Tuesday, April 22, 2014
With my back being injured, there is no way that I could safely clean up the yard for the summer. And boy did it need it: I did nothing in the line of fall cleanup, what with all the health crises going on. So we got a lawn service in to do a thorough cleanup, trimming, and general un-disastering of the yard, front, back, and side. It looks better than it has in a couple years.
And my first reaction to it all was to be really sad.
Poor hubby was distressed. "I don't know how to help you be happy!" he said. I didn't know, either. It made no sense, because I'd gotten what I wanted, and what I didn't have the physical capability of accomplishing myself.
But I realized that the process of cleaning up, as much as I thought I disliked it, had meaning for me. And not being able to do it, even when I can objectively see that I would not have done nearly as thorough a job, left me feeling a little hollow.
Fortunately, they did leave me one section of work that needs to be done: the ivy along the driveway and the narrow bed in which I plant my herbs that runs along the driveway as well. It's not a very big job, but since I can only work at it for half an hour a day, it will take me plenty of time.
And it will get me outside. I love my house, but after this winter it feels a little like I'm stuck inside a Coleman cooler. We have small windows and not much natural light--it's good for the heating bills, but psychologically wearing. I really need that sunshine. I've been outside walking at least an hour a day.
What I really need is a place to sit outside. We used to have a swing in the backyard, but it's gone now. We have no porch and no deck. And hubby isn't much for the outdoors, so just setting up a couple lawn chairs in the hopes that he will sit with me is pretty futile. He makes the valid point that he's either too hot or too cold, and at either extreme there are bugs; the chairs are less comfortable than the ones in the house and what exactly are we doing this for? But I dream of a summer kitchen kind of space. Oh well, maybe when I win the lottery!
Friday, April 04, 2014
I am having a very bad day. I just got back from the physical therapist. She thinks I have a bulging disc. That means for now no biking, no lap swimming, no free weights, no running for now. I can walk at a moderate pace, walk in the swimming pool, and use the weight machines. Low weight, high reps for endurance. I have to admit it, I got a little weepy. I'm pretty devastated. She encouraged me that she thinks it's manageable, and that I can work back up to those things once we get the swelling out of the disc and build up my core. But I just want to cry.
Rebecca and her family are leaving for Disneyworld on Sunday for their Make-a-Wish. She has been rejected for all research studies, so when they get back from Disney we will just be waiting for the final degeneration. At this point, you'd never guess she was sick. It's heartbreaking to see this lively, funny, adorable five-year-old running around in a body that doesn't know that her brain is a grenade waiting to go off. It just doesn't seem real that we can't do anything to save her.
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
Yesterday after I wrote about my 30 days in the gym streak, I put out my back something fierce. No gym, not even any dog walking. Fortunately I already have an appointment to see the doctor today. But I also have to make a court appearance on behalf of a client and meet with a new client. It's goingto be a long, long day.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
So, Iím 30% through my hundred-days-at-the-gym commitment. What are the results so far?
-Iíve gained 2 pounds
-I am not able to lift appreciably heavier weights
-Other than swimming, I am not appreciably faster
-Lifting on Sunday, I twinged my old shoulder injury which made me temporarily lose control of the weight and pulled muscles on my left side in my arm and my chest wall that keep giving my twinges that make me scared itís my heart (yes, I am going to the doctor tomorow to get myself checked out, but taking Advil made it go away yesterday evening, so Iím not too worried)
-I have improved my abs so that I can do 3 sets of 10 leglifts on the captainís chair, whereas at the beginning I could only do 3 sets of 5
What is my analysis of these results? It would be easy to be discouraged, because the markers that we generally look for are not there. But Iím looking at it a different way. I was already walking quite a bit and lifting, though not with regularity and discipline. So my fitness in these areas was already pretty good. Therefore, itís not actually surprising to not see much change in so short a time, since my baseline in those areas was already high.
My swimming speed and my abs, however, were abysmal. I hadnít been swimming since last summer, and I hadnít been doing ab work. So itís not surprising that I saw quick improvement in those areas because my baseline was really low.
When we see a story about someone who made vast improvements in their fitness really quickly, they usually involve either someone who was not involved in fitness at all prior to their effort, or someone already in great shape who is now making fitness pretty much their full-time job (Iím thinking of actor training up for physical roles where they spend 6 weeks in intense training and such). If a person is starting from a position of ďalready working out and in reasonable shape,Ē then the changes that upping that workout time will bring are going to be less dramatic.
Which is to say, yes it would be awesome to say that my cardio fitness went through the roof and I can now benchpress a Volkswagen. But also not a realistic expectation. My improvements are smaller, but they are there. And they will continue to grow.
If my approach to fitness was one that focused on weightloss and dress size, I would probably be discouraged, regard it all as a failure, and be tempted to quit. But because I am focused on health and activities like triathlons, I am still feeling very positive about my accomplishments.
And now it's time to get to the gym.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
In all of my groups months of messages have just disappeared. Weirdness. I hope this is temporary!
EDIT: It's all straightened out now. Must have been a glitch!
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