Singing Praises for Ginger Vieira (and me!)

I’ve been working a lot with Ginger Vieira, and she is one of the best things I have done for myself in a long time.  Maybe ever.  She is really good at helping people, and I am thankful to have such a great coach and sounding board.

I have also worked really hard at looking at myself and honestly answering the questions we have come up with.  I can’t say enough about how hard it is to be honest with myself about issues that I am scared to look at (change is hard).  The brain is an incredibly mysterious machine, and it is good at playing tricks.  So I take a lot of credit for my progress too.  Like many other things, you get from it what you put into it.  I’m working Ginger hard, and she is acknowledging the hard work and guiding my energy towards positive life progress.

While in Florida for the Roche summit I exercised with Ginger (who also attended the summit).  Our routine coaching sessions have all been via telephone, so I wanted to take advantage of an in-person session.  I’m almost sorry that I did (I say that tongue-in-cheek).

This particular aspect of my work with Ginger is exercise related, but her life coaching skills can help you with almost anything, and the other things she’s helping me with are not exercise related. I don’t want to “pigeon-hole” her into people thinking she only does fitness and exercise stuff.  That being said, she has a strong background in personal training and exercise physiology and holds a bunch of national powerlifting records (I know, right?!).  I’d be a fool not to ask her to teach me some exercise/fitness type stuff.

Image of the workout notes Ginger made for meOur specific goal was to teach me a routine that I can do without any special gym equipment.  I wanted to have an arsenal of exercises that I could do wherever I am, whether that is in a hotel room or my living room.   Holy smokes did she deliver.

I have to admit that I was a little nervous on my way down to the exercise room.  Who in their right mind asks a record holding powerlifter to work them out?  Had I lost my mind?

I got there and traded greetings with Karmel, who was kicking ass on the elliptical machine (I didn’t know they went that fast!), and Rachel.  I jumped on the treadmill to warm up, then saw Ginger approaching the door.   The exercise room was secured, and Ginger‘s door key-card wasn’t working.  Here was my chance to get out of the whole deal.  If she couldn’t get in, and I pretended not to see her, I could blame everything on her not showing up!  Brilliant!

But I’m not that bright.  So I let her in…

She ran me through a grueling routine of body weight exercises.  We only worked out for about 30 minutes, and I was completely exhausted by the time we finished.  I was so whooped that she didn’t even make me finish all of the exercises on the list.  I had no idea that I didn’t need any equipment to get that tired.  No. Idea.

She put together a video that is a quick little glimpse of what we did, and it doesn’t do the pain justice at all.  But it’s still kind of fun to look at.

You’ll notice that for the (evil) turkish get-ups that we were holding a small dumbbell, but that could just as easily have been a book or small bag, or anything that adds a little bit of weight.  And please trust me on this, whatever you use for a turkish get-up, it does not need to be heavy – they are hard enough.

I learned so much from this workout, everything from how to make my push-ups harder to physically exhausting myself with no gym equipment in 30 minutes.

This routine is just one small weapon in the exercise armory that Ginger and I are working on.  We are also working on not rushing into big change, because that has never worked for me in the past.  We are working on learning about options.  We are working on having many choices for exercise.

I like where this is heading, and appreciate Ginger and her help.

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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, advocate. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. Patient Success Manager, USA for mySugr (All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent the position of my employer).

Diagnosed in April of 1980, I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. Read more…