A Lesson and a Plan

Once upon a time I hired a personal trainer. Her name was Michelle and she looked exactly like Sheryl Crow.

Michelle was the first person to teach me some of the basics regarding running and weight training. Real weight training like the boys do. Free weights equaled liberation!

I had never been in better shape than I was during that time, nor have I since. Michelle was a genius. But her genius was not just in the art of sculpting a body; she had a gift for teaching the keys to living a healthy life. She taught lessons that stuck. I wish I knew where to find her today if only to say, “Thanks!”

I remember once, after canceling a few appointments due to illness, Michelle pressured me to come in and see her. I dragged my sicky self to her studio, below street level at the end of Polk Street (in San Francisco) that wasn’t scary. She eased me into some leg work, a bit of free-standing arms, finished off with floor crunches and assisted stretching. In the end I felt new.

The lesson was this: When you’ve been immobile for even a short period of time, the muscles in your body get used to that state. And fast. They need to be moved so that their memory is revived and can then assist the rest of the body, which speeds recovery.

On day four of this dreadful sickness I am reminded of her lesson. As I re-enter the land of the living, tomorrow will be the day the muscles get the tiniest challenge. Maybe I’ll hit the mat for some easy breezy vinyasa? Maybe I’ll do a little Pure Barre crunchy work/upper body planky work? Maybe I’ll just walk the neighborhood and finish Vendela’s book. Only tomorrow will tell.

Even though I won’t be completely back on track, it’s good to have a plan.

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