So I bit the bullet and hired a personal trainer to meet with twice per week; tuesday and thursday nights at a gym just a half-mile from my office. I just got back from my second session with him. Every time I worked out on my own in the recent past, I felt like each exercise was being performed for the first time… as if I hadn’t just exercised 2-3 days earlier. My muscles had no memory of it and it resulted in more post-workout pain and soreness and depression. You’re supposed to feel electric after a workout and I was clearly miserable.
My trainer had no prior experience with an M.S. patient, but had worked with the terminally ill and physically disabled in the past and after doing a little research on M.S. to get a feel for what he and I were up against; structured a basic workout for me to start with. Though the workout certainly wasn’t a cakewalk, there was no guttural grunting and I wasn’t gushing “dude-sweat” after it was over, but my muscles were tweaked, my chest and upper back were bulging and my entire body felt alive for the first time since I was an avid soccer player in H.S./college. I walked 1.5 miles home, in the rain, with a smile on my face – a rarity these days.
It’ll get more difficult as we pick up the intensity, but I know I’ll be better conditioned for it by then. Is it expensive? Certainly. But something tells me that this is money well spent, if not for the fitness alone, then the state of mind I’m left with afterwards.