Saturday, 3 April 2010

D Day!

So, today was the day.

The 'Practical Exam' for the PT Diploma. The final stage of the continuous months of exams and assessments. The final hurdle (well, assuming the last batch of Business coursework Gym Ninja has submitted gets good marks).

Yup! Just a bit!

Gym Ninja did not fall into a restful sleep last night. Instead, she had procrastinated once too often so spent a fair while writing up in neat her final practical exam programme, and then found herself catching up on True Blood on Sky+, and before she  knew it, it was 1am. EEEK!

Now although GN's exam didn't start until 1.30pm today, she'd arranged to meet a fellow examinee at 10am  on site, so they could do a last minute rehearsal of spiel and technique. Sad eh? Some people just roll on up and are fine, but Gym Ninja is a worrier and feels 'safest' when fully prepared.

So, confusing the two examiners no end who were busy assessing other students (as in "Er, aren't you in a bit early for your exam?"), Gym Ninja and her buddy worked through their practicals. Not so much actually doing the workouts, but more practicing the order, setting up the equipment, and planning what to say. Although everything was now committed to memory, there is something about trying to think one step ahead that befuddles a mind, and a few things kept slipping from their heads.

By 11.40am rehersals were over...and so began the long wait! Fellow students who had already done their exams (and passed luckily) breezed in and out, all smiles.  The few that still hadn't sat all hunched up, a look of concern on their faces. Oooh, the nerves! Gym Ninja had asked her course tutor (also an examiner) if they (the examiners) stopped for lunch? He had said no, they eat on the run and just have protein bars and shakes etc. Poor examiners!

By now, the examiners were running half an hour behind, so EVENTUALLY, whilst wearing a top printed with her company logo on 'to boost her own confidence' (and no, it didn't work!) Gym Ninja began the practical exam with her willing victim Gaby.

The moment GN began, she totally forgot about the examiner trailing after them both, & 'got into character'. Poor Gaby has the patience of a saint putting up with some of Gym Ninja's little quirks. For instance, GN had made up a 'rhyme' for saying the most essential teaching points of an exercise...

GN: "You remember the Kinetic chain Gaby?"
Gaby: "Yep"
GN: "Ok, so Kinetic chain, as in 'ankles, knees and hips in line, core pulled in, neutral spine'"

Gaby smirked. All Gym Ninja really needed were some pom poms and she could have made a cheerleading chant out of it!

The Practical consisted of having to instruct and spot 4 advanced weight training techniques, fully explaining what they are, how they work, the benefits, energy systems used type of training (eg sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, endurance etc) plus instructing and teaching/spotting the client. This would then be followed by 2 types of cardio training (as in Long Slow Duration and Interval), again explaining features and benefits, Heart Rate Reserve calculations etc, a core exercise (Yep, GN found herself doing a Frankie Howard style 'Cwoar!" noise for 'core') & a demo and spiel about a Post Isometric Relaxation stretch, assisted along with the info about muscle spindles and Golgi Tendon Organs...PHEW!

It lasted at least an hour, and that was despite being moved on by the examiner when he'd seen enough of each technique.

Right at the end, GN was administering the assisted passive stretch in the form of a PIR Hamstring stretch, and turned to ask the examiner if that was the end of the exam?

She was met by the guy looking sheepish....his mouth CRAMMED with food, so much so he blatantly had no space for 'speaking' as there was so much stuff in his mouth.

*cue lots of mumbling noises, accompanied by the handwaving motion people do when they need to speak, but also need to say they cannot speak due to too much food being in their mouths so use it as a form of sign language*

Okaaaay. At least that was GN's exam done. Now she had to do a quick change and be the 'client' of another student. Good old role play eh? Doncha just love it?

Once that was done, GN had to go and get her 'feedback'. She walked over to her examiner, who was again eating...what looked to be something of a half-moon shape in purple foil.

"Is that an Easter Egg?" Asked Gym Ninja, a bit shocked. She'd asked last time if the examiners would be open to Easter Egg bribes & been told that they don't eat unhealthy stuff.

"Er, yes" Answered the Examiner, sheepishly.

"When I spoke to you during my exam, was that Easter Egg you were eating?" Questioned Gym Ninja, an eyebrow raised.

The examiner looked back, his eyes wide open..

"Er no no, I had a pocket full of Oat Cakes with me".

Gym Ninja gave him a look.

"Honestly it was oat cakes! you want some?" The examiner offered Gym Ninja some Easter Egg.

"Er...I don't eat chocolate" Winked Gym Ninja.

Anyhow, the feedback was excellent GN s pleased to report. He even used the written statement in his feedback as 'technically excellent' for her PIR stretches. A very strong session according to the examiner, and excellent technique, spotting, instructional style...he'd really enjoyed it. Oh and yes, Gym Ninja passed. YAY!
One thing he did pount out though was that perhaps GN had given too much detail on the different levels of the core. Yep. GN had gone into great detail about the 3 layers that make up the core, what muscle groups made up each layer, how they worked etc. He said that it was perfect for the exam but in real life you'd not need to give that much info. Bless him for not commenting on Gym Ninja telling her client that due to the layers of the core, she was "like an onion!"

Phew! GN can now relax tonight as tomorrow is the final ever day of the course, with business paperwork to complete and a session on outdoor PT. Yippee!

See you back here tomorrow my little 'onions'

Gym Ninja x