2007-09-25: Training Of A Personal Nature


McAlister_icon.gif Sharon_icon.gif

Summary: A DJ goes to a Gym, where a horrid evil slave-driving excuse for a trainer (who is awfully sweet really) sets out to make something of somebody who definitely isn't used to this sort of thing.

Date It Happened: September 25, 2007

Training of a Personal Nature

Power House Gym

Power House Gym. It's the gym that Sharon works at as a personal trainer. She's a trainer, and it's not uncommon for the people at the front desk to send people to her office after they've indicated interest in some sort of training program. Her office is really just one of the little rooms on the bottom floor with a computer, desk, and a little space for files and junk. But it does have her name -Sharon Hawkers: Personal Trainer- on the door in nice black letters. The door is open, and the woman is currently just finishing up a little bit of paperwork. The front desk handles all the sign-up, papers, and those things. There are a pair of rattan sticks mounted on the back wall, along with one of those inspirational posters.

"Thanks!" That distinctive alto offers up the hall, there - "This one, right?"

And with that, Ali's taptaptapping at the door, open or not, the blonde flashing a bright grin into the room beyond, and more specifically at the woman at the desk. "So. Before this goes /anywhere/, I'm probably duty bound to tell you that, frankly, I hate you. I mean, not in a personal, horribly bad way - but in a way that says 'I would rather be eatin' chocolate and lounging in a hottub somewhere'." It's tragic - overly so, theatrically grave, the smile there nonetheless as the DJ leans against the doorframe.

"so seriously, when I whine that at you later? It's out of the way, right?" Definitely a Jersey girl, from the accent. "I figure it means you can laugh at me though. Fair trade."

Sharon laughs. "Fair enough. I'm good enough at tuning out whining. Comes with the territory, but if you're interested, we can probably get you to where your tolerance before needing to whine goes up a good bit. Not to mention that the hot tub and chocolate is more satisfying after a little bit of hard work," the woman tells the DJ. "Have a seat, and lets talk if you're still interested. I'm Sharon," the woman responds, offering Ali a hand.

"Alyssa McAlister. Ali." Her handshake is firm, that smile remaining sunny as she drifts in to offer it. "So. See. There's this /guy/." And she launches in, unbidden.

"And, honestly? He likes to jog. I don't - I prefer air conditioning and nature in easy doses. So we go out /on/ this jog, right? And it's just embarrassing - I'm panting like a dog in a couple of minutes and he's just cruising along - " Ali snorts, shakes her head - and drops in a chair. Well, drapes herself in the chair, really, chattering on, animated. "And it occurrs to me that maybe actually doing something about that might be smart. And, what with one thing and another? I have no clue what I'm doing. So I walk by the place every day, and it got me thinking, so I thought about poking my head in.." And she shrugs.

It's always about a guy. Well, not always, but Sharon has heard such stories before. Though the name is familiar to Sharon. Sharon, you see, doesn't sleep. Midnight radio? She has heard A LOT of it over her lifetime. Though she doesn't comment on it immediately, as she's sure the DJ gets all sorts of that. "Well, I'm sure I can help you with that. We can do a general fitness program, which includes weights and aerobics, or we could do a self defense and martial arts program," she explains, gesturing to the sticks that hang on the back wall. "The martial arts will build up your cario endurance and speed up while teaching you useful skills. The weight and cardio full program focuses more on generic physical fitness, but is good for building up that solid base. You wouldn't need to come to me if you just wanted someone to tell you to get on a treadmill for an hour a day, I'm assuming".

"… sad part is? Probably." Ali leans forward then, laughing - "I don't really know or care about beatin' people up - I probably should, but.. eh. Honestly? Between you and me? I've been broke, homeless, not so broke, and now I'm kinda on a self-improvement kick." A pause, and something odd flits across her expression, quickly past.

"Seriously? If I can sort out.. some of the stuff I'm sorting out? I can get in shape, right? It's easier - and I'm tired of pretending it doesn't really matter to me, and I'm not so stupid as to not realize if I /don't/ have somethin' in - some cash or somebody willing to bitch at me when I'm not out there doing what I should be doing? I won't. So.. maybe it's best if ya kinda tak.." and she breaks off, visibly rephrases, chooses a different set of words. "Anyway. You get the idea. That and I have no idea what I'm doing, mostly."

"General fitness it is," Sharon says. "If you want to learn other things later, we can work with that. Now, I take it you filled out all those lovely forms, waivers, and all that stuff up front?" Sharon asks. "Because if you have, then I'm free now and we can go do that initial assessment if you want to go get changed. Figure out where you are and where to start you off at in your program".

"Oh. God. Changed. Yeah." Ali makes a face - "And yeah, they sorta /make/ you - like walking in the back room you might get clipped with a flying weight or something." She grins, stretches - hops up. "Uh. So what's the 'initial assessment' going to involve, then?"

Sharon just smiles at Ali and reaches over to clap her lightly on the back as she stands. "Me figuring out just how hard I can push you, that's all. Women's locker room is down that hall to the left. I'll meet you at the trainer's desk upstairs at the main gym". Ali did say she needed someone to push her! Then the woman walks on out, expecting Ali to go get changed and meet her up there when the DJ is ready. Sharon has to go grab a blank file and put Ali's information on it and get it ready for tracking her work.


