I’ve got good news and bad news.
The good news is that in my attempt to increase my levels of physical fitness, I walked over 12,000 steps yesterday. The bad news is that I’m pretty sure my knees and ankles are now plotting to murder me in my sleep.
I’ve been plugging along with my diet and exercise routine with somewhat slow but still fairly decent results. The first week with my trainer I gained two pounds which she assured me was normal. Then I lost the two pounds and gained them back when my bestie came into town for the weekend. Apparently drinking gallons of wine and eating out two meals a day is not exactly healthy or good for my diet. Whatever.
Even though I’m not shedding pounds quickly, and I accept the fact that this is my fault and directly related to my weekend activities, I am getting stronger. I can feel it in my arms and legs. And I notice the difference in what I can do in my workouts.
My trainer, Carrie, is amazing. I actually look forward to working out with her. Can you believe that? I look forward to an hour of physical punishment twice a week. I describe it as punishment because after the workout I feel like I need to crawl into bed and sleep for the rest of the day. The other day I came home from the gym and went into my son’s room to play with him. I laid down on his bed and passed out for over an hour. I slept in his bed in the middle of the day while he played around me. That one hour with Carrie is so exhausting, and my whole body has been continuously sore for weeks. My armpits are even sore. I actually feel like someone punched me in the armpit, repeatedly. Who knew that was possible? But during the workout I don’t feel exhausted. I just feel strong and curious to see what I can do. I never watch the clock, either. When I workout with her I never feel like I have to check and see how much time is left before I can be done.
Prior to our workout, I do a quick warm up on the treadmill in a small, woman’s only section of the gym. This room has mirrors on every wall, so while I’m on the treadmill I can see my body from every angle. This has proved to be very motivating for me. By the time I’m done with that warm up and join Carrie in the larger section of the gym I am mentally prepared for her to put me through my paces. Seeing my body from every angle while I walk on that treadmill reinforces why I’m there. I told Carrie about this and then said to her, “I don’t care what you ask me to do as long as you help me get rid of my second ass. I only need one, and this bitch has been free-loading on my backside for long enough.”
She also pushes me in ways that I would never think to push myself. I’ve learned to not even look at the amount of weight she hands me. My first workout I thought she was crazy when she handed me ten pound dumbbells. Now, I just trust that she knows what she’s doing and she wouldn’t give it to me if she thought I couldn’t really do it. It is hard. I have to fight through the exercises and I’ve learned what people mean when they talk about the mental aspect of pushing through physical barriers. I mentally chant to myself during difficult exercises, which is almost every exercise she asks me to do. I quietly tell myself, over and over, “I can do anything for a count of ten.” Of course, it’s actually three sets of ten, but in that moment I just need to get through ten. I focus on that and it helps me to wrap my head around what I am pushing my body to do.
My first week I could only plank for twenty seconds. My whole body vibrates with the effort necessary to hold the position. At week four I can do fifty seconds. I hate that fifty seconds. Carries says, “Close your eyes, breathe and go to your happy place.” Instead, I close my eyes and repeatedly think, “I can do anything for fifty seconds.”
And I can.