For those of you who read my blog ponderings, you are aware that I started a workout regimen with my sister a few weeks ago. We committed to four gym days per week (except for her upcoming vacation) where we had a day focusing on each of arms, legs, back, and abs. Now, when I returned to the gym last summer, I was using a few arm and leg machines. Likewise, there were a couple ab machines I used as well. However, I avoided the weights section because it was predominantly used by males…and my overweight body felt intimidated. When I would notice some teen girls or other ladies using the weights, I would think, “Wow! One day, maybe I’ll have that confidence.”
Anyway, Bethani, who is a gem of a trainer at Planet Fitness, incorporated several machines that I had already been using. However, she also had us expanding our workouts. To be honest, each day has something that I dread. In fact, ab day’s dreaded machine had hounded my thoughts so much last week that I asked Bethani if we could move it up on the order to get it over with. Ha! I kid you not. I even told my students about this machine…the pain it produced the day after as well as the struggle to accomplish it.
This brings me to the title of today’s blog. Today, I was solo at the gym. I had decided to do two machines in the ab, leg, and arm workouts. After a warmup on the elliptical, I went back to try and lower the ab glider. Ugh! I failed. I figured I could just skip it. I mean, I tried. (Yes, the ab glider is the one that I dread more than anything.) I did the ab twister, then moved to the back to do a leg machine I’ve done since joining several years ago. (My nephew will be proud as I had it on 160 for all three sets of 15.) As I was heading up to the front machines, the ab glider was there…right in front of me. I figure…why not try it again, so I’d know I tried my best. Guess what! I lowered it, so…it was time to endure the torture.
That’s when the strangest thing happened! I did my first set of 10 with little extra effort. “Are you kidding me?” I thought. Then, I did the second set of ten. “How on earth am I not in pain or struggling?” I pondered. Finally, the third set had me slow a bit, but…I did it without struggling too terribly. I was pumped! (Told myself my 3 sets of 10 would now be 3 sets of 12.) Foe #1? Conquered!
Feeling invincible at this point…well, feeling strong, I went to the dreaded chest press. Normally, arm machines don’t phase me much, but this stinkin’ machine is my nemesis. It taunts me with, “You’re not as strong as you think!” Before the 4-day regimen started, I would be able to do one set at 50 then I’d go down in pounds. Alas, I think I did three sets at 50, maybe, last week, but I thought maybe I did more. So, feeling like I was ready to conquer another foe, I put it at 70 pounds. I did 1 set of 15 with a lot of pauses. However, I completed my second set at 65 and my final set at 60. Wow! I was thankful it was over, but I was proud that I pushed myself. Second Foe? Take that!
After a leg machine and arm machine that neither bother me, I glanced back…at the section that still had power over me. Now, when I exercise with my sister, I face the weight corner knowing that at least the two of us were enduring it together. Thankfully, my friend Patty was also working out this morning, and I shared how I was going to make myself face my self-intimidation-area. She said she needed to go back there too. I did the “face pull” (the name makes me chuckle) and then I did some exercise with 10-pound dumbbells. There were only two guys working out at the time, and I don’t even think they noticed I was there. I did. I faced my personally-imposed fear and conquered foe #3.
Each morning, I post quotes for my FB friends and include one focused on either exercise or fitness. This morning, my solo workout made me think of a couple of them. First, I can’t imagine the ab glider EVER being my warm up, but I also couldn’t imagine doing it without a lot of strain and pain. Honestly, my 5 minutes on the elliptical which IS my warm-up is at a faster pace than when I did the elliptical last summer, so I guess this post is correct.
Then, last weekend my nephew graduated from WKU (super proud aunt right here!), so I exercised VERY little for 3 days, ate out every meal, ate later than my 6:00/6:30 personally-imposed food-stop, and drank VERY little water. As a result, when I got on the scale Monday morning, I saw a number 5 pounds bigger than I saw on Friday morning. I was bummed for a bit, but I reminded myself not to let the scale define me. Then, on Wednesday, a colleague uttered, “Ms. Pflaumer, you’re really getting skinny!” (Ha! Definitely a hyperbole!) I laughed and said, “Not skinny, but I’m getting healthier.” She explained, “I just mean that I can really tell that you’ve lost weight and been working out.” Plus, this morning, after my woohoo-workout, I went to Frisch’s for breakfast. (Yes, I’ve reached the point in my singleness that there are some restaurants where I am perfectly comfortable eating solo.) Sonya, my favorite waitress and sweet friend, encouraged my commitment to working out by affirming the physical changes she had observed.
You know…cheerleaders are important, and I have MANY friends who cheer me on and encourage my journey. Be someone’s cheerleader.
I have friends who hold me accountable. They ask me what I’m doing for exercise. They challenge me to try new machines or not to give up. Do you know someone with a goal? Hold them accountable to the commitment.
What are you afraid of in your journey to the YOU you’re meant to me? Whatever it is…you’ve got this. Don’t be afraid or discouraged. The One who made you is with you each step of your journey. He knows where your path is going. Trust Him! He’s got you! And you’ve got this…whatever your THIS is!