Kicking it in the gym with Rita!
Soon after starting with Tosca, I quickly realized that this was not your typical 50-some-year-old woman (I think she has had a few sips from the fountain of youth - and strength). She smashed through the first phase of training in 2 weeks, and she kept me on my toes. After experiencing soreness from session 1, she quickly relayed to me that the soreness subsided quite a bit in the following sessions: time for a change. This new phase has focused on a higher-resistance load, and less sets within each group of exercises. In phase 1, we progressed from completing multiple sets of 1 movement, before moving to the next. Now, however, in phase 2, we are super-setting (2 exercises back to back with little or no rest in between), and I have even included some tri-sets (3 in a row).
On leg day #1, I was to train Tosca one-on-one in her home gym - the same gym where Bob pushed her time and time again. I knew it would be special to say the least. I felt his presence.
I started Tosca off with some Bulgarian Split Squats (rear leg on bench, while loading 80% of weight on front leg). Her ear-to-ear grin quickly turned into teeth-grinding, and after 3 reps she stated something along the lines of: “I can’t get through this”. But guess what? She did. 15 more reps…on each leg, 4 more sets, one rep at a time. It was in this moment that I realized more than ever how much she is doing this for him. For Bob. She looked up, as to find his strength to get her through the next hour and a half. And strength he gave. On her first set of plyometric jumps (jumping split squats), I asked Tosca to perform 15 per leg. After 4 jumps, she stopped, grunted, did a few more, stopped, and then fell to the ground. I was torn. As a trainer, I have the tough-love side, the one that usually says “suck it up buttercup”, but I am also extremely empathetic and can relate well with other’s situations. As I held out my hand, Tosca pulled herself back up and finished the set. She still had 3 more sets to follow. In my head, I thought maybe I jumped the gun with this challenging program - then my tough-love side kicked in again, and we pushed through it together. Tosca did. Bob must have attached some strings to her legs, strings of strength, because sets 2-4, Tosca preformed EVERY REP with a newly found push and exceeded my original expectations.
I love that Tosca keeps me on my toes, and doesn’t let me blink for a second. I love the personal challenge. I love her will and determination. This has become a lot more than just a show in tribute to her late husband. It has become a journey and healing process that neither Tosca, myself or anyone else watching knows how it will unfold. It is inspiring to say the least.
Rita may call the gym the House of Pain, but I call it the House of Truth. What you are capable of becomes evident right away, no BS. In the interest of transparency and truth, because this the agreement Rita and I have, I want to confess I have missed my first workout. It was yesterday. My work day was a ten hour marathon where a final emergency robbed me of my plan to do a workout right after work. Instead I was dealing with work emergencies, dramas, budgets, balance sheets and planning. Then I had to endure a 2 hour commute home (Toronto got named the 2nd worst city in Canada behind Vancouver for longest commute!). It's all true. That's why we love the boys at THE EDGE so much! We need them to keep us entertained while we drive our butts off.
Okay back to the gym. I will be doubling up today. I hate missing. My goal is clear. Can't mess up but life is what it is. I will at least be transparent about my shortcomings. Why wouldn't I? I will approach all I do with Love Love Love.
Are you with me?
|Photo Credit: Kelsey-Lynn Corradetti|