wait for the taxi than it would have taken me to walk anyway. When I found out that Teejay was going to be a Personal Trainer I thought that this was a chance to take back control. Years ago, I had trained with Teejay and I had loved it, she had challenged me, but understood me immediately. Before we had a session, we spent a good amount of time just talking and working out my motivations, my likes and dislikes. Teejay really “gets” me and knows when to push, and when to hold back. She knows I’m stubborn and hate certain exercises, but also knows I’m like a five-year old and can be easily distracted! I find myself five minutes into an exercise and realise I’ve been running, EVERY SINGLE TIME – I genuinely never learn! She’s sneaky that woman!!!
A year ago I was doing less than 25,000 steps a week and finding it a real challenge, but by making small changes every now and then, such as only getting one bus home, walking to the shops rather than jumping on the bus (I’ve got a bus pass – don’t judge me!) I’m now regularly doing 60,000 steps a week! It’s taken me over a year to get here though. Teejay knows I’m stubborn and can get overwhelmed too easily, but these very small incremental changes have all added up to having a different mindset. The exercise has snuck (is that actually a word?!) up on me and now it is just “normal”.
I’m now obsessed with my “Adult Community” dance class at RJC dance once a week and have performed on the stages of the West Yorkshire Playhouse and the Northern School of Contemporary Dance to rave reviews – (ok, someone told me that their mate told them that I was great!). Being more active in general has helped with everything but now I do four workouts as part of my normal week. We agrees early in the week what I’m going to do and then I just get on with it. I can’t really remember what I did before this…it seems like a whole different life.
I was frittering my money like many others do, but being a member of a gym but never going. OK I still don’t go the actual gym, but now I go regularly to classes such as Zumba, Body Combat and Body Pump. I’ve even gone back to playing squash, the last time I played was about 4 years, when Teejay gave me a black eye… alright, I gave myself a black eye after tripping over my feet and smashing my head into the wall. The beauty of having a trainer like Teejay is that she is just so great at so many sports then she can coach you in them, if you aren’t feeling like a PT session. Turns out I’m a natural squash player, with really good hand-eye coordination and swing, actually I think I’d be amazing if I didn’t have to run… so far in a year I’ve been swimming, played tennis and been cycling – I can’t imagine what she has in mind for me next year!
I think it works because it genuinely is a partnership – we are a team! Teejay checks in with me and together we set weekly goals (I’m not a long-term planner, that overwhelms me), she encourages me when I’m feeling a bit meh, and pushes me when she sees I can do more. She also adapts the session to suit me, and is flexible enough to change it if it isn’t working. So for example, a couple of weeks we both got the sense I had got a bit bored with the standard PT sessions, so we’ve decided for a month not to do them! Don’t worry, we are still exercising, just doing different types of exercise, such as playing tennis in the park. Teejay knows that this break from PT will mean that when we go back to training I’ll be all energised and full of motivation again.
I genuinely have no idea what year two has in store for me! I think more fun and games, more body conditioning (boo!) and definitely more boxing – boxing is ace!
Apart from developing an unhealthy loathing for my resistance bands, Tess has really worked hard and we’ve formed a brilliant team. She understands the whole philosophy behind my way of training is that for exercise to be sustainable, it needs to a) be fun b) be varied and c) be gradually built into your life over a long period of time so that it’s normal part of your everyday life. A year ago, as she said herself, Tess was not very active but now 4 workouts a week is her norm. I’m so excited about what we will do in year two. Possibly some cricket, basketball and badminton!
If you find yourself stuck on that same old merry-go-round where you decide to lose some weight, join a gym, promising yourself you’ll go every day, burn out from that lifestyle in a few weeks or a few months and go back to being inactive for a 6 months, then give me a call and come and chat about how you could approach this differently and get some brilliant, sustainable results.