Posts Tagged ‘gym’

I have a story

April 3, 2012

I was thinking the other day that I haven’t updated where I am in the whole working out process. If I were you, I’d think that I’d fallen off the wagon and given up for good! (Believe me, I’ve considered it!) The fact that I don’t blog about my workouts would lead you to believe that I’m just hoping you forgot that I used to! Thankfully that isn’t the case. My life, my health and mental well-being depend on working out. (darn-it-all)

You see, I floundered around for a few months after my trainer, Nick, died. Then my brother died of a heart attack. Then my other brother was hospitalized with heart problems eventuating with open-heart surgery. Started me thinking about my own heart health.

Christmas was right around the corner and I continued half-heartedly working out…until I had surgery requiring six weeks off. I loved the excuse to not work out! But, I lost much of the progress I’d made.

I was discouraged with my lack of discipline and with my body, but my husband wasn’t going to let me slip into an emotional abyss! He knows all the signs. We’ve been married nearly 30 years! He found me a new trainer pronto and I started back up in January. It’s amazing how a good workout can change one’s mindset! (It’s supposed to change your body too, but mine is particularly stubborn!)

I made the huge transition from private training to a much more public venue – Lifetime Fitness. I had to hoist my big-girl panties and just decide I wanted it bad enough to deal with the possibility of being watched. I can’t let myself look in the mirror at the gym as it’s too rudely honest. My imagination sees me as 30 pounds lighter and 20 years younger! I’ll keep my eyes averted and let my imagination run with it!

I just go where my trainer takes me and do what my trainer says to do and give it my all and hope that a middle aged, not-stick-thin mother of two, two-time breast cancer survivor can somehow inspire someone to hang in there just like me! I know I’m probably a sight to see!

So, here I am, three months along in the process with my new trainer. He’s excellent, by the way. I know I’d see more progress if I could get all my cardio in each week, but I have these pesky little nuisances called injuries to deal with! (And what is up with that?! I turn 50 and start falling apart?!)

A shoulder that snaps and clicks loudly and with searing pain. (It’s improving finally, in case you’re wondering.)  A foot that has such bad bunions that just walking without a limp is a feat. (pun) Can you hear the violins playing as I waaaaaaaaah?! And yes, the doc wants me to have surgery . . . not if I can help it for as long as I can manage!

I told my trainer the other day, if this is as good as it gets, being half a century old and needing a 50,000 mile overhaul, by golly, I’m keeping at it! The only alternative is quitting and that won’t help me one bit! In three months’ time, I’ve lost only 3 pounds! I can guarantee that if I didn’t work out, I’d gain a lot more than three! He’s still young. He just grins a confused grin. Someday perhaps he’ll listen with enlightened understanding. =)

The deal is this. Every time I go to the gym I need a reality check. I need to remind myself that I work out because I feel better emotionally; I feel stronger physically and I usually sleep better.I work out to become healthier, not because it will make me something I am not – young and svelte!  It’s always good to remind myself of this lest I get discouraged!

You’d think that by the time any person turned 50, they’d know themselves well enough to not be pestered by the same trivialities that pestered them their whole life? Well, apparently not. The temptation is still there to judge myself harshly and compete with and compare to others and come out the loser. At least I’ve learned not to give in to it. The temptation is always there, but I throw it aside.

Something I have come to grips with is that these things will still dog me, but my value isn’t based on my appearance. Maybe to some people, but not anyone who loves me.

I have a story. There’s history hidden beneath this skin! I have purpose. I have people in my life who love me and count on me. They’d miss me if I were gone. They’re just glad to have me around, and don’t care if I’m buff or tan or young or svelte.

If someone only sees me and makes a value judgement based on what they see, they’ve missed the biggest and best part of who I am! Besides, I don’t really think all that many people are even looking! They’re all too worried that someone is looking at them!

What’s your story?

appalling paradox

January 16, 2010

Yesterday I was at the gym walking on a treadmill gazing absent-mindedly ahead of me at a wall of nearly a dozen television screens. I wasn’t paying particular attention to any one of them when my eyes focused on a screen where a music video was being shown. I tried to keep my jaw from dropping in disbelief as the young woman on the wall seductively handled her own body as she lithely walked along a path leading to who knows where. Reactively I redirected my eyes to a news broadcast. It took only a second for my brain to register what my eyes were absorbing: piles and piles of brown bodies, broken down buildings, people weeping, and others looting. Shock. Mayhem.

What a contrast. It was unbelievable, appalling.

