Wednesday, May 09, 2012
I love a horoscope the same way I love a fortune cookie. If there is some subliminal surrendering to their promise, I suspect it does no harm. They are a type of play for me. So I had a good laugh when today Mr.Horoscope wrote this:
Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 -- You may think that sharing your plans for the future with a close friend or lover is a smart idea today. However, you could lose precious time explaining your thoughts instead of just putting them into action. Preparation time is over; express yourself by working toward your long-range goals now rather than dispersing your energy by talking about them.
Hmmm. But Mr. Horoscope! Don't you realize that I like to blog here on Wednesdays?
Rest assured, I intend to walk the walk at 8:30 with free weights and balance exercises, but I want to talk about it here. Because I am slowly metamorphosing and it's an utterly fascinating experience - and when I get a chance to talk all about me, I can't resist!
I originally started this period of effort and change with the idea of strengthening my back and my belly muscles. After a bad fall and subsequent poorly treated injury some years ago, crunches and sit-ups were out of the question and those muscles grew weaker and weaker - which only made the pain grow stronger and stronger. From time to time I've tried to strengthen up my core by swimming and yoga and some mat work but evidently the healing had not progressed far enough and the body just wasn't ready yet.
This winter things felt different and with the help of the personal trainer at the gym (I think of him as WtPT) I spent 2 months strengthening that part of my body. Of course, nothing makes you feel better like feeling better, right? And as I gained strength, ambition stepped up to the plate dragging desire along with it. Now I wanted my shoulders and arms to be stronger too.
I plunked down the $ for private lessons.
It's been 3 weeks now and what am I seeing?
The first thing I noticed was better balance. No duh - because WtPT insists I do at least some of my exercises on balance pillows. I heart heart heart these things! I do squats on them and lateral raises and sometimes just stand on them one leg at a time. The reward? Think of it - I can even wear high heels - much less hop up on ladders and walk on uneven surfaces more safely! What a gift!
Then came the thrill when I pulled this tiny shirt out of the ironing basket and tried it on - and it fit! Mind now, I haven't lost an ounce in several weeks (more about that in a bit) but the shirt buttoned right up. It was in the stupid basket because I couldn't wear it yet - still a bit too tight.
Wow! that was exciting. (I know. I am easy to please)
And then there was Monday when I was working those shoulders and arms and suddenly I saw ...just the faintest shadow - but yes! There it was! Muscle!!
Well. What a treat.
It's all very exciting but also strange. For example - I have a very different appetite now and I have to learn how to satisfy it while not overeating . Not to worry, though, I'm sure it will be fun to learn how to do that. And new desires are probing into my consciousness. Nothing has solidified - but I feel like I might want to actually set goals beyond vague "have a stronger back" desires.
Well - it is early days still - but this is a fun time and I had to talk about it - just rest assured - I'm walkin' the walk even as I talk the talk. And you can be sure I'll share with you as I go along.
btw - here's what those balance pads look like: www.isokineticsinc.com/product/ac35b
Happy Hump day to you all
Thursday, April 26, 2012
That's what my arms feel like today - after an hour of almost non-stop exercise yesterday - with much of it focusing on my triceps and pectorals. It has been a very long time since I worked out with a personal trainer. 9 years in fact. I was younger then, I didn't have a serious injury to deal with, I weighed a good 12 lbs less. And important - it was a different trainer - very good - just different.
What has stayed the same is how much I really love both weight training and working with a personal trainer. I absolutely love how hard I will try when there's a coach urging me on. There's a mental meld that happens when someone is as focused on me - if only for an hour - as I am on myself. And I am just egotistical enough to absolutely love it!
It's no surprise that our upper body is the weakest part of our anatomy. Most of us walk to get around so our legs get some sort of workout just living. Arms, chest, back, shoulders ... well... not so much. I do a weekly story hour for about 20 toddlers and at the end I swoop each child up in the air. "Who wants a swoop?" I ask and even the hefty 4-year-olds line up. The have to help by jumping if they want to go high, but any child 5 and under will get a swoop on Wednesday morning. I laughingly call it my upper body work out and it's true - at the end of it I'm breathing hard.
All that swooping has helped me strengthen the inner tricep muscles ... but all the rest of my upper body is functioning below par. Or, rather, all the rest of my upper body is telling me how sore it feels today. Happily not in pain - just sore. Because yesterday the PT made me do things I would not have thought I could. Bench presses, flys, chest presses starting with 2 10 lb dumbbells ... mind you - I ALWAYS start with 3 pounders. It would never have occurred to me to try 2 10 lb weights. We scaled back with each exercise but wow! What a surprise.
I even did some punching and kicking - as stretch out exercises with a little bit of cardio thrown in.
I was so tired at the end of that hour all I wanted to do was go home and go to sleep - something that was not going to happen - it was story hour day - and public hearing night on the county budget. I was in town till 8:30! And how hungry I was! I had eaten a good protein rich breakfast and I had a banana after the workout - and drank nearly 3 quarts of water during the day - but it wasn't till I had a big watery salad full of ice berg lettuce and topped with big chunks of protein rich chicken that I started to wake up. The rest of the day I was turbo-charged but next week I'm going to have another wet juicy protein meal ready for me as soon as I leave the gym.
I remember the last time I was doing regular strength training and how powerful and energized I was. You'd wonder why I'd ever quit - and with some justification I can blame it on a serious injury that was not treated properly. It has taken me a long long time to be ready for this. I can't tell you how grateful I am to be ready again - because this feeling is so wonderful.
Cooked spaghetti? Bring it on!
Get An Email Alert Each Time BESSHAILE Posts