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I like to run, ride bikes, walk, cut wood, and work on the oyster flats of Wellfleet. My hat trick of exercise during the summer is to run four miles, swim for a half hour and rake a basket of cherry stones.
But it's been thirty years since I've approached my Uconn Husky competitive weight of 172 lbs. I dream of someday finding 179 without being sick. Maybe then I could soar through the air to dunk a basketball again – something that now happens very rarely – and only in my dreams.
The real goal is to just get at it – to use my newfound free time to convert my competitive juices back from coaching to competing. I don't have any lofty goals. It would be nice just not to embarrass myself.
They say timing is everything. I guess so because in my case intent recently met opportunity. Here's my story.
There's a new gym in town. Maybe “gym” is a misnomer. This isn't four walls, a wood floor and baskets. Jerry and Teris Espinosa have opened a Fitness Together franchise. I'm lucky have known Jerry since the late 70's, so the week they opened I took a tour. Thoroughly Impressed!
Located down on South Washington Street across from CVS, this is quite a gem – both physically and in concept. The theme is individualized training with the tag line – one client, one trainer, one goal. For those who have gone this route and been disappointed I can guarentee different results. Oh, I've heard the stories of overweight personal trainers who yawn and use their cell phone on the clients dime. Jerry and Teris personalize each workout to the individual and are true partners in the fitness plan. More about that later.
The facility houses three private training suites (each decked out with everything you need to tone, trim and get back to feeling terrific. And in a separate area there are machines always available to get in that C-V workout.
Since we've known each other since 1978 Jerry invited me down to train with him. It's always been a goal of ours to compete together in the high jump. Our high school and college careers didn't mesh, but in one sense they intersected. The NAHS high jump record I set in 1970 was broken by Jerry in 1980.
But now we train together twice a week. After 10 minutes on the elliptical machine to warm up and some dynamic drills we put in a solid half hour of core and lower body work using the Bosu Ball, physio-ball, a variety of exercise tubing, plyo boxes and jump rope. Each workout is designed for progression, which for me in these early stages is happening rapidly. By the nature of my work and goals, the upper body remains a secondary goal at this point. Then if the weather is cold I'll put in another twenty minutes on the elliptical rather than hit the roads.
The most amazing thing is that there has been no pain associated with the gain. There is sensible pacing to the training with an eye toward future goals. For that I thank Jerry. I'm a sprinter by nature and tend to thrive on heavy workloads, using physical breakdown as my stopping point.
I'm more comfortable in the role of teacher rather than student, but for now I've put someone else in charge. The sign of a good coach is the ability to help your athletes rise to greater heights. In this case, Jerry's job is to make that happen – literally.
And don't tell Jerry, but his student is gunning to beat him! Then I'll think about taking on PJ Allessi, Derek Ellis and Latif Thomas.