Oi. Changing.

But it's a rather lean and rangy (perhaps even too thin, as in "really should be eating more") Ali that wanders out of the locker room later, wearing simple sweats and a sports top that's so battered it definitely needs replacing. Soon. Servicible, but by comparison to the usual fitness fanatic? Not very fashionable, no.

Her shoulder bag has been left behind; her boots traded in for the wrong kind of shoes, but hey- they're better than boots. And canvas. Sure, they're good for working out, right?

And she heads Sharon's way, pulling her hair back into a band, looking determined, if nothing else. "Okay. So. What happens next?"

Sharon has her own sports top and gym shorts on as well, of course. "Well, lets get some stretching done first, and then we'll hit the weights and figure that out. Once we put you through those paces, we'll put you on a treadmill and get some cardio in. Today we're figuring out just where your strengths and weaknesses are," Sharon explains as she takes the clipboard and leads Ali on over to one of the mats to lead her through some basic stretching. Leg stretches, chest stretches, etc…. The part most people take as the boring part. But, it's necessary.

Ali? Well, she just does it. Sort of.

No. She's /not/ in shape. At all - it shows even in that early stage - low flexibility, a lot of muttered whining, and … well. Best to leave the rest, perhaps.

But she takes it in stride, watching the other folk in the gym with some curiosity. In the midst of all of that, though, she asks a simple enough question, "So is this your place?"

That's alright. Sharon is there to help with that! "Just go to where it's comfortable, and we'll get you moving in no time," Sharon tells the woman. "My place? No, I don't own it. Just work here," Sharon explains. "I don't think I'd like dealing with all that paperwork myself. Takes up too much time". Sharon is happy to train people more than deal with the red tape. Once the stretching is done, Sharon leads Ali on over to a squat rack and demonstrates it with just the bar. "This is the squat, and is one of the big exercises we'll deal with. Works pretty much your entire legs. Try it with just the bar and see how it feels, then we'll add some weight to it".

Ali looks at it dubiously - okay, she goes. And she follows directions. But.. it's with the air of one getting strapped into a rack, honestly. "uh-huh. Note to self. No thongs." It's a lame attempt at a joke, but she tries it out anyway.

"Paperwork is one of those necessary evils. Thank god it's dodgeable, right? So how'd you get into this… stuff?"

Sharon is handling the spotting, so Ali won't have to worry about breaking her neck. "Well, I started with martial arts when I was a kid, and it kind of grew from there. Grew up in Denver, so the whole mountain climbing thing played into it, too. You needed to be in shape if you wanted to try climbing the mountains, even with the guides helping you out," she explains. "Ended up being a natural fit". Once Ali is comfortable with the movement, she'll put a 25 pound plate on each side, for a total weight of 95 pounds. Not a ton, but Ali is new, too.

… and it shows. That weight's an unfamiliar sort of struggle, but she tackles it gamely anyway. And it's work - something it's obvious she's not at all used to. "Denver, huh? I wanna see the rockies.. *urf* … someday." A /little/ tottery, there, but she salvages it. ".. people do this for /fun/?" A mutter, then, "I never really have gone past New York. And Newark, but I dunno if that counts as going anywhere, really."

Sharon lets Ali do her set, then slips another ten pounds on each side for the next set. Nobody said she was going to be easy on the DJ. "Not for fun so much as for being able to do other things that are fun," Sharon tells the woman. "And it gets easier the more you do it. Everyone starts out new to it".

Set two is a /lot/ of work - and with an initial groan, the DJ gets moving with it, yes. But by the time it's done, there's already a bit of shivering setting in, that trembling that's a harbinger of muscles fatigued from doing something they're not at all used to doing.

And when the bar gets set down, it's a bit graceless, the woman panting a bit too hard for how much work that really is (though there's not much sign of it being feigned, either). "You really suck. For the record." But it comes out with a smile, a wink - she's not serious.

"That mean I'm doing my job, Midnight McAlister," Sharon says, grinning and making note of the set information. She can use this for future sessions, and she's actually not out to wipe the woman out completely. Particularly since they have to go through more body parts than usual for the first assessment. "Now, lets move on to bench press," Sharon says once she's reracked the weights. That's the great thing about a trainer. They handle moving the weights around and setting them up. She heads over to a bench and removes the plates on it before demonstrating the movement for Ali, again with just the bar.

Ali trails after. "Hey, you listen?" Apparently, she /doesn't/ get that often. Must be the shift. And the smile? Oh it /beams/, happy - "I figured it was just security guards and mom, you know?"

"My job lets me vary my sleep schedule a little bit, as there are days I don't have many clients, and days I have a lot. So I catch it fairly often," Sharon tells Ali. "It's a good show; you do a good job with it". She gestures to the bench with her hand. Apparently being a radio DJ doesn't get you a free pass in the gym from Sharon.

