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Working out with Michal: Week One of the Sassy Mama Challenge!

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A Tri-Athlete, 3 Moms, a Yogi and a CarPark: Can one world-class athlete convince 3 busy mothers and one former runner to set their alarms and rev up their fitness plan? Our Wellness Blogger Tracie decided to get some friends together and find out!

Last month, I was walking through the carpark of a friend’s Mid-Levels apartment building at a bit after 9pm. While I was begrudging my 5 minute, downhill walk home, a woman was running past me, spurred on by the encouraging words of her trainer. I was filled with both awe and resentment at the same time. Awe for her dedication to fitness (a 9pm Thursday night trainer session?) and resentment for making me feel lazy and unmotivated (a 9pm Thursday night trainer session?!). Having been a fitness buff for the better part of my adult life, I know the key is mostly how good your teacher is. A good teacher gets you to the first spin class of the day, or out in summer heat. Botttom line, a good teacher makes it easier to commit. My awe and resentment faded to curiosity and I stopped the trainer, Michal Bucek, and asked for his card.

When I got home, I called Michal directly and we met for coffee. I soon found out he began training clients 12 years and ago competed in his first triatholon with his father at 16. Without really knowing what I was really aiming for, I asked him if he might be willing to lower his usual speed to a slow crawl and train four forty-something women. Michal was about to fly to Kona, Hawaii to compete in the Kona Ironman, perhaps the world’s most famous triatholon (and one for which you need to qualify). No pun intended, but the distance between Michal’s athletic abilities and the gals and I was probably wider than the stretch of the Pacific over which he was about to fly. Regardless, Michal decided to take on the assignment and said he would lead our fitness revolution when he returned.

We all decided we should pack in the last little bits of fun and food that we could before reporting to “BASIC” training at 0600 on Friday the 14th. Little did we know how much that first 5:30am alarm would hurt…

With the sun not yet up, we met in the carpark of the apartment building where all of my friends live. Now, I do not typically rise when the digital display starts with the number “5”, but given that my group of lab-rat friends all had small children, I figured this would be the easiest part for them. Not so! Not being a mom, I did not know that when little ones wake you in the wee hours, the solution du jour is to let them cuddle (and hopefully sleep) next to you. So while I was groggy that first morning, the early am fog had slowed them too. Needless to say, within minutes of Michal’s first instructions the haze had burned off, leaving behind a healthy dose of fear to keep us alert.

Seventy-five minutes later (yes, Michal JUST HAS to push you that bit more) and we had logged a series of hops that made us look like a bunch of drunk rabbits, arm circles that made my arms jiggle like jello and enough lunges to make me think I had already lost a jean size (sadly not the case). As this was the first time any of us had worked out together, we were hoping for the Goldilocks dynamic: not too easy and not too hard for any of us. The sun came up, we were exhausted and Michal had departed (probably to run 20 miles before his breakfast), so I cautiously queried the group – were we a “GO” for the following morning – an early SATURDAY? My question was greeted with a tired, but enthusiastic chorus of “Yes”. I decided to save my “whys?” for a later date and realized my challenge had taken shape (albeit not yet MY ideal shape).

Stay tuned for the next installment of Tracie’s fitness journey!

To book a session with Michal, email [email protected]. Rates range from $250 per person for a 70 minute session training with 4-10 people, or $700 for a private 60 minute session.

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