Friday, April 15, 2011
Man 'o man I am wicked sore today!
After Wednesday's leg workout, I reached some uber-deep stage 5 sleep that made me feel like Rip van Winkle. My quads were singing and burning all day Thursday and Friday.
Today, I re-started the weight-lifting program I had stopped post-surgery, working mostly the same muscle groups, but now with free weights vice machines.
There really is a difference between machines and free weights....it's not a one's better than the other difference, it's just that they work in very different ways and ranges of motion. And as with any kind of exercise change, once you start hitting previously dormant muscles, they sing and burn.
But I've gotta' tell you, I like what I see in the mirror!
It could have been the light, it could have been the exercise, it could have been the shirt, or it could just be that muscle and veins are showing off their nice lines and shadows because there's so much less fat around!
I was very happy as I did shrugs and presses to see that I had some great definition in these arms that I hadn't noticed before (the machines don't have mirrors in front of them like the free weights do), yet another reminder that progress can be measured in many ways other than what the scale reads.
I've said this before, but it's becoming more and more ingrained in my brain that the numbers on the scale are arbitrary measures....in the end I really don't think I care as much for what the scale reads as for the feeling of being more "compact" with less "jiggle", better able to fit in to smaller clothes, and feeling strong, sure, and centered in this body.
That just takes a lot of consistency, a fair amount of patience ("they don't pay me to be patient" is one of my favorites lines to use at work), some disciplined living, and, what I'm finding succeeds this time, a sense of shared community as we all get to our goals through this website.
Spark on Friends!
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Life continues as a biped, and it certainly hasn't slowed down any.
Today was an interesting day at work. Of course all the surprised looks by folks of me with no cane. "Don't think I never heard you snickering before as I went by," I told them. "'Hey Fred, where's Ginger!' ....'There goes Mr. Planters'.....'Yeah, I think I heard him singing in the rain!'....You were all hilarious....not!"
But the past is behind me....new challenges ahead. Today I felt deliciously sore from yesterday's legwork....quads reminded me of how neglectful I had been with them these past few months, as did hamstrings and glutes. So to make up for my neglect, I took them for a spin session after work...that taught them!
It was interesting to observe my thoughts after work. I went to get gas on my way to the gym ($4.10/gallon!) and realized I didn't have my gym bag. But I do keep a spare in the trunk for just these occasions. "But my Mp3 player doesn't have my new music," I thought "maybe I should can it for today."
It sneaks up on you just that easy! What is it with these excuses?!? Are we just wired to be lazy? Do our brains & bodies just naturally settle for the easy path? I don't know, all I can tell you is that for the 5 minutes (and $60!) it took to fill up my tank, I was building up all sorts of reasons why I should just drive home instead of to the gym.....madness!
By the time I turned on the ignition, I was over it and drove to the gym with resolve, plugged in my old mix set (it was SO 2010!) and cranked out a good half hour. Legs felt better, brain felt better, I felt better.
So now we're gearing up for a wild weekend. We've got this dinner party Saturday. Luckily, SWMBO kicked me and #2 son out for the day while she preps (YAY!), so we'll hit the beach or go bowling until we're allowed back home to get ready. Sunday, she's got me helping out on another event, an annual scholarship thing she does for the local schools (raised about $6,000 and gives them out to seniors around the area) so we're on the docket all afternoon with that. Then Monday I'm off to Omaha, NE for the week, so the adventures continue!
Keep smiling Spark friends....life is good!
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
WOW what a day!
I don't normally blog twice, but today's an exception....I feel back in the groove!
After today's good news with the doc, I came home, changed up and went on over to the gym. Original plan was to hit the chest, shoulders, and triceps, but when Dr. Ortho-man said I was cleared to workout with no restrictions, that plan went out the window!
I warmed up on the bike, then found trainer guy, told him the good news and said, "let's go, you're going to earn your money today, we're hitting legs again." He gave me the requisite "are you sure, what did the doc tell you, how does it feel" routine, whereupon I told him "I'm happily married, thank you, and have answered all these questions with SWMBO, let's go"
Now I'm no fool, and so we started out with low weights, he watched and corrected my form as we slowly did squats, lunges, leg extensions, leg curls, abductors, adductors, then some lower back routines and abs.
Big WOW! Both of us could tell how I was able to squat and lunge lower and with better form than before the surgery, where the pain had prevented me from doing much of these exercises. I felt great, and we both acknowledged that I'll be waking up tomorrow feeling like I was hit by a truck, but I'm OK with that.
