I like to start my yearly workout recommitment in the fall. I find it helps me get through the holidays without gaining too much weight, also, I can feel 3 months’ superior to all those posers who start their workouts in January.
The first time in a new gym often comes with a complimentary session with a trainer. It’s a fun way to really dig into your personal workout goals and challenges with a perfect stranger who is so in shape, you’ll wonder how she has time to get that amazing manicure in between doing nothing but working out and eating kale. Maybe the manicurist comes to her while she’s on the stationary bike, and she drinks her kale smoothies out of one of those beer hats with the straws?
At the treadmill, the trainer asks me, “When you and your friends go jogging, what kind of pace do you normally do?”
I was like, “Me? Or are you talking to someone skinnier who is standing behind me that probably jogs? I didn’t write “Jogger” on the form. Did you get my form? Do you think if I had friends who jogged with me for fun, I would need to come to this class?”
Has anyone ever answered this question completely honestly? These kinds of questions always seem like a challenge: How honest do I want to be vs. how much do I think I can lie and have it still be believable?
It’s like when the dentist asks how often you floss, and you say, “Oh yeah, I floss 3-4 times a week.” Right. No one is flossing 3-4 times a week. That’s why when you go to the toothpaste aisle in any store, the packets of floss always have dust on them. If everyone were flossing often, there would be a major shortage of dental floss. You’d have to get in line for floss when the new shipments came in like trying to get your yearly iPhone. You would see stories on the news, “Well they’re going to have to come up with a new compostable type of floss because, wow do Americans love to floss; there just isn’t room in the landfills anymore!”
Have any of us ever bought floss? No, we use the tiny floss sample that the dentist gives you in the little bag when you get your checkup every 6 months. Well, okay, you don’t use it right away; you use it the week before your next appointment 6 months later, so you don’t feel as bad when you lie to the dentist about how much you’re flossing.
“Oh yeah, I floss so often, it seems like I’m always running out of floss. They should put more in those little containers.” Yeah, that’s because you’re using samples.
I’m pretty sure dentists have a day in dental training school where they teach them how to cut through the bull. There’s probably an equation they are given.
Dental instructor: “Ok, however much people tell you they floss, divide that number in half. And then that would be the person’s goal of how much they would want to floss.
Dental student: “So then, how do we actually know how often the person flosses?”
Dental instructor: “Oh, you just look at their teeth, you’ll be able to tell. We only ask that question as a joke. Haha! I just like to know which patients are liars, and then I don’t give them the good pain medication. I tell them, ‘If you flossed more, it would toughen up your gums and you wouldn’t be so sensitive’ but actually, I’m just not fully numbing them! Hey, do you students want to go out for drinks after this? I’m buying! I have no friends.”
Yeah, I’m pretty sure a seasoned personal trainer can look at random people, guess their weight, and tell exactly what kind of workout they are currently doing.
Trainer: “Oh, that guy weighs about 225, his workout is lifting. Lifting jars of Pringles, and then lifting those Pringles to his mouth. I’d say, 30 reps, 3 times a week?”
As for me and my friends’ “normal jogging pace,” my friends and I all have young kids, two of them each have twins. If we are jogging, it’s because someone just said they’ll babysit and we are running away before they change their minds. Of course, we take a lot of walks with the strollers, so based on that, I’d say we keep a strict “latte pace.” That’s where we stroll so we don’t spill the lattes we are drinking while we push the babies.
If you lie to your dentist about how much you floss, nothing will happen. He’ll know you’re a liar, but it’s not like you guys were going out for drinks after your appointment or anything, so no real harm done.
If you lie to your personal trainer about how often you and your friends “go jogging” you’ll live to regret it.
So, I said, “I have done Couch to 5K (6 months ago, and not since), it’s where you jog for like 30 seconds and then walk for a minute or so.”
Trainer: “Ok great! We’ll start you at jogging speed for the base pace, add one mile per hour for your push pace, and then crank it up 1-2 more miles per hour for your all-out pace. Just follow the pace chart on this handy card here. Ok, now crank it to 4.5 for a warm up, and let’s get started!” She walks away.
Me, turning the card over, “Is there a back? I don’t think my pace is anywhere on this card. Have you all heard of ‘latte pace’?”
Well, I made it through the entire 60 minute workout without crying or peeing myself once. Which is amazing because there are days when I’m not working out that one or both of those is likely to happen. I got through it because every time the trainer said to increase my speed, I just did it and thought, “Hey, I was in labor for 3 days, I can do this for an hour.” Also, every time she wasn’t looking, I turned down my speed by 1 mile or so. Hey, I got through the workout, didn’t I? I didn’t see you there working out, so I guess you’re not one to judge my performance.
I just kept looking at myself in the mirror and reminding myself, “You’re 3 full months ahead of everyone else’s New Year’s resolution!” Also, this workout is so good for my health, I think I’ll reward myself with a day – or maybe two – off from flossing this week.