Just want to rant

I’m stressed out of my wits!

With my California Fitness Bodyage Challenge winding to a close (test next week), I thought I will have more time beginning next week to rest and relax.

Sheylara at the gym

But nooooooooooooo.

My music school, The Music Lab, is putting up a student showcase on July 19. (Will post details soon.)

Rehearsals will start next week, which means I have three weeks to learn and practice playing 2-3 songs with people I’ve never met before.

My drums instructor and band director keep assuring me that it’s more than enough time to prepare but I find it impossible to believe them!!!

Sheylara at the drums

My band director says, “It’s very easy one lah. The trick is to choose popular songs so people will sing along.”

LOL.

Shape Run 2009 falls on the same day as my student showcase.

Faint.

And I’m flying to Kuching for a 10km mountain trekking race in exactly two weeks’ time.

Mountain trekking

And a million other small things that add up.

Gamer Girl Friday will resume next week! I’m going to Video Games Live tonight! And inline skating tomorrow!

And I’m looking forward to finally being able to break my rather strict two-month diet.

I think I’m gonna miss Dr Evil’s nagging, though.

“Drink more water! Sleep more! Eat more!”

Sheylara at the gym

“Keep your back straight. Don’t move around. We’re training your arms, not your legs! Your legs very energetic hor? You want to train your legs also? Okay, noted!”

Photos from previous session, 2.5 weeks ago.

Check this out:

Sheylara at the gym

All the fancy, high-tech equipment in the two-storey gym and he makes me do push ups on the stairway railing. O_o

You just can’t know what he’s thinking.

Dr Evil

I gave Eric Goh, my personal trainer at California Fitness, a new nickname.

I now call him Dr Evil.

Sheylara and Dr Evil

Of course, he’s not evil evil, because everything he does ultimately benefits his gym charges but, still, sometimes you just want to strangle him.

Like, he bluffed me that my body fat mass was a lot higher than it actually was, and I didn’t find out the truth until our 7th week together.

Sheylara at the gym

He’d make me do really unglam exercises.

Sheylara at the gym

Sheylara at the gym

With wretched aftermaths.

Sheylara at the gym

Earlier today, we were doing crunches.

Now, for the past 15 sessions, we had always been doing three sets of each workout, with the exception of one session, when we only did two.

So, after three sets of 50 crunches each, I waited for him to ask me to get up, as usual.

He didn’t.

Sheylara at the gym

I turned to him and gave him a pitiful look.

I said, “I finished three sets already.”

He looked back at me with a poker face and said, “Yah, I know.”

I said, “So, I’m done, right?”

He said, “Are you?”

I said, “Don’t tell me you’re making me do a fourth set!”

He said, “Why not?”

I said, “Where got do four sets one?!?!?”

He said, “Why not? Did we sign a contract saying you can only do three sets?”

Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

And then he did the “neverending count” trick during my fourth set. The one where he goes back to 30 after counting 39, so I never, ever reach 40.

Sheylara at the gym

Anyway, my BodyAge Challenge is almost at an end. One more session for me, and then the final test to measure my body age.

I can almost smell the durians and the Big Macs! Right now, it’s like, got chair cannot sit.

Sheylara at the gym

I can’t believe I’ve dieted for two months. I’ve never been able to stick to any kind of diet for two days.

I guess having an evil trainer really helps a lot. And I’ve never felt healthier in my life.

I might actually miss allowing myself to be tortured like this when it’s all over.

But I’ll confirm with you again after I’ve feasted on my durians and Big Macs. =)

Sheylara at the gym

When torturous is funny

Already ten sessions into the California Fitness BodyAge™ Challenge, I’m still laughing uncontrollably during my workouts.

Sheylara at the gym

I thought I would get tired of laughing, eventually, because there’s only so much humour one can milk out of a particular situation.

But working out is still fun. And funny.

Especially if you’ve got a trainer like Mr Eric Goh, Nightmare Incarnate.

Sheylara at the gym

It’s quite amazing how he can torture you and make you laugh at the same time.

Over the years (six years, I believe), he has accumulated a fine collection of nicknames given by his fitness clients, for example, Evil Eric. I believe my contributions were “Slave driver” and “Sadist”.

And to think that when I first laid eyes on him, I had thought, “Oh, he looks kind and harmless.”

Sheylara at the gym

Station #1

Quadriceps training. It’s damn heavy, by the way.

Sheylara at the gym

Eric: Be careful when you’re working out on this piece of equipment. Don’t ever let go your legs.

Sheylara: Why?

Eric: Because the only things supporting this weight are your legs. If you let go, it was crash down all the way until something stops it. Which is you.

Sheylara: Why so dangerous one!

Eric: Yes, so don’t let go.

Sheylara: But you’re holding on to it, right??

Eric: Who says I am?

Sheylara at the gym

Station #2

Sheylara at the gym

Eric: So, what did you do over the weekend?

Sheylara: Blah blah blah.

Eric: Nice!

Sheylara: Hey! Stop talking to me. You’re not counting when you’re talking to me!

Eric: Of course I am.

Sheylara: How?!

Eric: By how much your muscles are trembling.

Sheylara at the gym

Station #3

Doing ab curls.

Sheylara at the gym

Eric: You’re doing well, keep it up.

Eric: 27… 28… 29… 20!… 21… 22…

Sheylara: ?

Eric: Don’t stop! 26… 27… 28… 29… 20!

Sheylara: WTF?!

Sheylara at the gym

Station #4

Eric: Okay, okay, don’t say I bully you. We play a game now.

