Most of us have had at least one moment in life in which we feel we have reached a historical minimum, and we are ashamed and dismayed by our behavior in the same measures.
Lying behind the sofa and refusing to answer the front door when a woman repeatedly called and rang my bell was one of those moments for me.
I stayed hidden while she shouted through the mailbox: "Claudia, I know you're in. I was sitting in my car and I saw you put something in your garbage can.
Staying mortally immobile, I refused to move until I could be sure that she had surrendered and gone.
Claudia Connell revealed the time when she was so scared of her physical trainer, hid behind a sofa and refused to open the door (file photo)
The woman was not a friend or neighbor, she was at my house because I asked her to go. Worse yet, I had paid him to go.
Several weeks before, I had taken advantage of a special offer and paid £ 150 for five personal personal training sessions with Melanie, a woman half my age, half my size and with more muscle tone in her right arm than me. I have my whole body
It was part of my lifelong attempt to try to convince me that I can be one of those people who love exercise.
For my first session we agreed to meet at my local park, where Melanie put me to the test and where I quickly realized that outdoor exercise, in public, is mortifying.
He made me run in and out of the cones and put on boxing gloves to hit the pads he held. Instead of focusing on getting in shape, I could not think of anything other than "please do not let anyone I know see me", and imagine that every walker or dog runner was laughing at me in my lycra.
Several weeks before, she had taken advantage of a special offer and had paid £ 150 for five one-on-one personal training sessions (file photo)
Every time someone walked in my direction, I stopped exercising and only acted as if it were a casual walk. I mean, no one should have to see a Fifty something with an E-Cup bust that makes star jumps.
When the time came for my second session, I just could not face it and lied about having to go to a funeral. Although it went wrong, Melanie felt sorry for me and gave up the no-cancellation policy and offered me another class at no charge.
They spent three weeks with Melanie sending text messages and emails daily, urging me to book our next session.
Your messages would be full of words of encouragement: "Let's continue to build on that solid foundation." and & # 39; all have time to incorporate physical fitness into their lives & # 39;
It did not work Instead of doing a real exercise, I lied about work trips and illnesses, and even said that I had been called to serve as a jury.
However, she said she mortified herself by exercising in public and started making excuses to avoid having to do it again
Having run out of excuses, I began to speak with severity and, one month after my first session, I booked another, but not before having explained that I felt embarrassed to exercise so publicly.
Melanie said kindly that it was not a problem and that we could go to a gym. She even picked me up from home, clearly not trusting me to make my own way there. But who was he cheating? I did not want to exercise anywhere. It did not matter where it was supposed to take place.
Having run out of excuses, I began to speak with severity and, a month after my first session, I booked for another
Normally a safe and direct person, I find it impossible to say: "Look, save the money, it's just not for me."
And that's how I hid behind my couch at noon, pretending I was not at home, just to avoid doing an hour of exercise I had already paid for.
Melanie finally understood the message.
I only received one more communication from her: a short e-mail saying that she was not reimbursing the money and asking that she not waste time again.
But it seems that I'm not alone afraid of my personal trainer. Karen Austin is a fitness expert who specializes in training women over 40.
She says: Oh, I've heard all the excuses over the years.
"Once, a woman said that her father had been rushed to the hospital and she was by his bedside … Strange, since his dad was my neighbor and I saw him cut his lawn. callers saying they're stuck in the office when you can clearly hear they're in a bar. "
She said she had trouble telling her coach: "Look, save the money, it's not for me." But it revealed that she finally met her (file photo)
You would think that I would have learned my lesson. Melanie was not the first fitness instructor who had done everything possible to avoid. When I was 11 years old, I was faking my mother's notes to get out of PE classes.
When I turned 45 and the spread of middle age began to pile up, I decided to join a ridiculously expensive and luxurious gym. He had been a member of the cheapest in the past and never had been.
My logic was that if I saw £ 300 a month leaving my bank account, then it would definitely make me attend, because nobody would be so stupid and wasteful. Right?
My membership included eight individual sessions with a personal trainer named Chase, which seemed to belong to a Baywatch episode.
He devised a program for me that made me swing with ropes, swing on balls and jump and get vibrating plates.
"I promise you will fall in love with physical form," he told me. "I bet you do not," I murmured under my breath. Two days after our first session, I felt as if a truck had run over me.
Would not they realize that I had another work trip at the last moment abroad the same day of our next session and I had to cancel it?
I also did not attend the third session: family funeral, what can you do? I recognized the gym's phone number and I was able to avoid Chase's calls when he contacted me about our unused sessions. Then, one day, he called me from a cell phone and surprised me.
I had two options: I could go to the gym and use the service for which I had paid a small fortune, or I could suffer the great inconvenience of changing my phone number.
I chose the latter
Still, even that is not as bad as the friend who lied about breaking a leg in a car accident to avoid seeing her tennis coach, and then got too scared to leave the house just in case she was with him.
Or the colleague who worried about his PT sessions twice a week so much that he could not sleep the night before, and end up sending distressing texts at 5 a.m. to his coach, canceling the session, since it was the only way to finally snatch him a couple of hours of sleep before work. Currently, I do not do any exercise, but having recently seen my cellulite in the mirror of a changing room, I find myself flirting with the idea of looking for another personal trainer.
Is it too much to hope that this time he can find someone who does not have to avoid killing imaginary relatives to go to his imaginary funerals?
Karen Austin says no. "If you have to hide behind the couch to avoid your coach, then you're not a good match."
"In my opinion, the last thing you want is a 20-year-old inflatable trainer with a perfect body and no understanding of how middle-aged exercise feels.
"You have to adapt the exercise regimens at the time of menopause to allow hormonal changes.
"People hire personal trainers to make them feel better and cut back, but you'll never get anywhere if the first thing you think about each week is," How can I get out of this? "You need to find someone who is good.
I hope Karen is right, because keeping track of all the excuses I've found can be more exhausting than the training I try to avoid.