I'm a trainer, but I still hired a trainer

My weight has been a lifelong struggle. It was just when I felt I had hit my fitness stride that I tore my hip labrum and was out of commission for months years. I went from walking and metroing most everywhere, and exercising several times a week to driving everywhere and barely working out anymore.

My hips suck. And while my surgery alleviated the pain from the torn labrum, it brought a whole host of other challenges, like new and limited range of motion. Running looks like it might be completely out of the question.

By may of this year, I ached to move weight again on a regular basis but also couldn’t deadlift without suffering the next day. And squats? Forget about squats.

Basically I felt stuck between a rock and a hard place.

During recovery, and my countless hours of being alone in bed, I discovered exactly how badass kettlebells really are when I stumbled over the instagram profiles of Brittany van Schravendijk and Kelly Manzone. The more I watched over the next year, the more I could visualize myself in those movements. Clean and presses and snatches. Gosh, snatches looked so cool.

I had this gut feeling that swings would not agitate my hips. And I wanted something that would do for me what I could no longer get out of running.

I could have told myself, I’m a trainer, I know the basics, I can figure this out.

I was, however, not looking for another injury. I also knew, from my own professional perspective, I would get better, faster with guidance. More skill means moving more weight without injury. Moving more weight means bigger results faster. Nothing beats having another set of eyes watching you. so I decided to approach kettlebells with the same curiosity I bring to most areas of my life, as a student ready and willing to learn.

Glenn Seth wins the google search for kettlebell instructors in DC, boasting more than 15 years of experience. I am sure he was a bit surprised when my email inquiry came through to his inbox and he saw I was another trainer. He was up to the challenge of working around my restrictions. He has been humble and encouraging and pushes me through some really awesome workouts. He also provides the number one thing I was looking for in a trainer: feeling safe trying new things under his supervision.

The changes are small but my body is already responding. I have a growing family of kettlebells at home, so I have removed pretty much every barrier to execution of my workouts, which now happen in my living room, usually in my bare feet. The best part? My hips love it. Like, I feel better when I do more.

I write this not to lead you to believe that I feel helpless without encouragement and instruction. Far from it. I have pushed myself through some ridiculously intense workouts on my own when no one was watching. I am telling you this because, now, loving exercise the way I do, and being on the client end of the training sessions, I see how training isn’t actually luxury.

If you’re getting started, don’t “wait until you lose some weight” before you begin with a trainer.

If you’re in a plateau, get a trainer.

If you think you’re a pro in the gym, get yourself a trainer.

Regularly scheduled workouts, with someone other than yourself, punctuate your schedule in a way that keeps you motivated between sessions.

Someone else’s eyes can see what the mirror can’t show you. (And I know there are those of you who even avoid the mirror when you workout!)

No matter how much you think you know, there is still much to be learned.

This is your body, we’re talking about here. It’s the only place you live in for your entire life. Don’t neglect it, don’t mess with it. Take care of it.

Part of that self care is movement, movement that is new, progressive, and challenging. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to the pain and injury caused by overuse and bad form. Take care of yourself. Hire a trainer.