McAlister mutters something about 'slave drivers' - and it's early yet! - and settles back on the bench. ".. I'm glad," She says around moving the bar - the emtpy one isn't horrible effort, but it's effort - "somebody likes it besides mom. That's all I'm sayin' - now that I know, I'll give you a shout out one night."

Sharon will add ten pounds to each side once Ali is done. "I'll listen for the slave driver shout out then. Good to know someone appreciates us," the trainer says. She's spotting, to make sure the woman doesn't drop the bar on her chest. And she's just seeing how the woman does with the weights. She hasn't even gotten into the real slave driver work yet!

Ali struggles. Best word for it - but she's game. THere's heart, even if there's very little to go with it, at least 'moveheavyobjectwise'.

Again, though, the extra weight has her trembling; the last push needs a little help. And she lays there for a minute, afterwords, eyes closed. "Heh. That's not much either, is it." Not that it's a bad humor, still.

"Not uncommon. I've trained people who couldn't lift the bar," Sharon says to the woman. "And you've actually got decent leg strength for not having trained at all". Sharon does help with the last push though. "Don't worry. We've only got another ten or so exercises to go before the treadmill". Is that supposed to comfort the woman? Probably meant more to push her.

"Ohgod. How many?" Yup. Whining. ".. and then a /treadmill?/ What did I sign up for again?"

"Well, maybe it'll only be nine with good behavior," Sharon says as she leads Ali over towards the dumbbells for the classic bicep curls. A staple in every gym, there are the huge guys who are doing stupidly large weights, though Sharon will stop them over near the lighter weights. "Go ahead and grab a pair of dumbbells and see how it feels," she tells the woman.

"Heavy." Ali eyes the guys. Who wouldn't? But she hoists the much smaller weights, there, and yes - she follows directions. "And I'm /paying/ you for this. Or will be. Uh. Yeah. So how many days a week again?"

"Well, I'd recommend one to two sessions with me a week, but your plan will be outlined on this little board here once I develop it. Then it'll be left here and you can fill it out as you do them, but I recommend showing up five days a week. Not every day is for strength training; there will be pure cardio days as well". Sharon helps make sure Ali is using the right form for the curls as well while she explains this.

"/five/ days a week?" Ali sighs, theatrical - "Slave. Driver."

"After the first couple of weeks, it'll be easier. I promise," Sharon says. "You get out of it what you put into it. You did say you needed someone to push you for this," Sharon points out as they work through the exercise. "So how'd you get into DJing?" she questions.

"Done it all my life. Sort of. I mean - when I was a kid they had real guys on the radio, you know? Most of 'em are gone now, but - there's something about it.." Ali shrugs, slightly, working - but she's not paying attention, and the curls come a little easier with the distraction. "I know it's a dying job, and I probably won't get to do it most of my life, but while I can - there's nothing else like it. I can't make music - not like the people I play - but I can share it. And maybe somebody gets inspired, or maybe they're just not alone for a night, or something." A slight shrug - and she actually colors a bit. "Pretty silly, huh?"

"Not particularly silly at all, no," Sharon tells the younger woman as the bicep curls are finished with, and she demonstrates the overhead triceps lift. "Don't know that radio is ever going to truely die though. They've been saying that TV news is going to die for years with the internet and everything, but it's still there. People like listening to other people talk. It's not as robust as when we were kids, but I can't see the world without live radio or television".

"Oh, radio won't die. Having people on it will - it's 'not economically viable', you know?" Ali swaps exercises - and no, the going isn't easy for her. "Trouble is a computer's cheaper than a DJ, and the money's just not there like it was. And you can't have dead air - so if you don't need the warm body to spin the platters, what are they there for anyway? So now it's one or two live voices that talk to half the country, and the rest is just computers and predone bumpers, maybe the occasional intern to do a lunch call-in request show."

"Computers only go so far in my opinion, but I suppose I'm not part of the culture that thinks machines should be in charge of everything," Sharon says, helping to spot the woman as they work through the workout. "And a computer can't do talk radio very well either. Hard to argue when they only have one program setting".

"Heh. Well, the midnight shift is cheap. SO. For now, I'm safe - ya know?" Ali winks at the trainer - "But it's just how the world is. If I had Stern's numbers, I could do the sattelite thing, too, but - it doesn't matter. Wouldn't trade the gig for anything. Who cares about money if you aren't doin' something you love, right?"

And so the strength training portion finally ends after a few more exercises, and Sharon joins Ali on a couple treadmills. "So now we set the pace to what feels comfortable, and we'll go at that pace for a half hour and just build up the endurance," the woman explains to her. "In time, you'll be able to go faster or longer, but we'll start with something a little easier, since you said you had trouble jogging before".

"There was a tree involved. Trust me. It was awful." Ali rubs absently at her arm - but. She's still here, tired, but here. "Well - " She tries out, with a wry grin. "At least I've got a lot of improvement ahead, right?"

"Everyone has improvement ahead of them," Sharon tells the woman. "Humans are always looking to improve. Everyone from the worst to the best. You'll get better with time". She'll continue the run with Ali, and then when it's all said and done, go through post-training stretches and Ali will finally be free, at least until the next session.

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