I’ve joined the local gym again. For the last two years I’ve been walking up to 12 miles a week and working out on a spin bike. Surely that was enough? The repetitive motion of those exercises started to cause achilles pain and hip pain. Seriously….I can’t believe I just wrote those old fart words. My reasons for joining the gym after turning fifty are significantly different than in the past. In my thirties and forties I would participate in spin class five times a week and lose twenty pounds. These days I can workout five times a week and eat nothing but salad and gain ten pounds. My fitness goals are not what they used to be. Here’s the thing. I’ve decided I’m not going “down” without a fight.
The reality is that I’m extremely clumsy and need to work on my balance and strength. I’ve literally started to wake up in the morning, walk to the bathroom and kind of gracefully bump into walls. This is a new development. It’s clear that my graceful lack of balance (that I’ve always had) is more prevalent as the years pass.
My first class was a beginner yoga class. I haven’t participated in yoga for two years and was never very good at it. I thought I could simply pick up where I left off. After the class, for three days, my hamstrings were on fire! Supporting my body weight was no easy feat. There was one moment where I misplaced my zen and burst out laughing. Standing tree pose is more like yelling “TIMBER” for me! If a tree falls in the woods would it be named Lorraine? The good news is that it’s really helping me with my anxiety at home. It has also alleviated the hip and achilles muscle pain I was previously feeling.
Then a friend of mine invited me to barbell. Low cardio, no jumping around and peeing while you do, and strength training. Perfect! It took me three days to no longer feel the pain. I intentionally put light weights on the barbell for my first class and my instructor (and friend) suggested I increase the weight next time! Apparently you need to challenge yourself or you don’t get stronger.
The latest? “Take my core class!” she said. Easy peasy lemon squeezy! Look….Bosu balls are pure evil wrapped up inside of blue plastic air bubbles. Whether you are trying to stand, lunge, or sit your fat arse on top of one to do crunches, the evil seeping out of them makes the clown from IT! seem like Bozo. It’s been three days and my abs are cursing at me. To top it off there was some middle aged woman staring back at me from the mirror, rocking back and forth like a stranded Orca. It was me. What the hell. I’ll be doing it again because my abs are still hurting three days later. Your core and balance are interrelated so there’s no escaping it. I’m that person in the horror film who goes up the stairs to see what the noise is.
So I guess I could sum up this blog post with just a couple of words given to me by my grandmother. “If you don’t have your health you’ve got nothin!” The biggest challenge is making time for myself instead of cleaning the house or being ridiculously and constantly present for the kids. It’s ridiculous how I will pass up some time at the gym for a lame excuse. My husband tells me that I’m a much happier person after working out. So here’s to 2018 and taking care of myself just a little bit more. I’m really hoping that this will help me feel stronger and more stable in more ways than one!