I had made a list of elements that I wanted in personal training sessions. I wanted a non-competitive environment, a trainer who was willing to modify exercises and to find alternatives, and a relationship with my trainer in which two-way communication could happen. I had thought about how I wanted to construct the experience, how I wanted to approach training sessions, why I wanted to do them, and what I wanted to get out of them. I was nervous about starting.

Je connais bien l’entraînement personnel. En fait, je travaille avec deux entraîneurs personnels dans le passé. Malgré des agréables expériences, j’étais nerveuse. Ce temps était différent. This time was after Earl became Earl. Let me explain…

Earl is the name that I jokingly gave my lower back injury. Naming the injury has made it easier to talk about, easier to cope with, and easier to incorporate as part of my life. It’s also hilarious to start a conversation with my Chiropractor: “Earl is being a pain-in-the-butt this week”, or “Earl has actually been pretty delightful this month”, or “I’m really not sure how Earl is doing…”. It’s the small things, really. This reflection is kind of about Earl. Actually, it’s all about Earl. Since Earl became Earl, any exercise that I do is about Earl.

Dans les deux années passées, j’apprenais comment de supporter mon bas du dos avec du l’exercice. Je vois un chiropraticien régulièrement et nous travaillons ensemble sur les exercices pour les abdominaux et de renforcement. She’s my go-to with questions about what exercise I can pursue next. Remembering the elements that I wanted in a personal trainor, I spoke to a few friends and colleagues about their experiences. The more conversations I had, the more I felt confident in my decision, so I chatted with Aaron Doupe, the Director of the Glendon Athletic Club about which personal trainer would best suit my style and needs. I’d also been interested in Nutrition Counselling for some time, so Aaron recommended Kendra as a personal trainer.

I booked my first session with Kendra bright and early on a Saturday morning. You know those people you encounter that make you feel immediately comfortable? That was my first meeting with Kendra and my nerves began to melt away. She was calmly enthusiastic, patient, and understanding – exactly the vibe that I needed.

I had prepared for our session by going through a mini-speech in my mind to explain my injury. When we began chatting, I felt myself become more comfortable and I opened up about my injury. Since Earl became Earl, I’ve had to re-think and re-learn much of my physical activity. Je devais apprendre de nouveaux exercices et de supprimer les autres de mon répertoire. Kendra et moi avons passé beaucoup de temps parlant de mes objectifs pour notre temps ensemble et ce qui a suscité mon intérêt pour l’entraînement personnel.

In our sessions, we work on proper form for each exercise that we do, we practice when and how to breathe when exercising, and increasing flexibility. There have been some exercises that Earl was just not interested in. This is where my nerves came back. When I told Kendra that certain machines didn’t feel supportive for my lower back, she said OK and we talked about alternative exercises. She understood my needs and I couldn’t be more appreciative.
We start all of our sessions with a warm-up, this is when we get a chance to chat about my workouts outside of our sessions and each time Kendra drops so much knowledge! We talk about the value of warming up and what a well-fuelled body can accomplish. We talk about different sets of muscles and how different exercises work different muscles. We talk about what I should feel during and after performing certain exercises. Information is such a motivator for me, it keeps me wanting to explore.

Those nerves that I felt before starting the personal training sessions have all disappeared. Kendra has made my experience positive. We train in a non-competitive environment, we communicate, and she’s been great at finding alternative exercises to support my body.


For more information on Personal Training and Holistic Nutrition Services at the GAC, visit https://www.glendon.yorku.ca/gac/paid-programs/fitness/personal-training/or contact fitness@glendon.yorku.ca.

Submitted by Amanda Sartori, Student Life Coordinator, Office of Student Affairs/Coordinatrice de la vie étudiante, Bureau des affaires étudiantes
Originally appeared in Pro Tem, Glendon’s student newspaper.