Sheylara at the gym

Eric: When I pass the ball to you, swing it to your right, then pass back to me again.

Sheylara: It’s damn hard lah. I can’t move it. Hahahahaha.

Eric: Yes, you can. See I’m doing it, too.

Sheylara at the gym

Sheylara: You didn’t just finish doing 3,493,504 reps on the abs bench!!

Eric: Aiyoh… stop laughing. Later you hurt yourself.

Sheylara: Too late. I’m gone.

Sheylara at the gym

Eric: Very good. Start from one again!

My trainer makes me a narcissist

Around my third week of training at the gym, Eric made me do push-ups, which went very well until he asked me to look in the mirror.

“Look in the mirror,” he said. “Check out your toned arms.”

I don’t have a photo of me doing push-ups so here’s a photo of me doing lunges, instead.

Sheylara at the gym

I said, “I can’t. I’m channelling all my efforts into not fainting from exhaustion.”

“Hahaha,” he said, “You’re doing good. Just look straight in the mirror and admire your rippling muscles.”

I tried to say something clever but I was at the same time struggling with the push-ups, so I could only manage a weak hiss like a deflating balloon.

Sheylara at the gym

While that was going on, Eric continued to make approving sounds at my muscles, which were, at that point, screaming for mercy.

“Don’t have lah,” I huffed weakly, “My arms look the same as always.”

“Okay, you’re done,” he said, “Stand up and flex in the mirror.”

I did what he said.

“See??!” he exclaimed triumphantly as I flexed into the mirror.

Sheylara at the gym

“Okay, fine,” I conceded. “It’s a little bigger than usual. Stop making me a narcissist.”

But Eric is apparently very pleased with the way my arms are shaping up.

The next time we had a photoshoot, he had our photographer snap lots of photos of my arms.

Sheylara at the gym

Sheylara at the gym

I don’t really see any cause for celebration because I have never been in the habit of scrutinising my arms, so I can’t tell the difference.

But Eric works me very hard every session so I suppose there must be some kind of improvement.

There’s always a lot of laughter during our sessions (mostly from me). I know it’s very bad to laugh when training but I can’t help it. I will laugh involuntarily when my muscles start burning. I think it’s an automatic stress-relieving response.

Sheylara at the gym

Also, Eric is always trying to trick me into doing more reps, which I find very funny, so that makes me laugh doubly hard.

We were doing lunges and he was doing them with me to give me some extra motivation.

I hate lunges with a vengeance.

Sheylara at the gym

For the first set, I can do maybe 20 and then I’m ready to order a wheelchair.

Seeing Eric do them with such inconceivable ease, I asked him, “How many can you do?”

He said, “Ooooh, is that a challenge?”

I rolled my eyes and tried not to collapse.

He continued, “Let’s compete. See who stops first.”

That was when I burst out laughing uncontrollably because it was such a ridiculous competition.

Sheylara at the gym

I demanded that he give me a 500 handicap but he didn’t bite.

In the end, because we’re always bantering, we end up not counting, so I always end up doing more, I’m sure.

Sometimes he will purposely miscount and I will protest and then he will say, “Oh, did I count wrong? I’m sorry, let’s start again.”

And then he would start from one.

Sheylara at the gym

Sometimes I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

When that happens, I guess the only safe thing to do is to be a narcissist.

Sheylara at the gym

Like a drunken zombie trying to do a marathon

In the same week that I started my gym training, I also signed up for Shape Run 2009.

To prepare for it, my personal trainer suggested that I go for a run on my own, once a week, in-between my sessions with him.

Sheylara at the gym
Eric Goh, my trainer.

For my first run, Eric said I should do at least 45 minutes. It sounded reasonable to me at that time.

First Run — Saturday, 6:30pm

Sheylara

It had been almost two years since I ran, so I started off with a slow jog. I believed 45 minutes wouldn’t be a problem with that pace.

Five minutes into the jog, I was ready to drop dead.

I felt really fatigued. And hungry. I was at East Coast Park. The fragrance of meat being barbequed by weekend revellers taunted me left and right as I plodded along unsteadily like a drunken zombie trying to do a marathon.

The task I had set out for myself began to feel impossible, but I knew that endurance training is really about mind over matter. If your mind says you can do it, your body will do it. Simple!

Sheylara

So my mind constantly gave my body pep talks.

It said, “You can do it. You can do it. Do it. Do it. Do it.”

It told my legs, “Left. Right. Left. Right. Left. Right.”

It told my abs, “Sexy abs. Sexy abs. Sexy abs.”

Sheylara

Every so often, my body would plead, “Can we stop?”

The answer would come back screaming, “SEXY ABS!”

Twenty minutes later, while my mind was still going “you can do it you can do it sexy abs” like a broken record, my legs suddenly stopped jogging and started walking.

My mind was, like, “What the…?! I didn’t tell you to stop!!”

My body gave it the proverbial finger and said, “Nyah!”

Sheylara

Over the next 10 minutes, I start-stopped several times as both mind and body sought to wrest control.

Eventually, I gave up and went home. I was starting to break out in cold sweat. By the time I reached home, I was so dizzy and exhausted that I had to lie down on the floor. I couldn’t move for 10 minutes. I just lay there and breathed heavily.

Later, when I recounted my experience to Eric, he laughed and laughed.

Funny meh??

Sheylara

He said it was so funny. And he just wouldn’t stop laughing.

Great. I’ve gotten myself hooked up with a crazy sadist of a trainer.

Sheylara at the gym