Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fitness 10: Small Victories

The gym just installed a giant whiteboard near the doors, where you can write down a goal for the next 6 months.

I wrote down: "Run 400 m [around the block] without stopping", and "dead-lift 150 lb".

We warmed up with a run around the block, carrying medicine balls (the girls had 12 pounders). I felt pregnant, because I had trouble running with the ball on one shoulder, so I carried it in front of my belly... Anyway, I definitely had to walk while carrying that sucker.

We got back, and Fran started writing down people's goals from the whiteboard onto another board. Most people's dealt with pushups; she wrote down "RUN" next to my name.

Everyone started doing pushups, and I tried doing some on a bar that was two rungs down from where I normally do pushups (I use the barbell stand and the women's bar, and do pushups at an angle). That was...extremely difficult, although I managed to do two pushups.

I then set up another barbell stand, but this time the bar was only one rung lower than I am used to... and presto! I could do pushups again. It is amazing how much a 2" difference in bar height makes.

We did pushups for about 5 or 10 minutes, then Fran came over and asked me how I felt. I started to answer, and she said, "Just kidding. It was a trick question. Go run."

So I did. I looked up at the sky, and counted inhales and exhales to a count of four, and checked out this gorgeous espaliered apple tree with bright red apples on it (a result, I am guessing, of the sun's warmth radiating off of the brick wall the tree is trellised against). I kept my head up, and counted to four more times than I can remember. I ran slowly, barely picking my feet up.... and I did it! I was pretty damn impressed with myself. Fran met me coming around the corner of the last side (there is sort of a hypotenusal shortcut you can take to get back to the gym entrance), and she said, "I knew you could do it."

The funniest part is that I called my dad to tell him (for those that don't know, my dad and sister are avid runners. In fact, my dad has the classic runner's body - tall, thin, and so inflexible he can't even get close to touching his toes; I remember him doing the 5 and 10k "fun runs" all the time when I was little - he turns 65 this year, and he still runs a few miles, a few times a week. My sister ran the San Diego marathon a few years back...she is also thin, but not tall, and she is more flexible, but that is from a lifetime of ballet and gymnastics). Anyway...sorry for that digression... As I was saying, I called my dad to tell him, and the following ensued:

"Dad, guess what? I wrote my goal down of running around the block without stopping-"

"And you broke it today."

Oh yes. My parents know me well. :)

Then we did a ton more running and I was starting to get frustrated because, well, it was a lot. I have to remind myself that, surprisingly, there are things that I am crappy at, even when I put a lot of effort into them... This was never the case with music or science, etc. My learning curve with most things is extremely quick, especially if I am interested in the subject. Exercise, however, involves not only the mind, but the body, which is sometimes a less willing participant than I would like. :)

A Note:

As far as weight is concerned, I haven't weighed myself recently. Well, I did, and I gained a couple of pounds. So I am going to think positive and assume I am gaining muscle, because my clothes fit roughly the same. I have the feeling that, as foreseen by Dave, I will start to see "real changes" in my body towards the end of the year.

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