In this two-part series I want to share with you one of my client’s stories. His name is David, and his story is not only inspirational, but one that you may also relate to. As a personal trainer in the Vancouver, Washington area, who specializes in working with baby boomers and seniors, I get to work with a lot of different people. I’m happy that I got the opportunity to work with David!
One day as I was finishing my work day and about to head out of the gym I saw a gentleman who I always say “hi” to on my way out. This day, however, was different as I was leaving. When I greeted him today he stopped me and told me to step into his office, which happened to be two chairs side by side in the gym. I took a seat and we began to chat.
The man, who I came to learn to was David, was covered in sweat and started telling me about how he just finished his “death march” on the treadmill. His voice was deep and as he laughed I knew that he had a great heart, he was just missing something. He began to share with me how he had been doing the treadmill on a daily basis, as well as when he used to train in the past. He trained in the past and had a personal trainer who had given him a great workout, but he couldn’t put it all together. He couldn’t keep the workouts consistent and couldn’t seem to get the weight off.
He told me that he wanted a workout that wouldn’t kill him, or leave him feeling like that’s what was happening. He needed a workout that would help him become consistent. While his desire wasn’t to have 6-pack abs, he would still be happy if he had them. His desire was really to go hunting and hiking with his uncles, cousins, niece, and nephew. I explained to him the time commitment working out would take in order to get to where he wanted to be. He needed to commit to getting at least 5 hours of exercise per week, and that we would work up to that, so the 5 hours wouldn’t kill him, but it would provide a nice mix of mobility work, cardio, and weight training. I also said he would need to keep a food log.
David asked if I’d be available in the morning, because he’d like to give it a test drive for a month. I told him that there were no test drives; he had to be 100 percent committed for a full month. I told him he would be happy with his results, and if he wasn’t then he could quit and just give up on life. As a personal trainer I knew that if he stuck to the commitment that he would be happy. He said he’d meet me at his office (the two chairs in the gym) at 5:50 the next morning.
David showed up and we took his weight and measurements and got to work. David weighed in that morning at 327 pounds. Would he remain at that? Only time would tell!
He loved the mobility work that we did and after finishing the first session he said he felt amazing and could get used to doing it. I gave him a copy of my Boomer Fitness workbook, which features all the stretches and exercises. I told him it was his job to show up 10 minutes before his session to do the stretches. The next day I smiled as I walked in and saw David warming up with his stretches. When I saw that, I knew he was committed!
We then started in on the weight and I noticed hi was doing a lot of clock watching. When I asked him was going on he replied, “Kid, I love you, but I hate you and I’m counting down the minutes.”
Day after day and week after week went by. At the end of the first month David had dropped 10 pounds. Then a curveball hit him. He had a degenerative disk in his neck that was pinching a nerve and giving him horrible pain. He went to the doctor and found out he would need surgery, as well as a two-month break from working out. David was fearful that he would take a step back, but how long would that step back be?