Monday, February 21, 2011

In Case You Thought it Got Easier

No. No, it doesn't get easier.

Today was even harder than last Monday. The warm-up and cardio was about the same, but the upper body strength exercises were very near unbearable. I was unable to do any of them absolutely correctly, with the exception of a couple of resistance band exercises (and only a few reps of those). We did different variations on the push-up, and I can barely even begin to do most of them from my knees. My upper body is so weak. It is very disheartening. I actually had tears fall several times during the workout this morning, both from the pain and strain on my body, and from how discouraged and inferior I was feeling. I know that the only way to improve it is to just keep going, and do the exercises the best I can, and work to my limits and try to push past them further and further as my strength increases; but it just feels like I'll always be weak. It feels like I'll never be able to lower myself all the way down on a push-up; never be able to do the lateral raises for more than five seconds without a break; never be able to do a real chin-up (we don't use a chin-up bar in class, but that's one of my personal goals).

On a positive note, I have a stronger core than I had previously thought. Sure, I have to rest during the core/ab drills, but not really much more than the average student in the class, and often it's my lower back that becomes too tired; not my abs (well, on the side-planks, it's definitely my lats that give out; they're my weakest core muscles for sure). Aside from side-planks, though, I feel really strong during core drills.

My cardio is improving at a mind-blowing speed, too. I'm able to push through the warm up now with pretty good stamina. I don't move as fast or lift my knees quite as high as some of the others, but I see improvement from my previous performance. That's the only way I can judge myself without going crazy. If I try to compare myself to others in the class, I'm going to get discouraged and quit. This is about me becoming the best me; not about me becoming as good as anyone else.

As for the weekend, on Friday I took an intentional rest day to allow my muscles and joints to recover and rebuild a bit. Saturday wound up being an unintentional rest day, because I stayed busy all day long and into the night with other things, and didn't make it to the gym to do spin like I had intended. My left knee was really giving me trouble; very inflamed, tender, and really painful with use. I iced it and took some ibuprofen before bed, and slept with a knee brace to keep it straight during the night, and it had improved enough by morning for me to do a gentle two mile run with Ted on Sunday afternoon. I wore my fivies, and I'm feeling that knot in my calf again, but it's not as bad as before, so I'm going to try to keep wearing them. Other than the issue with my right calf, they are great shoes for me.

Oh, one other thing of note: after the run, since my calves were tight, I had Ted use The Stick on my calves. Wow, talk about painful. It really rolls the lactic acid out of the muscles, and you can feel every bit of it. I had to warn him before starting that I was going to be in pain, and he would want to stop because he didn't want to hurt me, but he should keep going because it was just how it worked. The noises I made could have been used as the sound for a torture movie. But once that stuff is all rolled out, it's amazing how much better the muscles feel. So it's worth it. Ted said that since it was so painful for me, it was only fair that I do his calves, too. He realized quickly that I wasn't exaggerating about how much it hurt...

Cardio tomorrow. Let's hope my right calf allows me to complete it.

Reason #5:

Sexy butt.

1 comment:

Forever Amber said...

Great blog. Keep it up and keep up the hard work in class. You are doing GREAT!