Athletes train at the same gym I go to. Some I recognize. Some I don’t. Usain Bolt and Johan Blake are two who I have seen often enough. Imagine my delight when I spotted my current favourite female sprinter a few days ago!
It was Pilates class day and as usual, I try to do some cardio before, otherwise my muscles rebel. [Loudly] Got to the gym too late, on account of waking up too late. Did 3 minutes walking on the treadmill instead of 5, then headed for the elliptical. Apart from the elliptical being my favourite cardio machine, the one I use is positioned so that I can see when the Pilates teacher arrives so I can get in there and not miss too much of the beginning of the class.
The Qunicy Jones ‘Back on the Block’ song rotation was on my music player so was already in a great mood, especially when One Woman Man played. Unlike the lady on the stair stepper who was singing out loudly whatever she was listening to on her player, I refrained from doing likewise.
Ever so often I would turn my head to look at the door to see who was coming in through the entrance, which is about 15 m from the machine. Nearing the end of the 12 minute period [instead of 15], I glance to look and who should I see come into the cardio room??????
As usual she was smiling brightly as she greeted the singing lady near the cardio room door. My 12 minute segment finished around that time and I had to pass her to get out of the cardio room. I smiled and she acknowledged with eye contact while continuing to catch up with the lady.
“And lift up, hold the belly button to the spine, breathe in, breathe out” had me trying to coordinate….and I haven’t even counted the actual move yet! It involved balancing on one leg while doing a knee lift, knee circles, a lunge, back to a knee lift and then crossing the knee lift across the body. Sounds simple? Try it man. Then let me know how it worked out for you. -_-
In exercises, you discover that one side is stronger than the other. We were just about done on my weak side when I looked across to the mirror to check my form [there’s only so far the stomach can be sucked in] and there she was again! The room has barres and people come in there to use it to stretch all the time. So she was doing that, then she also used the spinning bikes which reside at the back of the room to stretch as well, while looking at the room full of a variety of sizes and abilities trying to keep up with the Pilates teacher.
Suddenly, I found my balance. Ok, so we had switched to my strong side, so that helped. But it sure was motivating to have her in there. I didn’t even know who Kerron Stewart was, until she caused a sensation by beating a more well known sprinter at the Jamaica Olympic trials, I think in 2008. Then she went on to mine silver at the games. I have been a fan ever since.
Around that same time, I started a thread on the CaribbeanCricket.com‘s forum called something like “I want a body like Kerron Stewart’s”, to which the posters laughed. I guess they were on to something since five years on, I am no closer to that goal. My cricket buddy even saw her in the supermarket and told her about me and my goals, then took a picture and sent it to me. Here’s the part of that picture with Kerron, and me as I was at the time, juxtaposed, with the caption that I was working on getting a body like hers. When I saw her this week, I thought “she’s really tiny!” The track & field fans nicknamed her “Man Royale” and I can’t figure out why because she’s not huge or overly muscular. Well maybe she was at the time.
She’s returned from a hamstring injury and is now with the Racers Track Club. Good move Kerron Stewart. Hopefully this will get her back to her best of 10.75 in the 100m……soon. Meanwhile, I continue to use her as my inspiration to get sculpted and chiselled.