Monday, 10 January 2011


I've never really understood the point of personal trainers. If a person is motivated enough - then surely they can devise their own work-out regime, right?
Or so I was to discover......
Last week a friend and I flew out to his sublime house in Umbria (here's a view of the lake; beautifully bare in her stark winter robes) in an attempt to atone for our festive excesses.
We were accompanied by personal trainer Henry Barratt - who is one of the nicest men you could ever hope to meet.

How hard could it be to exercise with an ex-rugby professional who has played with some of the most prestigious clubs in England and charged onto a pitch at Twickenham in front of 54,000 spectators?
I mean, I already run. I do classes. I walk at lunch-times if my characters are refusing to co-operate. Surely I could fall into the category of "fit"?

Let me just say that Henry's idea of a "slow and steady run" was light-years away from mine. (Inexplicably, he doesn't start the clock from the moment you finish lacing up your trainers!)
We alternated our morning runs with interval training - short spurts of sprinting in between the "slow and steady" pace. This was one of the toughest things I've ever done - but having someone convince you that you can do it is incredibly inspirational.
In the afternoons, the men went to the gym while I power-walked up the fierce inclines of the surrounding hills.

Did it work?
Well, for once, I didn't need to shoe-horn myself into a pair of jeans and I came back feeling more energetic and empowered than I'd felt in a long while - but I'm sure this had something to do with the second part of Henry's philosopy.
Any ideas what that might be?
Come back tomorrow and I'll reveal all.


  1. What a great way to shift the Christmas stuffing!

    And the second part of the philosophy? I hope it's rest and recovery ...


  2. Nice work, Sharon. Can't wait to read Part II.

    Losing weight can be tough. I have a hard time staying motivated during the winter months. I love to walk and I often bike during when the weather is warm, but when it's 8 degrees (F) when I awaken in the morning it's very difficult to stay focused and get out for some excercise.

    Great job - be proud of yourself!

  3. (please pardon my typos; I'm having a rough morning...)

  4. Oh Sharon, you are SO inspiring! Such fitness,such gorgeous knees. Well done you on all that hard work and I can't wait to hear the rest tomorrow.


  5. Dan - agree that cold mornings can be daunting - and I felt the same while out in Italy. In fact, one morning, we had a light dusting of "neve"....snow. Brrr!

    But Henry convinced me that I would feel better afterwards. And I did. Sometimes the thought of exercise is worst that the exercise itself....

  6. You're right, Sharon. Most times it's better to just do it rather than think about it. I have a stationary bike, but it's a mind-numbingly boring form of excercise. I'm not much of a television-watcher and it's difficult to read while on the bike so it doesn't get much use. I enjoy walking and I have some lovely destinations nearby - and although I return chilled-to-the-bone, I do feel better afterwards. Staying motivated is the key.