I was in a giant room with a good number of people all working and sweating on treadmills, elliptical machines, stair-steppers; jogging, walking, sliding, stepping; all seemingly oblivious to the absurd reality playing out right in front of them.

How can we do it? How can we watch the destruction of a nation and glance away to check out the steamy seductress and not even notice the incongruity of it?

We were in a clean workout facility, getting or keeping our bodies in shape. We’d return home to our families and eat a nice meal together and maybe watch a show, work on a hobby or read before crawling into our clean, warm, comfortable beds to recharge for another beautiful day in America.

The Haitians were working hard to dig out their loved ones, fearful they were already dead. They had no homes to return to and no food or clean water. They had so little to begin with and now they had nothing.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking America. I love our nation. I’m grateful to have been born here and to enjoy the privileges we are blessed with. Unfortunately it seems our affluence has numbed us to the harsh realities so many people endure.

I’m guilty too often myself. It’s easy to gaze at the television and not comprehend. When we haven’t experienced that kind of suffering it’s all too easy to stay detached and unconcerned. To treat what we’re seeing as just another television show.

It’s not wrong to work out and get healthy. It’s not wrong to enjoy the benefits of working hard and earning money. What is wrong is not sharing with others less fortunate. What is wrong is having an empty, calloused heart. What is terribly wrong is having an unconcerned attitude toward the suffering of others. “That’s their problem.”

God, please have mercy on us! Please intervene for the people of Haiti. Show us how we can help. Spur us to pray. Amen.

it hurts so good

January 11, 2010

In case you were wondering how it’s going in the workout world, I’ll update you! After thinking things through a bit more, I decided a hybrid of options would be my best bet.

You see, after going to meet with the trainer, I knew that was going to be what worked best for me. But the long-term factor made me think financially it would be impossible. Then I made a mental list of the reasons I don’t make it to the gym. I’ll try to remember and list it to slake your curiosity!

Reasons I avoid going to the gym:
*it’s intimidating (Translated, that means I don’t enjoy feeling like a chunky middle-aged woman in a world of sleek, finely tuned female physiques. I’d rather be chunky by myself!)
*there are so many people (I dislike crowds, can’t help it!)
*parking is a hassle (especially in this weather!)
*I’m not confident on the machines (why spend all that time and energy doing the exercises wrong?)
*I don’t want to be recognized (i.e. I’m there to ‘get it over with’ and get outta there! I don’t want to chit chat.)

That’s pretty good for starters! Then I listed the reasons I enjoyed my time at the personal trainer’s gym.

Reasons I won’t avoid going to the personal trainer:

*it’s private
*it’s private
*it’s private

*For real!

Other reasons:

*it’s not as intimidating (I’m usually the only client there which makes me happy!)

*parking is easy – just park in front of the door and walk in (gotta love it!)

*the routine changes each visit, they show me how it’s done and monitor me as I work out

*they don’t know me and they aren’t there to chat, they are there to see me sweat! (the trainer examines my food/exercise log each visit)

*and yes, the cost (there is something about that hefty price tag that motivates me to never miss a session!)

Knowing myself and the desire for one-on-one and for privacy, the personal trainer route is the way to go. But, since I can’t afford to go three times a week for 6-12 months, we met halfway. Twice a week for 3 months. The other days I will work out on my treadmill at home or when the weather gets nice outside walking, running or biking. And, when I’m really feeling adventurous (heh) I’ll head over to the gym to do an occasional workout with my friends. (How they tolerate the likes of me I’ll never know! LOL)

So, I went today and Ashley worked me over good! Lunges, squats, push-ups, lat pull-down, elliptical machine, and more. After I got home, I needed a nap! But I resisted. I had to go downstairs to get something. OHMYGOODNESS!!!!!! My legs were jello and I barely made it down! Coming back up was no easy feat either! I’m so thankful for stair rails!

My family has already heard moaning and groaning and whining, but they just grin, especially my husband who has felt this way after many workouts for 38 years. No sympathy. Empathy maybe, but no sympathy!

Especially after having had a radical mastectomy; relearning to use my arm and chest muscles; not being able to wring out a wash cloth, bathe myself; not being able to lift a dinner plate or a gallon of milk or my arms above my waist. That was hurting so bad. It took painful stretching several times a day for weeks just to get my arms to loosen up. That was pain that was no fun.That was pain that was undeserved.

But this, this is pain that I choose. I love knowing that my body can actually bend and stretch and lift and all the rest of it! When I groan, it’s really joyous groaning! It feels good to hurt in this way, and as I told my trainer, “Oh, it hurts so good!”