I was worried about starting my new gym with the new trainer today. It’s a little like switching schools when you’re a kid, but crossed with a first date after a bad break-up where you want to leave your baggage at the door but can’t help it. I was afraid I’d feel like I was at a Curves (I’m not dissing any place where people are working to get in shape, but that’s just not what I need) and would be coddled by Travis, treated like an invalid.
I’m happy to report, as I type with quivery arms, that it’s all good. Yeah, I have stuff to learn, like how to breathe during a bench press not as a powerlifter but with every rep, and how to stretch between all my sets — this is all new to me. But there was no babying going on. He loaded plates on the barbell for a workout that would have been respectable even before I was hurt. I did a few free weights mixed in with machines. And because the machines are a mystery to me I have no way to judge myself and put pressure on myself about what I should be doing. And as much as I wanted to leave my baggage behind, when he asked if I wanted to do ab work I leaped at the chance, and had to explain my enthusiasm: since I wasn’t often allowed to do just vanity work before, I’m excited at the chance now to sculpt some things — like my abs — the way I want them. It’s kind of freeing in a way to not be so worried about how much weight I can lift at some certain date in the future, and that comes with some benefits.So I got to do some Rocky-style, holding a 12–lb ball over my face, twisting crunches. (Pretty sure I’ll feel that tomorrow.)
So, while being careful about my back — one particular exercise we called a quick halt to because it hurt — I still managed to get in an honest – to – goodness, trembly arms, elevated heart rate, workout. Granted the heart rate was due to being deconditioned over a month and half, but still. It felt SO good. Not only physically, but mentally, to push my muscles to fatigue seems to have flushed out the despondence and weariness I’ve carried the last few weeks. What’s left feels like a real person again. And I’m so happy to have realized that feeling like myself again means feeling like an athlete again.
(I’m not ready yet to bust out the hanging crunches in the barn like Rocky, but how much do I love watching them!)