I'm Helen. I'm a 23 y/o fitness enthusiast, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Philly native, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, cousin....


Gym Therapy

I don’t really get mad at people, at least for extended periods of time. I rarely fight with my boyfriend, my friends, or even my sisters. Yes, we have arguments, but I would refer to these more as flare ups rather than real fights. Because they are quick, heated moments that die out very quickly. My sister is wearing my new shirt without asking me. I call her a few names, I yell, she reciprocates, we get over it instantly. My best friend Rachel and I spend weeks at a time together, either on vacation or just hanging out, and we get annoyed as crap with each other, but five minutes later we’re laughing so hard that we’re crying. What really happens is that I get frustrated. I get very frustrated. And this turns into hot boiling anger that erupts for a few minutes. But sometimes it lingers, and I can’t get over it right away. I can’t shake the feeling of being seriously pissed off. And it runs the risk of ruining my entire day. Sometimes I have dreams where I’m stuck in traffic or I’m trying to get somewhere on time and my ride is late and I get so frustrated that I cry in my sleep. THAT’S NORMAL RIGHT?!

Yesterday was one of those days. Septa announced that it had to randomly recall 1/3 of its train cars, cutting the amount of passengers it can take into the city every day in half. Yesterday the train was 45 minutes late, and there were about 50 people waiting just at my stop, which means that some of them probably weren’t even allowed on the train. Rather than showing up for work an hour late, I decided to drive into town because I have my mom’s car while she is on vacation. Luckily I found an app that helped me easily find affordable 12 hour parking right by my office, but I was still pretty frustrated considering I spent over $100 on a train pass for July.

After work, I was driving over to the gym hoping to find decent street parking. After going around in a circle about 3 times, I finally found parallel parking between two cars. I started trying to back in, in my mom’s giant minivan, on a center city street with cars zipping past me on the left. I was clearly struggling to make it work, when I saw the woman who was parked behind me get into her car and start the engine. I thought, “oh perfect, she is the last car on the block, so she has about 15 feet behind her where she can back up before the intersection and I can park”. I sat and waited a minute, and she kept sitting there idling. I rolled down my window, leaned all the way out, and waved and yelled (politely) “do you mind backing up a bit so I can get in easier?” Nothing. I kept waving and asking her to help me out a little bit. She was looking straight ahead – still nothing. I was LOSING IT. Finally, someone came out of a building and got in the car with her and they pulled away. Already fuming I parked and went to pay the meter when the guy who was parked in front of me came out and pulled away. SERIOUSLY, THAT COULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED LIKE 3 MINUTES SOONER?!

Luckily I had a client, so instead of just going home and boiling in my own hatred for the parking people, I was on my way to the gym whether I liked it or not. And I had an hour before our session, so I took that frustrated energy and I channeled it into a workout. I put my headphones on FULL BLAST. I didn’t want to hear anyone talking, or anyone else’s music, nothing. I was in the zone. I did some squats up to about 135 pounds (roughly my body weight I think). I did some glute kickbacks. Kettlebell front squats. Sumo squats. Glute bridges. Lunges. God it felt good. By the time my client walked in for his session I was actually in a good mood.

Lifting is the most instantly gratifying source of therapy that I have found. And I should know, because I have a real therapist too. And even though that obviously helps in the long run, the only place that leaves me feeling infinitely better the second that I leave it is the gym. I will never forget this one day a year or two ago when I was so upset and angry about something and I forced myself to go to the gym and afterwards I literally could not remember what I was upset about. I probably skipped out of the damn gym humming a lively tune, after all that. There is something about challenging yourself against those heavy weights and coming out on top that just feels awesome. I’m already looking forward to today’s workout even though my legs are exhausted from yesterday. No one is going to piss me off today! (knock on wood though, just in case). 

Yesterday's Full Workout

Simple Pleasures

Simple Pleasures

July 1st Friday Favorites!