Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Before And After

I was a certified personal trainer for a little over a year. After we lost our shirts in our hotel venture (click here if you don't know that story), I studied and was certified by NASM (the National Academy of Sports Medicine). I worked for a gym in Santa Barbara, California. I enjoyed some of it — motivating people, making them feel better about themselves, having access to great facilities whenever I wanted. But, as a new trainer, it wasn't the kind of income I had been used to before the hotel and we were in a very large hole. Added to that, the gym had a significant ultra-conservative Mormon and Christian fundamentalist population. I found many of the gym members and a number of my clients intolerant and insufferable, so I didn't stick around long enough to gain the experience and knowledge to become an exceptional trainer.

MY CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER GLAMOUR SHOT (2004).

Still, I continued to enjoy working out and have stayed in decent shape, although never the shape I'd like to be in. I let my gym membership here lapse some time ago because, although the staff was pleasant and the facility was very nice, I never felt connected there. I've done random routines at home but have really needed a focused, consistent plan. When we were preparing to move to Spain in 2011, I realized I might not have access to a gym right away and I wanted some new inspiration for the workouts I'd be doing at home. I bought a great book by Mark Lauren, "You Are Your Own Gym." I've used the book on and off, but I finally wanted more structure than that alone provided. So, I went to their website and purchased the videos, which include entire routines. I officially started the program this week. The workouts are part of a program designed for miliary special ops forces. It's challenging and I love it. I'm committed to doing these workouts three days a week. You'll be my confessors if I don't. Oh, the shame.

SNAPSHOTS FROM TODAY'S "YOU ARE YOUR OWN GYM" VIDEO.
(CLICK TO SEE THE SWEAT.)

I'm already motivated and back on track. But Tuesday on the beach I witnessed an amazing transformation that looks like much less work. A man stood up at random intervals, faced the sun, and held his arms in the air for twenty seconds. Then, he sat back down. (Click the two "AFTER" pics to truly appreciate the change.)

FIRST 'WORKOUT' OF THE DAY.
FOURTH WORKOUT OF THE DAY.
AN HOUR LATER, A SLIGHT VARIATION ON THE SAME EXERCISE. ELBOWS BENT.
AMAZING... 


Let's get physical. Some things are timeless. 

26 comments:

  1. And for the science geek........ 'Let's get quizzical, quizzical...' (Teehee)

    I applaud both your commitment and your ambition; as well as your ability with photoshop!

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    1. Jacqueline:
      That one got a loud groan from me! (I SUPPOSE that makes it a good pun.)

      I don't know what your talking about. I didn't Photoshop anything (OK, except to blur the faces). It's the same guy!

      Delete
  2. Mitchell, be in a good shape is a great idea. Probably the man in the picture is trying to practise yoga. But it looks so funny he is to lazy. And he is not in aa good shape. Typical coach potato.

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    1. Gosia:
      That was certainly very interesting yoga. And I'm glad I didn't get to see him try "Downward Dog"!

      Delete
  3. Is that before-and-after a testament to your ability to train because if it is, you need your own TV show, set of DVDs and website.
    I wanna look like after ... except for the hat!

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    1. Bob:
      I'd like to say the last two photos are me, but then I'd have to say the first three are, as well. I always wanted one of those beefy/muscly bodies. But, unless I eat and supplement ridiculously, I'm just the lean runner's build type (on a good day). I suppose that's better than being the guy in the first three photos! But, I kind of like the hat... on someone else.

      Delete
  4. Yes Mitchell, we just learned that you were a personal trainer the other day. Hey, we could have gone into business with you had it been the 80's when we were certified aerobics instructors and fitness assessors. What a team!
    I do appreciate the commitment of such a program you have embarked on here. Good for you! It certainly gets the body in shape and ready for life's physical challenges..........four more.......three more ....two more.....

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    1. Jim:
      OK. You guys need to move to the Costa del Sol and open a gym.

      Delete
  5. I loved the beach work out photos ... Wow what a transformation!
    I used to be an erobics instructor, for a very short while before I became unwell, I enjoyed it very much and I also did a lot of dancing so I was very active and enjoyed keeping fit. I miss it all now but luckily for me I haven't put any weight on! I like your 2004 photo, does that feel like a long time ago, or like it was yesterday?

    Have a great day :)
    Hayley-Eszti

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    1. Hayley:
      So strange about the 2004 photo. It feels like a lifetime ago. Since that time, I've had three different jobs, my own business, and I retired. We moved three times in the United States before leaving the country and living in two different cities here in Spain. It's amazing what can happen in 10 years (in our nomadic lives, at least).

      Delete
  6. Your commitment is admirable. I enjoyed reading your old post. I hope you are pleased you tried the venture. It is better to have tried than be left wondering for years, what if?

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    1. Andrew:
      It would be nice to have all that money we lost but, other than that, absolutely no regrets!

      Delete
  7. In my 30s, I taught aerobics and loved it. Sadly I moved into a sedentary administrative job and quickly lost all that I had gained -- or should I say, re-gained all that I had lost!

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    1. Daniel:
      I never taught aerobics or was much into those group classes -- although I always wished I could get into it. It looked fun through the window. What a workout when you're teaching regularly. I taught "aquarobics." I spent much of the time saying to the group in the pool, "If you can continue to talk non-stop without getting out of breath, you're not working hard enough." They would all just laugh and keep on talking.

      Delete
  8. That guy on the beach has come up with an exercise routine even I can follow.

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    1. Stephen:
      I don't know. I would worry about my arms falling asleep.

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  9. I apparently need to learn that move, I could lose a pound or ten :)

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    1. Cheapchick:
      All you have to do is find someone on the beach you want to look like and Photoshop your hat onto their head.

      Delete
  10. Interesting! So cool that you were a certified personal trainer :) I'm going to mention this series you're using to our two young department members who, after school, also train with students for various sports and a half-marathon club. Moi, non. Moi... I grade papers after school :) But, I can get up for a little Tae-Bo in the morning!

    Now, off to read about the hotel story.

    You're an inspiration, Mitchell!

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    1. Judy:
      I highly recommend it. Mark Lauren doesn't fill the time with a bunch of idle chatter. His instructions are clear. And the workout is tough. Great workouts to use or adapt.

      Delete
  11. I gotta get me one of them magic hats.

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    1. Walt the Fourth:
      So do I! I love to exercise but sure would love those results... and as quickly. Also, the upper body tattoo would be an added bonus (no pain).

      Delete
  12. I had no idea that a dip in the sea could be soooooo efficacious! Must try it, though as I can't swim it'd have to be a little paddle (plus, maybe, a little piddle when no one's looking or nearby).

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    1. Raybeard:
      You'll understand if I keep my distance.

      Delete
  13. Why are the conservative religious types always the ones most judgmental and ill tempered?
    You can be my personal trainer any time - I need one!

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    1. Spo:
      I have a feeling you'd be lots of fun to train... and much more cooperative than San Geraldo was!

      Delete

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