The other day I sat in when publisher Max Brennan did a workout with his trainer Adrian Veinot at the Park Lane Nubody’s in Halifax, NS. Their pick of the day: squats, which Max considers the most complete single workout you can do. I had never been through a proper squats workout, and my left knee has been touchy the last couple of years after a strain at the gym. Plus I am 55. So I thought: yikes!

Max and I alternated under Adrian’s expert eye. It was a big challenge for me to maintain form–especially to keep looking up so to keep my back straight. In the end I did more than body weight. Adrian said that was a good start. I felt exhausted and had a sense of accomplishment. Max lifted more than 300lbs. Go, max!

The next couple of days my legs were really sore. Walking upstairs was–I coluld feel that.

A couple of days later I took a yoga class at Nubodys at Sunnyside, Bedford. Instructor Helen Fong put us through a well balanced workout, ending with Shivasana,  the corpse pose, a great way to relax. Just what I needed to recover from squats.

Then, a few days later, Amanda Wintink invted me to a yoga boot camp she teaches at Balance Naturopathic. The goal of this is to teach you to set your own limits, she said. It is for people who are competitive, hard chargers, to teach them to find their own limits–so they can back off a bit. She will work you till you drop, so it is up to you to know when to stop. Hard for hard chargers to find that place.

So there I was doing a chattaranga (like an elbows-in pushup) followed by a downward dog, except on these chattarangas you kept your body off the floor. Repeat and repeat and repeat. The studio was warm and sweat was pouring off me. I had done some upper body work the day before and my arms and shoulders were screaming. I bailed and sunk into the relaxation of child’s pose. Some ofthe women beside me kept going. Yikes!

At last the  class was done. So was I. Who said yoga is easy! Man!

Amada was the cover of our April issue of OptiMYz, holding a pair of dumbells, not normally part of her routine. She is a natural athlete who played varsity hockey at Dalhousie University and now plays ultimate frisbee. She very strong, mentally as well as physically. Partly from yoga. She is now a life coach who likes to test herself, and others.

The common element amoing all three workouts was the quality of the instructors. That’s the way to do anything well-get the best instruction. Max has been working out since he was 13, used to be a professional trainer in Chicago, and knows how good Adrian is. Helen and Mandy, they are great too. No matter how good you are, you can always improve, always learn, in squats, yoga, life.

Now, time for a rest. 


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