A few years ago I wrote in to say that FT was probably one of the best investments I’ve made – in my health. Now I have an update.
I had been a steady twice-a-week client; both nights one-on-one training with running three to four mornings a week. One morning I felt a “pop-slip” in my lower back and could barely finish half of the of the four mile run. Back x-rays, hip x-rays, and an MRI led to a diagnosis of a herniated disc, weeks of PT and chiropractic therapy. Neither provided any lasting improvement. I would recover then some silly movement would cause a set-back that impacted my training workouts and kept me from any kind of regular running routine. I was feeling over-doctored and not at all listened to.
Then I had a conversation with my trainer, Chris Weatherholtz (who, by the way is a Trainer Extraordinaire) and we came up with a plan. Chris suggested that an imbalance in strength between my upper and lower body was probably a factor in the continued injury and inability to run. So he devised an intense training program to bring my lower body up to the strength of my upper body. I had to increase my training to three times a week: two days of lower body and one day of upper body (so I wouldn’t lose the wonderful shoulders and biceps he helped build).
As always, we did a “before” assessment so we could measure the results. After the initial six weeks the assessment was amazing. Of the eight pinches, five had dramatically improved meaning my body composition changed in a way I could not have imagined. A couple highlights: I lost two inches in my waist and two inches from my hips*. But the best news was I able to start running. Running is my stress release and I was desperate to get back to it.
I started slow: just two miles twice a week. No pain, no weakness in the quads signaling the lower back stress, no pain at all in the lower back. I increased to three times a week and started timing my runs. Before the setback, my best two-mile time was 17:34. Last Friday my time was 16:55. Not bad for a (nearly) 48 year old!
I’ve kept up with the three times a week training and thanks to Chris my clothes fit fabulously; a skirt I bought five years ago that never quite fit right, but that I never gave away, suddenly fit beautifully. Figure hugging clothes FIT – no bulges! My husband and I went to Aruba in early May to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and, thanks to Chris, I was not in the least self-conscious about wearing a bikini. I toasted Chris from the beach in Aruba – and so did my husband!
I owe this tremendous progress to Chris Weatherholtz. His attention to the physiology of strength and conditioning, his diet and nutrition guidance, his patient analysis of each movement, his detailed notes, his encouragement, and of course playing the right music to keep me distracted from the intensity. I do have to say that three times a week is both physically and mentally challenging. But Chris has an uncanny knack for taking you to the brink of exhaustion, but stopping right before you think to yourself, “Wow, I hope that was the last round because I don’t think I can do another round.”