I am a slumper. I have very poor posture and a weak upper body. The slumping and poor posture have taken a toll on my spine, my shoulders, my back muscles, and pretty much everything else north of my waist. Having a desk job and pursuing sedentary hobbies such as reading and writing have not helped the situation. Even though my cardiovascular system is in good condition (from biking and my use of an elliptical trainer) and I walk quite a bit nearly every day, I need help.

So I started getting some this evening when I participated in my first training session with Erin Long. She is the Director of Personal Training at the Kachmann Mind Body Institute in Fort Wayne. Erin conducts various training sessions at their facility in the Lutheran Hospital campus.

Erin was kind enough to start my training gradually with fairly light exercises. Even though they seemed simple enough, by the third or fourth repetition I felt as if I was nearing the end of my ability to continue. Just about then, Erin would start me on a different series of exercises. Again, none of them were really very difficult and none took long to get through, but by the third or fourth repetition, WOW. I knew that the exercises she chose for me must be the ones I needed for the simple reason that they caused me to struggle. I could tell that I was working muscles that haven’t worked for a very long time. Do I expect pain tomorrow? What do you think?

I’m not hoping for a miracle. I just want to strengthen my neck, shoulders, back, and arms, and improve my posture so that I’ll be able to lie flat on my back and not feel as if I’m lying crosswise over a log. That’s about as simple a description as I can give about what it’s like to have a back that you can’t straighten. It’s really pretty embarrassing.

I must have lost at least an inch or two in height over the years due my poor posture and long term failure to exercise and stretch my upper body. If I could gain a quarter inch I would be happy, although I’m not planning on measuring. I believe I’ll be able to tell just by looking in a mirror.

I’ll update my progress here.

Stay tuned.

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