“Oi!” you say, in your comedically thick British accent, “let me just slip on me trainers and we’ll go for a run.”

Because to the English, “trainers” means “sneakers.” Aren’t they adorable? (The British, not the shoes.)

If you say “trainers” in the US, we’ve all been conditioned by John Hughes movies to immediately envision not sneakers but the coach of the high school football team, who wears double-knit shorts and a whistle around his neck; he’s given to saying “Hustle up, ladies” to the varsity football players.

But there’s a third definition – and I finally perceived it when I was having lunch with a friend.

We were on my porch – outside; fresh air; low Covid transmission – having socially-distanced pasta salad (made by my adorable son; he’s such a good kid) and talking about how much we each valued working with Body Dynamics in Falls Church.

My friend was dealing with some pretty serious issues, and had been told by her doctors that the pain she was in was just the way it was going to be from now on. She was updating me on the remarkable degree to which her pain had receded. It’s not gone – but it’s rarely debilitating, thanks to the combined efforts of Body Dynamics physical therapists and personal trainers.

“I had no idea,” she said, “that anyone could have – that anyone would need – a trainer if they weren’t – you know… an athlete.”

She said it, and BAM, I realized that I had never really tackled that realization before. She’s right. Instinctively, I believe trainers are only for serious competitors. They make you go to boot camp and do burpees and wind sprints. They push protein powder in everything you eat. They live in cinderblock hallways redolent with the faint smell of sweat and pool chlorine.

But NO!

We’ve been deceived by “Weird Science” and “Sixteen Candles.” We ALL need a personal trainer, ESPECIALLY if we are not particularly athletic – for, as previously discussed, doctors really don’t have the time or the training to help you safeguard your health. It’s up to you, and what the hell do you know?? If you had control over everything, you wouldn’t be in the shape you’re in now!

But you know what happens when I begin any Body Dynamics appointment? From a massage with Gwynn to a workout with Chip or Barbara? They say “What’s going on with your body today? How do you feel? What’s going on in your life?” And for a few minutes (maybe longer) we talk about it. From “my left calf feels sore” to “I can’t sleep longer than four hours to save my life.” They listen – and then they work with me to improve my daily condition and my long-term outlook for a healthy old age.

Is that something most people need? Is it a better definition of “trainer” than some track shoes from Great Britain or a barrel-chested whistle-blower?

I say it IS!

So I’m out and out advising you: Get yourself a trainer. “It’s too expensive.” “I don’t have the time.” “I don’t WANNA.” I hear you – I do. But the choices you make now will determine your future… and if you think changing for the better is hard today, imagine how tough it’s going to be tomorrow. You can do it – more, you deserve to do it.

Body Dynamics is doing online sessions; you don’t have to long for Barbara or Chip. You can WORK with Barbara and Chip. Or find someone else. But know that you don’t have to struggle alone; there are people who really do know how to help.


Isn’t Barbara adorable? I’m just madly in love with her. And Chip, too. And Gwynn. I’m so lucky!



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