And that's the amazing part about living a healthy lifestyle....and being mature about exercise. I can tell the difference between good pain and bad....today was good pain. What's even better is that with consistency, my body enjoys this feeling of exertion. And, since at 51 I have nothing to prove to anyone but myself (although I am my own fiercest competitor), I really didn't care that I did some of these exercises with very low weights even in a crowded gym....it's a process and today I was at a very comfortable level of effort.
Then I came home to the smell of Parmesan and various cheeses.....SWMBO is practicing a few recipes for this weekend's outdoor shindig...apparently we are serving crab legs and some artichoke-spinach dip is required as an appetizer (OK)....she wants to get this right, so she made a few variations of the dip. So between all the good news, some sore muscles, and a new found bipedalism, I walked over to the oven, grabbed some of the baguette slices she crisped up and conducted a taste test....then another, and another. They were all good! The trouble is, her 130 lb frame can have a 1/2 cup of this dip and some slices of bread and she's content calling it dinner...not me.
But it's all worked out well....I'm worst case 200 cals over today, and that's rounding up my estimate of the Tbspns of dip off the nutrition tracker....I'll just work it off tomorrow on the bike!
Good night Spark friends!
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Yes people, today I walk on 2 feet, unassisted by crutch or cane!
Drove up to Tallahassee this AM, had some X-Rays taken and saw the doc a few minutes later. He took a look, smiled, and said, "This is textbook, as a matter of fact I want to use this X-Ray in my textbook!" He raised & twisted the repaired joint, had me do the Karate Kid move on that leg, then said "You're good to go":
I asked about biking, walking, and weight-lifting....yes, yes, and yes. Any restrictions? No restrictions!
Hiking, racquetball? Yes, yes
"What about running?"
He looked at his shoes...."probably not for a while...I'm not going to tell you you can't, but you should wait till the end of this year at least."
OK, fair enough. So I two-stepped out of his office (I momentarily missed the cane...if I'd had it and a Top Hat, I'd have bowed my head to the receptionist and tipped my hat with the cane). Outside I stood at the steps of the clinic and peered out over the view, arms akimbo like a Grand Turk smiling at the threshold of his harem....FREEDOM!
Driving back there was more traffic than I expected, so I checked in with the office, got some work done on the phone, then said to hell with it and came home to tell SWMBO the good news. She was happy....no more hairy eyeball for disobeying doctor's orders.
And so I'm off to the gym in a few minutes, will ride the bike for a warmup again, then hit the weights, but today, I shall work in some leg work....very light, but it's high time these big old leg muscles started pulling their wight around here....they will work for their food like everyone else!
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Well I'm at it a little late tonight, but it's been well worth it.
A friend of mine that owns a restaurant in town called and said, "Hey tonight we're going to Pensacola to meet some returning WWII vets, let's go!"
It's a tradition they've had here in NW Florida for the last few years called the Honor Flight and today was the last time they'll be able to do it. Local businesses work with the Veteran's Administration and the local Congressman from the area and collect up any and all able veterans from WWII and fly them up to Washington DC for the day. Bob Dole meets them and so does Biden. They take them over to the WWII memorial, the Korea and Vietnam Memorials and give them the VIP treatment. Most all are in their mid-70s, a few in their 80s and the oldest was 99.
I was in awe! There was a huge crowd at Pensacola airport waving banners and flags, grand-daughters were in tears wheeling their veteran grandfathers off the plane, husband and wife veterans just smiled and said they had fallen in love in 1943 and have never fallen out and determined old men shook hands with everybody that greeted them and said they were proud to have served. WOW!
Sadly, this is the last time they'll be able to have this flight....every year there are fewer and fewer WWII vets around and it's even tougher getting large numbers together in this area. Many were in wheelchairs, but all were lucid and one 80 year old Marine was determined to crush the hands of anyone willing to give him a shake!
And talk about a Spark! I was in awe at their humility, their energy, their deep appreciation for being recognized (One WAC said, "I didn't think anyone remembered WWII anymore"....I almost lost it and shed a tear!) They were just so happy to still be up and about, to have had a whole day dedicated by the community for what they did.
And talk about honoring your elders! There were 60 year old sons and daughters, 30 year old grandchildren, and teenage great grandchildren there, all red-eyed and smiles watching great grandpa, grandpa, and dad come off that jet waving a flag, ear-to-ear grins, standing tall and proud.
Talk about a non-scale victory!
Good night Spark friends!
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