It’s 7:30 am and Bertina and I are back in the garage warming up. I am always amazed at how quickly this space converts into our personal gym as soon as we start to move. Part of the conversion is a result of strategic distractions. Bertina knows how to line up a rigorous itinerary of strength training exercises that keeps my mind focused on the here and now, where it needs to be to follow her directions.
You are going to go into a plank, like this. Your feet will stay here, and then walk on your hands 360 degrees in one direction around in a circle, and then return and go back the other way for one minute…
Besides being challenging, Bertina’s exercises are definitively fun and playful, taking me out of my comfort zone and normal range of movement. Half the time I am on my hands, upside down or feeling like a sidewalk break dancer (my favorite, of course!).
I have to concentrate to get it right:
Now you are going down into a push-up, then come up, turn into a side plank, and then swing your leg through and then other side: push-up, side-plank, swing through…
I am aware that I am working all the key areas around my body that are important to me; Bertina may be all about fun but she doesn’t mess around. It feels like play, but she knows that I am gunning to add curves in all the right places and she designs the hour around my key target areas.
Today, she warms me up with hip dips in a side plank for several minutes and these are the kind of tricky lateral exercises that will thankfully help me to refill out my clothes again around my hips and thighs.
Dipping in a plank is tough but there is always a way to go a little further, so I am not surprised when she hands me an extra-heavy black resistance band to go around my knees. We head inside to add in continuous thigh presses while I hang out low to the ground in a wall sit.
Wall sits, like planks are a mental challenge to me- I have to go somewhere else in my mind to make it through- but Bertina reminds me to make sure I don’t relax my thighs out of the resistance range or I won’t reap from the effort what I should gain at the end. (These are the kinds of critical details that are so fascinating to me).
Next Bertina spots a retainer wall in the garage and has me perch my foot up on it while we do side lunges. On the second set we add in extra weights, and at the end I have that unmistakable feeling like I have just been horseback riding (not even Ronn could work this out the next day). It is amazing to me that after all these past months there is always, (always!) a way to make an old exercise like a side lunge into a new challenge.
Which is another reason why I love being able to workout with someone as knowledgeable and creative as Bertina. At the end of the day, I would probably be doing the same side lunges all the way through 2018 if I had been doing this on my own. Most likely, I would have been bored and not have known when I had needed the extra challenge to stay engaged and continually growing (more curves, more curves).
The time as always flies by to 8:30 am and I am astounded at times that we are at the end of the session. I’ve worked hard, but I was having so much fun, it felt like child’s play. I am once more alone in my ordinary, empty garage. Joyfully for one hour this morning it has magically housed the space where I can give my awakening body the attention and care it has quietly been waiting for all these years.
It was thankfully fun and it was necessarily tough but then….