It’s Monday. And wow is it a Monday!
Before I continue, let me get the usual disclaimers/introductions out of the way.
Like many people, I had a rough 2020– I’m actually grateful to Covid for slowing down my life and allowing me to survive some severe emotional stress that caused me to have high blood pressure, develop a bad comfort eating habit and end up anemic. I had a difficult job experience, lost that job, and now work in the Stitch Fix Bizzy Hizzy and deal with my daughter’s crazy dog, my stubborn cockatoo and a bunch of foster cats. I’m forty-something, a single mom, 20 lbs overweight and struggling to understand my body, specifically my cerebral palsy.
My day started with chasing the “pig pony” dog Bean (we call her that because she snorts like a pig and is the size of a small pony) around the neighborhood because she decided to jump the fence and ignore her recall commands.
I’m in my kitchen now, eating a public-school issued bowl of Cheerios with an out-of-date white milk leftover from the teenager’s recent school dates. I met with my trainer today (and my friend Janel who is helping me set up the FURR Coffee and Kittens event at Forks Community Center August 15).
I headed up the hill to Apex Training to meet with my trainer Dan. I finally remembered to ask Dan if it’d be okay if I wrote about him and our work together and he said yes, so I no longer have to be sneaky.
I’m comfortable with Dan. He’s laid back but he knows his stuff, understands the movements and the physiology, and keeps a careful eye without making you feel stared at or inadequate.
He almost seems apologetic that we’re going slow and using 5 and 10 pound dumbbells and not lifting at a pace that makes it a cardiovascular event. But that’s what I love! The anemia, when combined with the cerebral palsy especially, makes it so easy to get tired and clumsy and hurt oneself.
Today, we did some upper body work. 30 minutes, slow and steady. 3 sets of 2 exercises each. Pretty standard way to set up a 30-minute work out hitting the triceps, biceps, chest and upper back.
Five years ago when I did this, I did a lot of cardio, did calisthenic ab exercises every day and did ten to fifteen minutes of lifting focusing on just one muscle (i.e. biceps or triceps) not the whole group.
Like I said, I know what to do, but I’m a person and people get lazy. I need Dan right now, as I’ve said, for several goals:
- Restart the consistent habit of training.
- Increase energy.
- Improve strength, flexibility and agility.
- Build muscle and tone body.
- Lose weight.
Many of us tell ourselves we can save money and do it ourselves but the reality is there is a big difference between we are able vs. the commitment of we will.
I fully intended to eat a banana every day to get more nutrients into my body as I recover from anemia. Did I?
Does it look like I did?
But back to the training… I find the actual activity of lifting, when I am working with a class facilitator or fitness trainer, meditative. Everyone should focus on their movements when strength training, but I really have to with my disability. Focus is required to make sure all the body parts move as they should. I have to count the reps, remember to breathe, and control the motions all at the same time.
When you are doing all of that, your mind empties. And you just flow with the movements of your body and the feeling in your muscles.
Like today was “oh hello triceps, are you still under all that arm jiggle?”
When I left Dan I was sweating. I was limber. I felt invincible. I was walking home reminding myself how powerful I am.
I lost my balance on the sidewalk and just fell about half a block from my house.
My right arm is scraped from the back of my shoulder almost to my wrist. The upper shoulder stings the worst. It’s been two hours and it still stings. I also bounced on my hip and upper thigh— so that is already starting to bruise.
I called out from work tonight. Based on where I’m at in my menstrual cycle and the summer sun, I’m going to blame anemia for this lapse in balance especially since all day yesterday I had no energy. Anemia is awful. Anemia with a mobility disorder is a nightmare.
But this is why I’m working out.
I own my weaknesses. Let’s fight!