I finally got the courage to ask at my gym if there was someone who could help me get rid of my upper back pain (I was very grateful that my lower back pain had gone when I took off some weight). At that point (Sep-October 2011) I was hoping to participate in another 3 day Breast Cancer walk (3 days = 60 miles) but I was having such pain in my upper back when I walked that I knew I wouldn't be able to tolerate that for 3 days. That was the incentive that got me past my shyness to go ask. The woman who talked to me said she felt this guy, Dan, would be great for me. So I made arrangements to meet with him.
And my life has changed completely since I first met with Dan!
Not only did my back pain improve but it didn't really matter because I got the courage to try to run again (strangely it didn't hurt when I ran - go figure). Dan also taught my muscles to work properly and improved my balance (although there is still a very long way to go on that one). I now revel in the compliments I get (especially at Whole Foods where I go after my workouts to get salad for dinner) on my arms - and they are endless comments too. So Dan also taught me about vanity...LOL - but in a good way.
I have worked with him 3 times a week for this past year and a half and I can tell you that there is absolutely NOTHING that I wouldn't do for him - that's how much he has changed my life and inspired me. He had to listen to endless thoughts, comments, and worries about my training for the New York City Marathon and he was always so supportive about it. He created workout plans that would work the muscles I needed for running.
He also worked the most important muscle - my mind. He knows how to motivate and encourage everyone and is such a nice guy (except when he chuckles and raises the weight from what you're comfortable with - that evil laugh is enough to put you in a rage - if you weren't already exhausted from the workout..LOL). He can tell when there's something wrong and usually he can figure out what it is and then figure out what the perfect solution to it is.
He is very humble. If you look on the internet you'll see all his body building contest pictures and you'd wonder how I could say he's humble - but he is. He is sure of himself but not in an obnoxious or conceited way. He pays attention to you AND he cares about you. He will never be sidetracked or look at his phone or other people when he's watching you work out. He wants to make sure you do it right. And you know what? You want to do it right because you know he's there and you think "geez, if he cares so much I better care and I better do what he tells me because he's got a good reason for telling me to do it".
He's caring and compassionate although he doesn't want anyone to know that.
How's this for caring. He hid this from me and I'm so glad it turned out ok as it was. He planned to go to New York in November to surprise me at the Marathon - that's phenomenal in and of itself. And then when I told him I had decided it wasn't right to go, he finally told me (it was too late for me to change because I'd cancelled my reservations) and although I felt really bad (I didn't know at that time that the marathon would be cancelled) but he made me feel ok because he told me he was also going to propose to his girlfriend - which apparently turned out great - he wouldn't tell me differently anyway. But I was so moved that he would go to all that effort and trouble to be supportive of me. Not many people can say that they have that kind of support.
He is always positive and a light at the end of a tunnel - a very long day at work. He got me through a year of very difficult working conditions (when we were working on finalizing the computer project that I'd been working on for over 2 years and getting ready to deploy it- - a major computer system for our organization). Even when I was tired and just wanted to go home, I knew that I would feel better when I was done working out with him. And I did!
As a result of his training (mental and physical) I had the courage to do all those races in a row in December, then try my 50 mile event last weekend and then do a marathon in Austin this past weekend. I don't think I could have done as well with all his hard work with me.
Dan is the true embodiment of a "personal trainer" and I owe him my life - sincerely. Without him I'd probably be gaining weight again and be back to being a slug. I don't know how to adequately thank him for all he's done for me and meant to me.
You are terrific Dan! Thank you for coming into my life!