A couple weeks ago, I shared with my personal trainer that I was surprising myself with the progress I’d made on the Couch-to-5K run/walk program.

I’d been using the program as a guide for treadmill workouts there in the gym…..and had recently met a friend — who was also following the program on a treadmill in her gym — to do Week 2 in the real, honest-to-goodness outdoors. It took a little trial and error for us to get going at the same pace, and I discovered that I was running faster than she was. We compared notes, and it turned out that she’d advanced to Week 4 or 5 going at a jogging speed (4.5 mph), and I had stayed in Week 1 for many weeks, gradually increasing my running speed (5.8 – 6.8 mph).

That made me curious. So that afternoon, I went to the gym to experiment. Turns out I could do a slow jog for 5-10 minutes at a time. I went for 45 minutes on the treadmill that day, mostly jogging, slowing to a walk now and then when I felt like I needed to calm my heart rate. Cool.

Now…….back to the part where I was telling my trainer about it.

She peered at me. Asked a question or two. Then she announced that, in my next weekly session, I would run a mile around the indoor track while she timed me. A test.

Damn it to freakin’ hell. You know, my mouth doesn’t get me in trouble all THAT much, but when it does, I tend to pay dearly.

Of course I couldn’t refuse to do it — that would be admitting that I didn’t think I was capable — so I resigned myself to prepare for the ordeal as best I could. During the following week, I worked in two 1-mile treadmill jogs. At a pace that I found excruciatingly slow, I could actually do it. Wow! I could NOT believe it.

So. Last night was my test. I did the mile in 10 minutes, 33 seconds. I had to walk a few times since I went too fast in the beginning, but my trainer seemed to be pleased anyway. For the rest of the hour-long session, she put me through some familiar strength training stuff, but she also made me do some new things. I could tell when the new exercises were coming up, too, because I could hear her brain churning as an ever-so-slightly sadistic grin played on her lips.

Sadism, I’ve decided, is a characteristic shared by most trainers.

The most eyebrow-raising thing she made me do involved an 8-feet-tall structure of a device, from the top of which hung two heavy-duty black straps. Geesh, I’ll bet it would be comfortably at home in any space designed for extreme S&M activities. (Not that I would know for sure. I’m just guessing. You believe me…..don’t you?)

It was the last exercise, and the words that came out of her mouth chilled me to the deepest part of my largest bone: “You are no longer a weenie. You are a strong, capable woman….the chubby girl you used to be is gone. From now on, no more excuses.”

Gulp. How did I manage to fool her like that? I was only pretending. No excuses? I love excuses. I cherish excuses. I AM a weenie.

Will someone please hold me? I’m scared.

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