If you had asked me 6 months ago if a personal trainer was a waste of money, my answer would have been different that my answer today after experiencing personal training for myself. I always wondered why people would pay a trainer when they could go to a gym and ride the machines by themselves. Some people believe that personal trainers are there to motivate and cheer you on, but I no longer agree with that statement.
I had major knee surgery six months ago that caused me to need a walker, then crutches and 2 months later I could finally walk on my own. After I began walking on crutches, my orthopedic surgeon sent me to physical therapy at a hospital facility. I spent 25 hours there and began to feel as if they were “done” with me. When I first attended therapy, my knee had a 50 degree bend and a normal knee can bend approximately 150 degrees. Once I reached a 120 degree bend, my therapist began to tell me that 110 degrees was functional and I could wear jeans to hide the very noticeable difference that was seen when I stood up or walked. One of my legs bent normally, and the other would not fully extend, and was always partially bent. I felt as if their primary goal was to get me off the crutches and moving around on my own, but I wanted more. I wanted to be back to normal where I could ride bikes with the kids, run through the woods and kneel on the floor and play games again.
I discussed this concern with my doctor and he decided it was time for me to move on to a personal trainer. I found a personal trainer at the local gym and I started seeing her three times a week. I don’t know if she has a health care ethics degree, but I signed up with her because I knew her physical therapy degree and experience would definitely come in handy with my situation. I have been going to Ruth, my personal trainer, for 2 months now and I can now ride my bicycle, walk through the woods at a normal pace, kneel on the floor and even do push ups on my knees. I can also walk fast enough to actually pass people when walking in a group, instead of needing to get against the wall so that I didn’t get run over. Before my knee issues began, I loved attending the body pump weight lifting classes. After my knee surgery I was afraid that I would never be able to participate in body pump again, but now I am attending the class twice a week! She taught me to modify the class where I could go back to body pump and now when I attend body pump, I blend in with the rest of the women.
I am so glad that I found her and know that I couldn’t have done this without her. I had been going to the gym on my own before signing up with her and was spending way too long jumping from machine to machine. My muscles were so weak and my knee was so “tight” that I couldn’t move fast enough to draw a sweat, let alone elevate my heart rate. Once she started training me, my speed increased and each trip to the gym brought my heart racing and the sweat rolling. Ruth, if you are reading this….I want to say Thank You for helping me feel “normal again.” I still have a ways to go, but with you behind me, I know I will regain full mobility of my knee.
I have learned so much by working with Ruth and strongly suggest that if you have a personal goal that can be obtained at the gym, get in there and find a personal trainer. I can guarantee that your goal will be met quicker and you’ll spend less time in the gym “spinning your wheels.”