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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Pauline's Fitness Wisdom

This winter I've been on a plan--a fitness plan. In October, I enlisted the help of Pauline, a multi-talented yoga instructor, personal trainer who recently moved to Kodiak. My goal is to do the Tour of Anchorage ski race 1/2 hour faster than I normally do it...a 2:30 as opposed to my standard 3 hrs that I usually ski the 16 mile course in. I wondered...would 2 sessions with a personal trainer be enough motivation to pull me through the months of fitness gloom? I've never worked with a personal trainer...primarily because trainers usually work at gyms and I don't work out at the gym.

From my first few moments talking with Pauline about exercise and fitness-I knew I liked her approach. She is all about workouts which don't involve a lot of equipment (or time, for that matter). She has traveled for many years prior, so she has an eclectic approach to fitness--as she is used to squeezing workouts in on the road without many equipment. I told Pauline my goal, my work schedule and what I typically do for workouts. And she outlined 4 months worth of workouts in calenders. Workouts which involve yoga, skiing, running, spinning and strength.

We went running together and she gave me wonderful tips on my gait...and now I"m able to run without discomfort--a concept completely new to me. She helped guide me with where my feet were landing, my arm swing. All tips which helped my running become more efficient.

When she first presented my winter fitness plan to me, she had a "Zoya's choice" day during the week, where I can pick what I want to do. And I remember Pauline looking at me in the eye and saying, "Zoya-you're a mom, business owner, doula...don't beat yourself up if you aren't able to do it exactly to this calender. Its flexible. Its just ideas and a framework for you to follow". Something about hearing it from Pauline that it was OK if I was only able to do 10 minutes one day instead of the 30 or 40 minutes I "should" do. Pauline reminded me that every bit counts and 5 minutes is better than nothing.

Before the days of Pauline, if I didn't have an HOUR in my schedule, I would skip my workout. I figured I didn't have enough time to get anything serious accomplished. Now that has changed. If I have even 15 or 20 minutes, I squeeze something in--whether it be a bit of yoga or some squats, lunges or ab exercises. And it has worked. I feel stronger.

Admittedly, part of my motivation in working out according to schedule is being able to write something in for the day--and since Pauline spent time drafting a workout for that day, the least I can do is DO a workout and write something in the box. I honor the time that she spent drafting the plan. That in itself is motivating!

Now I"m less than 2 months from my race...YIKES!...and feeling better about the race than ever. Usually I have a hard time maintaining any workout schedule in December and just pretty much blow the month off...starting up in January. Not this year. I stuck with my program from Pauline and did a lot of skiing, which helped my motivation as well.

This Saturday Pauline is going to go with me to do a gait analysis booth at the Coast Guard Base as part of their wellness fair. I'm really looking forward to it--we have 15 people signed up and will have a treadmill and video camera to look at peoples running gait. The best part about working with Pauline is that she is so knowledgeable, fun and has a good sense of humor!



Meghan said...

Go Zoya! You're going to have a great race!

Akensee4miles said...

Go Zoya!

Marnie said...

I have been having a really hard time getting in exercise that is cardiovascular. Since I can't run (sigh), my choice is swimming or walking. However, that has not been happening between darkness, weather and Abby. I finally just turned on some music and started dancing! Wiggle wiggle shake shake. Abby thinks it is fun, although slightly quirky. I do catch a sidewards glance occasionally. I can see her thinking, wow, look at mom...but hey, it gets the heart pumping!

Molly O said...

I'm inspired Zoya! My workout routine this winter is swimming twice a week, running twice a week, and either snowboarding, snowshoeing, or hiking one day. I'm inspired now to add in a few 15 minute ab or squat workouts too!
You'll do awesome in your race!