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Start Here, Strength In Curves, Granada, Nicaragua

When I was wee and hardly there.

I wasn’t always working out everyday. Far from it. There was a long period of my life when I didn’t work out at all. Neglect didn’t happen overnight. It was years in the making. Sure, maybe I would walk or swim but generally taking the path of least resistance. But over time, my body naturally started to show signs of neglect.

At this stage of my life being in my forties, I naturally now default to the skinny girl body (bony, no curves and at times way too much so). Over the years without a workout routine, I was seriously losing healthy body mass. I knew this by the way my clothes fit and I also had a strange sense of feeling like I was ‘hardly there’ or that I was withering away.

This tendency for some women to become smaller over time often receives little sympathy from other women who are trying to lose body mass, as their later decades result in a slowing metabolism. But trust me when I say that when you become aware that you are a shadow of your former self it is not pleasant, either. Mentally, this made me feel like I was getting frail, that there were activities that were now beyond me that I could do when I was younger, but today were off limits to me.

I didn’t like that feeling. I didn’t like giving in to it without seeing if I could do something to counter it first. In September of 2017, I decided to put a rehabilitation plan together, but I knew that I didn’t want to do it alone. This effort was something that I wanted to do more socially for the synergy and also for the knowledge that I lacked about how to rebuild body mass.

I looked around me at the people I could see who were already doing something to keep their bodies strong and fit in their later years and I turned to them for help.

Important people you will meet on my journey:

Bertina (my trainer)

I first approached Bertina, a woman I knew who physically had it together: she is beautiful and strong and she commits to her body’s well-being every day. I asked her earnestly from my heart to train me here in Granada, Nicaragua and she mulled it over for awhile and thankfully said yes. This was life changing for me.

Bertina is serious and disciplined with our time but she is also a lot of fun (this is so helpful to wanting to go back). She mentally coaches me through a workout knowing that my mind is probably my greatest point of resistance.

I work with Bertina three times a week and each time I do, I cannot believe how fortunate I am that I know her and have this opportunity to learn from her.

Chris (also my trainer and Bertina’s trainer)

Bertina was and still is trained by her boyfriend Chris, a longtime personal trainer who backstop’s Bertina’s expertise for both of us when she gets into less-practiced areas. Chris is patient and gradually prods us for technique and small successes that build our confidence up for the long haul.

He is full of great quips and gold nuggets of wisdom. When I can, I scramble to write these moments down right away, if not, the words tend to slip away like details in a dream. You can find him any day of the week at a gym here in Granada in the early morning hours lifting 500 + pounds. He is the real deal.

I work with Chris once or twice a week depending if Bertina and I are doing something special that might require advice or assistance. He is the guy responsible for me doing prison walks down Calle Xalteva, amongst other things!

Ronn (my yogi)

Finally and importantly, I work with Ronn, my yogi, three times a week. Ronn is a generous and extremely knowledgeable instructor and can steer a class in any direction depending on what a student needs. He is very helpful about unwinding some of the stiffness in my body that has developed the day before from a session with Chris and Bertina, so that I can keep going about my life. I am often stunned with how effectively his yoga can accomplish this.

Ronn is also full of wise cracks and gold nuggets of wisdom that are often just the messages that I needed to hear at the eleventh hour. I have a lot of fun being with him and feel very blessed for his friendship and the balance he adds to my life.

Key Locations:

Junior’s Gym: We train twice a week at Junior’s in Granada and while I wouldn’t have chosen this bare bones, unplugged gym for myself in the beginning, I am fiercely loyal to it now.

The Garage: Yep, it’s just what the name implies! Bertina and I work out on the pavement of my garage once a week (talk about bare-bones!). But actually, it feels like the best workout that I can do outside of a gym. It’s basically just me against gravity and you’d be surprised how much you can do with that equation.

The Studio: The other three days a week are spent in Ronn’s studio in his beautiful, colonial living room. It is cool and dark in there and sometimes quiet (but hey, we are still in Nicaragua so if we hear the bombas going off outside, it’s just part of the experience of the meditation).

Follow me along…

It is now 2018 and I am six months into this journey which gives me a slight view into the past and the future. My body is changing quickly and I can do things that surprise me now that would have been way out of range when I began.

On a scale, I cannot see a difference. My weight has hardly changed at all. Visually however, I am developing muscles that were hidden away a few months ago and which are thrilling to see. I feel stronger, I sleep better and I also sense that I handle stress differently. I feel more in control of my life and the aging process which I think is poignant to my overall well-being and self esteem.

I have been writing on this blog privately during these initial first six months, it was a sort of online journal for me, a place to put my thoughts together. Sometimes, I would write full-scale articles when I felt like really writing, but mostly now I only have time for quick updates.

Now that the blog is public, if you want to catch up with some of the previous months where my training was in its most fragile stages start with earlier posts.

If you just want to keep an eye on how this whole six-days a week training works out for me (there never really is an end, you know), you can follow my posts for updates by signing up on the right hand side bar at the top.

All my best,