“When I made the choice to exercise six days a week as recommended in Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, M.D. running was not an option due to knee and foot surgeries, but walking and biking and occasional hiking were part of my aerobic plan. But I needed to begin weight training at two times a week to improve strength and balance. I had no experience with modern gym equipment or free weights I needed instruction on what to do first and how to do it properly. My life experience has taught me that opportunities are around us all the time and the trick is to recognize them. Laura, my daughter had recently married Nate a personal trainer. I saw the perfect opportunity to build a new relationship and learn how to build strength and balance. I had been doing a desk job for twenty years and was overweight and not flexible in my ranges of motion. Nate assessed my limitations and built a program to move me safely but surely toward more challenging exercises.
I learned to stretch my hips, quads, hamstrings, calves, shoulders etc. foam rolled my muscle knots. Then warm-up and engaged muscles. My first year of training was almost entirely using my own bodyweight through sets of exercises working various muscle groups. During this period I would sprain or strain some ligaments around my knee or hip and would come into my workout session and explain the problem. Resist the temptation to skip a workout because coming in allows Nate to show what bit of body mechanics is off and/or muscle that is weak and begin explaining strengthening and correcting the problem. I tore my meniscus in my right knee jogging and had it repaired with orthoscopic surgery and then did physical rehab. Once released by the doctor, I began training again and Nate showed me stretches to get back my full range of motion.
It’s not overnight but rather consistent repetition. I now can practically touch my heel to my butt. Two years of training and I’m now bench pressing, dead-lifting and Romanian dead-lifting with different grip variations. My muscle tone is good, my joints feel better and I move with greater ease. Outside of training, I bike twice a week 25 to 40 miles a ride, I do Hatha Yoga once or twice a week.
I had the great privilege to backpack in the California Sierras from Horseshoe Meadows to Keisage Pass including a climb over Forrester Pass 13,200 ft. Seven days total on the Pacific Crest/John Muir trail. It was a life changing experience and has whetted my appetite to do similar trips at least once a year. Thanks to Nate, I’m able to do all this pain-free!”
~ Bill Dally