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Thursday, April 8, 2010

The first training session

I met with Clara, the head trainer, today. She seems very nice and genuinely excited about working with me. She asked about my goals, then moved into the details of my arthritis, and finally we filled out the medical information form for liability purposes. Her conclusion? I'm really healthy inside, it's just the outside, the arthritis, that is holding me back.

While she was asking me about the pain she jotted notes about what exercises she thought would be good and she drew conclusions about what was going on with me in different areas. As we walked up the stairs she went behind me so she could see how I walk. She noticed my severe pronation, of course, and the fact that I am not standing or walking straight. Understandable, of course, because I am trying to adjust to the pain and difficulties of the arthritis. But she had ideas for how to strengthen what I need to compensate for the arthritis damage.

I tried a recumbent bike, then a standard one, and I noticed that I had less pain with the recumbent, so I'll go with that. Then I tried various exercises using Nautilus machines, and last she showed me a couple of things I can do at home with a window sill and a wall. My routine at this time:

Recumbent bike: 5 minutes, level 1 - 3
Row: 25#, 1 X 15 reps
Lat pulldown: 50#, 1 X 15 reps
Leg press: 120# with band around knees, 1 X 20 reps
Walk with band around knees, keep from slipping
Doorway or window: chest stretch - 30-60 sec, 1 - 2X/day each side
Calf stretch against a wall - 30 - 60 sec, 1 - 2X/day each side

She suggested I start out doing this twice a week and work up. She is going to call me Monday to see how I am doing, and we go from there. If I join - and at this point I am sure that I will join - I will get two more sessions free, then will have to pay for individual training from time to time.

When we were done she said she had to revise her plan as we went, because her assumptions were not necessarily correct, and that this may actually be easier than she thought at first. I am really hopeful.

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