Getting A Personal Trainer Has Transformed My Quest For Fitness- Hayley Matthews

Gyms can seem like intimidating places for those who don't already have big muscles (Photo: Scott Nelson / Getty Images)

Gyms can seem like intimidating places for those who don’t already have big muscles (Photo: Scott Nelson / Getty Images)

Basically there is also this thing lurking: “gym anxiety”. All the strong, confident people who spin around equipment like they are working on a well-oiled factory belt. You know those who seem to glide from machine to machine while hovering for a few minutes in between.

And then there is me. A few overweight stones, the onset of arthritis, a swinging baby belly and bingo wings that hang down to the knees. So I desperately wanted to get started, but needed a boost of self-confidence and I’m so glad I now found her – or rather she should I say!

She comes in the form of a happy and approachable young girl named Lara Aitken, recommended by David Lloyd to Corstorphine. When I read in her bio that she had formed one of the main characters of Game Of Thrones (I’ll tell you more about it another day), I could understand why she was so excited.

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I did a few sessions with her and she is honestly worth her muscle in gold. You see, what I never expected was how heavy the gym can be for men and how, if you are a woman who lacks confidence in yourself, it can be intimidating to go see a group of muscular men squeeze the bench at 50k as you rush for a 2k baby dumbbell.

But with the knowledge and experience Lara has already given me, I feel like I know what I’m doing now.

We started by looking at my mobility and flexibility to see where I could improve, because while we think we know our body best, personal trainers know how to optimize it.

She doesn’t feel like a personal trainer, she feels like a friend, a positive voice in my ear encourages me to keep going. She’s the push, the knowledge and the confidence I needed to make my way to this sophisticated piece of equipment.

I’ll be honest, before I go see her I never really ‘got’ hiring a personal trainer, but I totally get it now and would tell anyone who gets in shape to do it because that it makes the difference between day and night. Physiotherapists are heroes of the fitness world.

They’re not just there to tell you how to exercise, but to tell you HOW!

Having someone really knowledgeable about body / muscle structure and fitness really helped me understand my body instead of being bored and frustrated with being stiff.

When I first met Lara, I told her about my bad joints, a shaky ankle after a break, squeaky knees, and yielding wrists. Yes, I had a hard paper ride and it hurts every day. But that doesn’t mean I should give up my fitness.

After a few weeks, I feel stronger and, ironically, less sore! She did more for my strength and “gym anxiety” than I can explain.

I feel confident with the equipment and even did a mini session in the garden at home with my boys.

I have already booked Lara in August as she is very popular. If you plan to steal it from me, I’ll know it from the shape of your guns, so be careful, I have them too!

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