Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2005
Monday I sifted through the cinders and ashes of what used to be my workout.
It's been a month since I've been healthy. In that month I have done some limited exercise, but nothing like what I was able to do up until Christmas. Monday was the first day that all my joints were without pain, so I went back to my regular workout.
Which I could not do.
Four weeks. Four weeks was all it took to lose about a year's worth of progress. To give you a sense of the ground I've lost, there's these machines at the gym called abductors and adductors. You sit in them and in one you scissor your legs closed, in the other you scissor them open. I had each of those machines up to 180 pounds at Christmas.
Yesterday? Yesterday the best I could do was 120 pounds. Yep, I have lost about 1/3 of my strength. And my stamina for cardio? Oh, man, I am so feeble. Eighteen minutes on the elliptical machine and I had to get off because I was too weary to go on.
Four weeks. Four weeks was all it took to lose all that ground. I feel as if I'm part of some enormous game of Snakes and Ladders. The Fifth Disease has also left me slightly anaemic, denting my energy levels. While I wait for my iron supplement to kick in, as well as all those iron rich foods I've been eating to help out, I have to fight constant low level fatigue.
So why bother? Why keep going?
I had lots of time to think about that yesterday as I struggled with my routine. It was painful to retrench all the machines, as well as put down the 25 pound dumb bells and lift up the 10 pounds ones instead. Even worse, there were some exercises I dropped completely because I just did not have the strength or energy to do a full routine.
Yesterday I was in the gym when it was full of women in their 30's, 40's and 50's, many of them New Years Resolution newbies who are taking their first stabs at fitness. As I watched them I saw echoes of myself three years ago, the woman who was severely overweight, her blood pressure teetering at the brink of Strokes R Us, her cholesterol numbers pointing towards Heart Attacks R Us, her blood sugar levels edging ever closer to Diabetes R Us.
I watched some of my contemporaries and could see that two pound weights were a challenge to them. How can you do something as simple as carry a bag of groceries if you cannot lift two pounds? I saw women in their 30's who could not walk slowly on a treadmill for 15 minutes without becoming winded. What happens to your life when you can't walk any appreciable distance?
I don't want to know. Not yet.
One of the many things I loved about working out was the instant gratification it gave me. Work hard, get visible payback in terms of pretty gym muscles and increased stamina.
Oh, and let's not forget the honest to goodness mood mending thanks to those wonderful exercise endorphins. For a woman who's been fighting depression most of her life, actually living life on an even keel was a pretty amazing experience.
It's hard to see all that go whoosh in what feels like ten minutes. It's discouraging to think that it will take me three or four months to regain lost ground. But then I consider the alternative, all the potential health problems down the line, and that's not very pretty either.
So forward I go, one tiny square at a time. For someone who's as much into the instant gratification as I am, this is a painful experience, indeed.
Goal for 2005: 1,250 miles - 2000 kilometers
Want to delve into my sordid past?
She's mellllllllllllllting - Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 - Back off, Buble - Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 - Dispersed - Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 - Nothing comes for free - Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 - None of her business - Friday, Nov. 04, 2011 -
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