This time next week I will have completed my assessment to practice as a fully qualified Personal Trainer- hopefully successfully, but of course that depends on my performance on the day. This slightly-overweight-middle-aged-woman, the person-least-likely-to-do-anything-sporty, seems to be, well, doing ok on the sport front.
The last few months have been quite a journey, and one that I have thoroughly enjoyed. The more I learn about the human body, anatomy & physiology, biomechanics and the psychology of exercise, the more I realise there is to learn, and the idea of working with clients to achieve their sport, fitness or health goals is daunting but extraordinarily exciting.
However, a wee fly in the ointment… I’m injured.
The psychology of injury is complex in one way, but simple in others: if you’re active, and enjoy it, being injured is hard!
My unique combination of biomechanical quirks (after all, we’re all unique) means I’ve developed an injury to my IT band, a notoriously difficult issue to fix. Luckily I have a physio who is fascinated by such things, and so I’ve decided that, alongside advice from Sean Webb at Physio Inverness, I am going to conduct an experiment on myself. I’m going to try out my own PT skills, programming my own training in order to strengthen my Glutes, rehabilitate my IT band, and eventually return to running.
First, I plan to use my sports coaching skills on myself: in a nutshell, I will need to learn to walk and run using different muscles. It appears that – for 44 years – I have been using the muscles at the front of my hips to ‘pull’ myself forward, and particularly up hills or stairs, instead of using my Glutes to push me up those steps. So for the last week – and from now on – I am trying to remember to always engage those glutes. How do I know it’s working? Well, using a self-check that my hips feel like they’re staying level… and my glutes feel tired, so they must be doing something! As an added bonus though, if this works it will improve my balance, and help solve some issues caused by hyper mobility and a leg length discrepancy.
Secondly, I am going to keep running, but only for very short periods, and beginning very gently, just twice a week. This – I hope- will allow me to slowly change my running gait. Then, once I can do that pain-free, I can start to increase my running frequency, and eventually, its duration.
And finally, using the skills I’ve gained (and will continue to learn) during my PT training, I am going to work on strengthening those glutes. Having taken advice from Sean the Physio, I’m confident I can incorporate appropriate exercises into a strength training programme for myself whilst also continuing to work on strength and power for the rest of my goals.
I first wrote this blog about two and a half years ago… how things have moved on since then! All being well I will (I hope) qualify as a Personal Trainer at the end of this week, and begin the next stage of my journey, passing what I’ve learned onto clients in order to help them achieve their own goals.
My own journey continues, and I’m not sure which is more daunting; but for the next few months, I’ll be learning to walk in more ways than one.