Thursday, 31 March 2016

A is for Assessment. #atozchallenge


A is for Assessment.

The first step in knowing how to tailor a fitness program to suit individual needs is a few basic questions.

Name: Ida 

Age:  Fabulous forties ('coulda woulda shoulda' been more fabulous, if only I'd have remembered to take better care of myself.)

Occupation:  Ex: Sports (Netball and softball) umpire and coach. Faults and Emergencies dispatch officer for statewide electricity company, sailor (steward and cook.) Nurse. Occupational health and safety and First Aid trainer.  Current: Expat (Australian living in Denmark,) reflexologist, writer, and most recently fitness instructor (including indoor cycling and group training.)

Training goals: Lose weight. Get fit. Increase mobility. Reduce or eliminate pain and stress levels.

Weight:  According to BMI charts morbidly obese but I'm only 150cm or 5 foot tall. According to clothes racks, large doesn't fit.  Plus sizes don't fit me either because the fashion industry thinks only tall people that need really, really big arm holes are plus size. Dear fashion industry short people have large breasts too. 


Mental - Chronic lack of motivation. 
Physical - Back, caused by old injury, weight gain and inactivity (spending loads of time sitting in front a computer...on the sofa or in bed.) Foot numbness on exertion due to nerve pressure when inflamed. Several old injuries that love to flair up when I feel like I'm enjoying getting fit again.

Amount of time you can allocate to fitness every week: I have and used many reasons and excuses to not train. Including there are no private showers in Danish gyms! I can 'TRY' to commit to 2- 3 sessions a week, more if they have great group training sessions. What am I going to wear? - Maybe I'll just start with 2... 1.  Do I have to?

Favourite training/sport/exercise: Basically everything. I was that little girl you saw skating and doing gymnastics up and down the street - one armed when I was in plaster x 3. Also the kid that learned to ride a bike by herself and won every bike race against the neighbours. Always had a ball of some sort in my hands. (Representative level softball, netball, tennis, cricket.) Running, jumping, skipping, lousy swimmer but loved it, shooting hoops. Throwing, kicking, bouncing and climbing. When I wasn't performing tricks on the monkey bars (more than 400 round-the-worlds at lunchtime once,) I was always up a tree. I also won best senior female sports award x 3. The school closed in the early 90's and no-one broke that record. Then there was also a green belt in Karate once upon a time.

Least favourite: I stopped doing everything on my favourite list... The starting position of a round-the-world hurts too much to attempt doing one! It's been a few years since I showed off handstands and cartwheels to little girls desperate to learn how - hate when my t-shirt falls up and reveals my big tummy and my wrists protest too much. Especially don't like jumping or anything that involves too much bouncing - please refer to large chest comment made earlier.  


I knew the only way I was ever going to get to a gym again was to work in one.  A fancy new one opened up in my tiny town less than a month later. They put out the call for reduced cost training in exchange for work that I felt compelled to answer. 

It feels much more like I put out the initial call. 

How does your fitness assessment look?


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Sunday, 27 March 2016

A to Z Challenge. Theme reveal. Get fit or die trying!


It's A - Z time again. Every weekday in April starting with the letter A on the 1st, and ending with Z on the 30th a group of bloggers from all around the world choose a theme (or not) and participate in the A-Z blogging challenge (now in it's seventh year.) It's a month of daily blogging - minus Sundays - 

This year my theme is: 


and here's why:

I generally always write about what is happening in my here and now. 

This time last year I was 25kgs overweight, unfit and in daily pain. There is some truth in the saying that 'it is better to have a weak mind than a weak back.'
I remember saying the only way I was ever going to get fit again was if I started working at a gym. I knew myself well enough to know that a gym membership alone wouldn't motivate me. 

And typical of the way my thoughts manage to manifest my reality, a brand new gym opened up very close to home. 

They advertised for fitness instructors and offered the education at a discounted price. I emailed and asked if they were prepared to accept an unhealthy, unfit and overweight woman in her forties.  

The owner said her philosophy was to accept all shapes and sizes and welcomed me with open arms. She encouraged me to do the indoor cycling/spinning instructors course, power suspension and group training as well as the basic fitness instructors course.  

At first I said no to Spinning and... 'what's power suspension?' 

People either love or hate Spinning, and I was a definite hater. Somehow she convinced me I would be doing her a favour because she was afraid there wasn't enough instructors, and I could at least jump in as a sub if I had the education. The huge discount helped too. How lucky am I - It's possibly my favourite activity now.

In truth the education didn't stress me too much. I knew the anatomy and physiology would be easier than anything I learned in Nursing and Reflexology. I'm no stranger to teaching and I  have a pile of dusty sports awards and trophies from my youth. Passing the courses was a manageable goal. 

The first challenge would be walking in the door and presenting myself to my new and very much stronger, younger and fitter peers and feel as if I belonged there too. 

My second biggest challenge was learning everything in a language I didn't yet have a firm grasp of.  

By the end of the year I became qualified. I'm still not a fan of jumping jacks and I don't always put my all into every workout; but I stick firm with 50% effort is better than sitting at home on the sofa...  Sitting really is the new smoking as far as detrimental health effects go. 

Six months ago, I couldn't do a single basic squat properly anymore. Ankles, knees, hips, everything was out of alignment.  

Last week I did 3 laps of jumping squats (about 30) in a row. Yes jumping... and yes there is still a lot of pain. The difference is whether or not the pain is because your muscles are growing from activity or becoming weaker from inactivity.  

This years theme will be related to everything fitness...  I'm a strong believer in perfect form, progression and alternatives for the weakest and strongest in the group. Even experts can benefit from back to basics.  I'll also be adding some of my favourite music and some youtube videos that have inspired me.  Except for the theme reveal and reflections post at the end the posts will be short...  much shorter than this. I don't want to sit so long anymore.

To date I've lost 4 kg's... since January. It's a journey and not always a happy one. I am already mourning the loss of some of my favourite clothes and dreading the day I need to spend a fortune on new bra's again.  Either way I'm gonna enjoy the ride hope you do to. 

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Learn more about:

 The A to Z challenge here.