Marie asked if we could push session III two hours back, from 9 to 11 on Saturday the 10th. She anticipated the effects of jet lag, so I said “you bet.” It was during the drive to Discover Golf Fitness that I put one and one and one together and figured out that jet lag meant a flight from the west coast, which meant Titleist Performance Institute, which meant that she would have a bunch of new exercises for me to learn!

One of the telling aspects of a fitness session every other weeks is, you need to be honest with yourself. When Marie tells me that quality over quantity matters, I believe her and I strive to live up to that motto. When we work together, I lose count of the times she calls out “reset!” due to my less-than-desirable position of the hips or lower back. She’s quick to remind me that she’s proud of my effort and that she’d rather have me perform six technically-solid reps over twenty imperfect ones. So I press on…

I’ll be honest: I’m so connected to my larger muscle groups, specifically the upper back and hamstring ones, that it is a challenge to isolate and fire my little old glutes. Yup, we’re still pounding the glutes. In fact, I’m focusing on them at red lights, seated at my desk, pretty much everywhere. Another stumbling point is, even when I identify and target the proper muscle group (for example, the upper abs), I’m informed that I really need to target a subset (for example, the lower abs!) What I do know is, if it weren’t a challenge, it wouldn’t be worth doing nor would it impact my functional fitness.

Today was a graduation of sorts. Since I could not just claim that I had been doing the work, but also show Marie, she gave me a series of new exercises to do between now and Christmas Eve, when we have our next session. I’m going to work with tension bands and some new moves called clam shells. My hips are still tight and my glutes are still in need of enhancement, but I’m moving in the right direction. I knew this last Sunday, during the season’s last round (to date) at Ivy Ridge. I tossed a 78 in early December and felt so stable over each shot. If I can stay motivated and focused on these workouts, my expectations will be even greater when the snow melts next Spring.

For more information, contact Marie Achkar via email at