Day 14 – Wheezy

posted by Momo Fali on November 14, 2012

People, please learn from my mistakes.

My husband recently tore a muscle in his leg at our daughter’s basketball practice for the second season in a row. He was showing off, dribbling the ball between his legs and then going up for a dunk, when he felt it tear. Or, he was barely moving. You pick the story that a 41 year old man would tell and run with it.

Because he was hurt and resting, I made the mistake of going to a personal training session by myself the other day. (Before any of my kind commentators say, “OH! She’s always SO broke, yet she goes to a personal trainer” that’s because we pre-paid for it last year before we landed in this financial ditch, thankyouverymuch. I don’t need to tell you that, but I will because that’s just the kind of gal I am.)

When you show up for a couple’s training session as a single you have to do a lot more work, because there is no down time and trainers are mean. Okay, not really. But kind of. On top of that, upon my arrival I tell him about the recent death of my cousin and make the ridiculous statement, “Now, let’s get to work on my cell inflammation!”

So, he puts me on this stair machine that I’m pretty sure is the staircase to hell, except it goes up, and he starts me at a pace that is reserved for people who walk steps for their job. Like professional step walkers. That’s all they do.

I immediately can’t breathe and he is talking to me AS IF I SHOULD REPLY and the only thing I can get out of my mouth is, “I can’t do this!”

His reply? “You ARE doing it.”

Technically, he’s correct. I’m climbing up, now at the forced-rate of two steps at a time, and simultaneously utilizing the side-rails and pulling myself; the entire time thinking I will go careening off the back of the machine, right into the wall.

And I’m breathing – HARD. I wouldn’t even call it breathing; it’s more like desperately trying to force the carbon dioxide from my body before I lose consciousness. All the while, my trainer is standing next to the machine right under my uncontrollably huffing face.

All I can think is, GOOD NIGHT MAN, move away from my breath! But, I don’t have enough air to actually say this to him, and I am sure it’s obvious that I ate Tofurky for lunch, but he stands his ground and I start to think, maybe he can handle it because he’s Scottish. The only other Scottish guy I know could drink pints until he’d vomit all over himself and then start drinking again.

Then I think about how I used to call my trainer the Australian, because I’m ignorant like that. I still don’t even know if he’s Scottish, but I think so because his accent sounds a lot like Shrek.

Then suddenly I was done. Well, after a lot more painful stuff and two more sets on the steps and legs so jelly-like that I seriously considered sliding down the railing to the first floor where I did even more painful stuff, I was done.

Thanks to my constantly-wandering mind and the determination to not have an ambulance called on me, I did it and it felt great.

But, next time I’m bringing my husband and mints.


  • Melisa

    And maybe something shiny to distract your trainer?

    • Amie

      If he’s Scottish, bring a haggis instead of something shiny. Ooh, and I think they have vegetarian haggis (maybe not vegan, though), so you can share it with him and BOTH have wicked breath.

      • Melisa

        BRILLIANT. I wish I had thought of this. Glad Amie did!

  • BusyDad

    Your struggles with a stair climber are more entertaining than most people’s entire life story. Your suffering is not for naught.

  • tara

    Maybe if your breath is stinkier he will let you quit earlier. I say you should eat more onion and see if he goes easier on you.

    Also, I love that you considered sliding down the staircase. Although it would be kind of funny if you pulled a Run Fat Boy Run:

  • Jamie@southmainmuse

    First of all the basketball thing can be hazardous. I had a friend who was coaching basketball at a rec league with a Little Sister type of thing. Just to show no-good-deed-goes-unpunished, she went in for a lay up (a lay up) and ripped her knee to shreds. Tore her ACL. (from a lay up.) And even now that we are really watching money, I still budget for my trainer sessions. I don’t go as often but it is my sanity. Over 40, it’s psyche and life insurance.

  • Liz

    Dang, didn’t know personal trainers get so…you know…up close and personal, in an in your face sort of way, even. Good thing I don’t work out.

  • Arnebya

    You don’t have to explain your spending to us. Anyone who questions what you do/buy based on his/her less than complete knowledge of your finances is not your friend. Screw ’em. Now then. I’m glad you went to training and I’m more glad you didn’t fly off the back of the machine into the wall.

  • AlisonH

    As someone who sometimes has to stop to breathe or else I might start having chest pains, I read this almost holding my breath. Trainer, don’t DO that to my Momo!

    Best wishes to your husband for a speedy recovery.

  • Deb

    I once had a trainer strap 25-pound weights to my hands and then turn me loose on a treadmill at an inhuman pace and incline. Behind me? A plate glass window and Market Street in SF. Then he went off and had a conversation with another trainer. There’s nothing you can’t do when your life is on the line. Like yell across a gym, “Hey, asshole, shut up and get over here before I plunge to my death and my survivors own you!”

    Glad you made it. Hope your husband made the “shot”.

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