I don’t know, is it cold enough outside? I was thinking it could be a little colder, what about you guys? Kidding! Anybody who knows me very well at all knows how much I hate winter and the cold. A couple of weeks ago it warmed up into the 50’s on a Sunday and the sun came out for a second and that’s about when I decided to head outside for some cardio for a change. Perhaps it was a touch of spring fever or maybe just a temporary lapse in judgment, but in a weak moment I decided to push it a step further and take my outside walk in the cemetery to the Memorial for some running of the steps there.

Anybody who knows me very well at all also may have noticed lately that I am limping around like a lion with a thorn stuck in its paw, and it is killing me that I cannot do my normal hourly/daily elliptical stint. Killing me, I’m telling you! But, it was brought to my attention by someone very dear to me that maybe I should listen to what my body is trying to tell me and maybe even write about it. Hence, therefore, and thusly, this newsletter is born.

It pains me in more ways than one to have to write this. Let’s face it, nobody likes being injured. It sucks! I am sure there are many people who are wondering why a trainer would get hurt and how I managed to do this. Obviously, the reason many people hire me is to ensure a “safe” and effective workout, right?

In my defense, I did not do it because of poor form whilst training or doing anything wrong, per se. For me, what happened has been many, many years in the making. I have had painful, arthritic knees for decades and I have pushed them beyond their limit for almost as long with lunges, squats, running stairs, interval training, etc. I have always known that the day would come that I’d have to deal with them. I am going to Dr. Gregory Fox at Bloomington Bone & Joint Clinic to get the real scoop.

Anyways, my point here is that you should really listen to your body and try to avoid injury at all cost. I ignored my painful knees that fateful day at the Memorial, and I have been out of commission with cardio and lower body workouts ever since. Being over zealous threw me completely out of the cardio game for the past two weeks and possibly another several weeks until I heal from whatever treatment I have to undergo; all because I pushed it too far. Had I stopped when my knee began to hurt (unfortunately, the first step) I could have possibly avoided all this pain and lost training time.

GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS UPDATE: Dr. Greg Fox (I love this guy!) had an MRI done of my knee. We found out that it is very bad inflammation due to some pretty severe arthritis. Who knew arthritis and getting old could be so painful? So, I am going to do what I said I would never do and get a steroid shot in my knee to relieve the inflammation so that I can more quickly return to my normal copacetic knees and their pre-injury activity level minus running the stairs, lunges, deep squats, full leg extensions, etc.

Let me just say, I HATE LIMITATIONS!!! But I do not want to keep experiencing this kind of pain, nor do I plan on getting continual steroid shots, so I will be good and cut back on those things that caused this in the first place. And by the way, that is the bad news because limitations suck! The good news is there was no meniscus damage; both Dr. Fox and myself feared a meniscus tear which would have meant arthroscopy and longer downtime.

Moral of the story: If it hurts beyond a muscle burn, you should stop doing whatever it is you are doing that is causing the pain. DUH! My body tried to tell me, but I didn’t listen. It is probably never a good idea to work through that kind of pain. For those of us who are very competitive and driven, it is a fine line between good and bad pain. Crazy as that may seem. This has truly been a lesson in humility and common sense for me.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Don't forget to check out my weekly Fitness Column in the SunConnect that comes out every Wednesday. It's called "The Trainer's Edge" and aside from the crappy, oversized picture, which I have no control over, I am quite pleased and proud to have this opportunity to write and be heard. Please be sure and check it out and tell all your friends about it! Thanks so much!!

This is the part of the newsletter where I picture an exercise and give explicit instructions on its proper execution.

Nice shoulders can really top off a great physique and this exercise will go a long ways towards helping you develop delts to die for! :)

Smith Machine Shoulder Press
Primary Muscle Group Worked:
Secondary Muscle Group Worked: Chest.

To see a video of this exercise click here.

Preparation: Place upright bench beneath the bar at a Smith Machine. Start with bar between shoulder and chin level. Grip width should be just outside of shoulders as shown. Keep your chest high and your back straight.

Execution: Exhale as you press bar to arm's length overhead. Use a slow, steady motion, without swinging. Lower slowly to starting position and repeat for desired amount of reps.
Tip: Keep wrists straight throughout and do not lower bar below shoulder height. Keep head and neck neutral.

Remember form and technique trump heavy weights any day of the week, so keep this exercise light enough that you can execute perfect form being sure to lower the weight a bit slower than raising it. Choose a weight that makes the last two of 8-12 reps very challenging yet still doable in good form.

Okay, peeps! This is the inspirational part of the newsletter known as the "Ponder Pond" where you're welcome to take a swim in the sweet waters of inspiration.

This month's video is dedicated to Valentine's Day and one of my favorite pass times...kissing. Hope everybody had a great one and got to kiss someone special. If not, go right now and kiss a loved one, your cat, dog, hamster, I don't care. If you don't have a pet or loved one nearby, go directly to the nearest mirror and give yourself a big ole smooch! does a body good! Enjoy!

Well, that's about it for this time! I hope you enjoyed this month's newsletter and until the next issue, may the wind be at your back and improved health and vitality your new reality!

If you enjoyed this newsletter, please feel free to pay it forward to anyone you think would like it too. That is the best compliment you could ever pay me, and I appreciate it very, very much.

And don't forget to tell everybody about where they can get all the free fitness info their heart desires and sign up for this newsletter while they are there.

From my heart to your health,

Linda Burke, CPT

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