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My body itches.

Not in the hyper-allergy reaction I had 3+ years ago, but rather in the I've-been-working-out-and-am-healing sort of way. Much the same way I know when I'm gaining weight in my legs (my legs physically hurt when I gain weight from inactivity and long freakin' hours of sitting still programming), I know I'm gaining muscle mass from the workouts. I can feel my body adjusting, healing, growing.

And it itches.

I've been going to the trainer for nearly two weeks now. Nothing actually shows. My clothes all fit the same, I don't have any new muscle to speak of. I'm pretty much the only person who can notice the difference.

I've had three trainers so far: Michele (one L), Christina, and Eric (no idea if those are spelled correctly, other than Michele's). Michele and Christina are the late afternoon people, Eric is the morning trainer, with another guy. I'm close to finding the sweet morning spot where it's not rushed or full, when I can sleep in a bit, but still get a good number of work hours in. So far, I like Eric best, as he seems to get ultimate (having played in college). I'm still worried a bit about the training not being ultimate-specific enough, but I know I need a good strength base, so I'm willing to go with the current training without (m)any complaints.

Despite being told that professional athletes come in for training at the facility, so far I've seen only really out of shape "older" people and high school or college softball players. I haven't seen much in between. I suspect I fall into the "older" category, but not quite. Most of the people that I've seen have serious bellies and guts. I may have a Bundy-pooch, but I don't have a gut.

I, admittedly, don't understand the motivation of many of these other clients. Thursday morning I went in for my session and was a bit disappointed with myself when I realized I was only five minutes early: the longest I would use the elliptic trainer would be 30 minutes because I'm called off the machine at 25 minutes into the session. Twenty minutes later, the other guy (two people work out with the same trainer at a time) came in, looked for his headphones, adjusted the television, then hopped on the elliptical trainer next to me. I don't go particularly fast on those things, the movement doesn't quite work well for me, and my toes go numb after about 10 minutes, but this guy was even worse than I.

Just as this guy got up to speed, it was time for crunches. I thought to myself, "Why is this guy paying this company $100 an hour for a trainer if shows up 20 minutes late?" But he's not the exception from what I can see, he's the norm. Over half the people I've watched will come in late, talk to the trainers, saunter upstairs and aerobically workout half-ass until it's weight time. Why spend all the money if it's just social hour with pulleys?

I had to tell Eric, too, that a normal response when I get frustrated is to tear-up, and that he should just ignore it. I'm not in pain, and I don't want to stop, I just want weights I can do. He promised not to put "Crybaby" in my chart.

Several times when working out with Michele, she asked me if I hated her, mostly because she was pushing me, making me work harder. I told her, "I know the end result. I'm not going to hate you for getting me there." She was surprised. I guess most people come in late, skip half the workout, then complain when they get sore. I want to be strong. I like that sore feeling. The itching may be "not so much," but the strength, yes.

I want to be playing ultimate another 10 years.

I guess the worst part for me is realizing that 10 years ago, I used to be like all those people whom I don't understand now. Track in high school was brutal. I didn't want to do any of the workouts, I was there because it was sports or a job. I wasn't there for me, I was there for someone else. I like that now it's for me. I want to be better, faster, stronger. I really wish I had learned the lesson much younger.


Man - I wish I'd learnt that lesson as a kid. Dad was a total academic - didn't think that sports was cool or good - I didn't actually do anything competitive until Uni.... And then it was Ultimate and very social. I too wish that I had learnt the lesson that doing stuff to be faster is not about other people but about myself. I really got to learn that this year with preps for WUCC... Something my coach told me - "You are a long way ahead of most people in sports. Most people in sports are not self-focussed, but win-focussed. That's fine, but in the end it is important to know the self lasts longer than the win."