New areas of pain

When I got out of bed Thursday morning I immediately realized that for the first time in a really long time my muscles were really, really sore. But, like, new muscles. Muscles I likely didn’t even think were muscles. Like the ones that sit over your shoulder blades. Those hurt. Because of the Pee Wee Herman Tequila dance moves we did. And my inner thighs hurt. From squeezing a ball as I did push ups on my toes and all of that ballet type stuff.

All day long. Hurt.

But I go on to the gym because it’s Thursday and that is what I do!

I get there early, as I do and I did almost 10 minutes on the treadmill with an incline of 8 and a speed of about 2.6. My legs hurt, hush.

Tyler shows up and asks how ballet was and I tell him how sore my all of it is and he’s all what all did you do? And I start to tell him all of it and his eyebrows raise in that way that kinda indicates “huh…impressive…I didn’t know it would be all that!” and then he said “That was an awesome work out. But what did you leave for me to work today?!” So I told him what hurt and he questioned about my abs and I moved and said “no, they’re fine” which is weird since we did a lot of crunches at the Ballerobica.

So, off we went over to the decline sit up bench. 3 sets of 10. Ugh. I’d go really strong until around 6 or 7 and then I was grunty and face making.

Then I did the dumbbell curl and press with an 8lb weight. 12, 15, then who knows how many I did because neither of us were counting and so I just did them until my form started to get bad due to fatigue. I suspect it was well over 20. But I can’t verify that.

Then I did the decline bench leg lifts. 3 sets of 10 really ugly lifts. Like, really ugly. But I did them and while they were ugly they were also more like the just keep going motion that he likes to see. So there was that.

I did Bosu ball crunches. 3 sets of 10 really good ones. I could feel it, though. Owwy.

Then he decided that I should try balancing on the Bosu ball again. Which I did better than the last time we tried it. Then I squatted on the Bosu ball. The first time squatting my legs were wiggly and it just feels weird because you’re not really in control of your legs at that point. But you can learn to be. And so we had me balance and then squat for three sets. I don’t know how many reps I did but each time I was steadier and my legs weren’t as wiggly jiggly on the squat and it was pretty good. Getting on and off still sucks. But it was all major improvement!

Then he had me jump up onto a low box to teach me how to land softly like a cat and not all hard and solid like a cow. Which is how I’ve always done my whole life. He’s noticed this when he has me do the jump up on the step thing with other exercises. I land hard. I plant like BOOM! Then he had me jump off of a higher box for the same reason. I’m not very capable of landing softly and my knee knows that. I shall practice jumping off of things softly. Like a ninja. With good knees.

So, after the work out he said “So, you’re going to sign up for the ballet gym, right?” and I told him that I was thinking of doing it and he fully supported that and I was all “Because this was hard at first but I came back” and he was all “yeah you did and look at you know!”

Look at me now. *pose*

Then Friday I went and hung out with brand new people I’d never met before and that was a grand time. If they put together more gatherings, I will join in the fun. And then today I’ve kinda done nothing. Not even swam laps. I’m getting lazy again in my off time. I need to nip that shit right in the bud!!

This coming week I will be gymming on Monday and Wednesday.

And right now I will go and determine the best financial package for the ballet gym and check out their schedule and fit that into my life and budget.

And? After the ComiCon…I need to get a better plan for my foods. Tracking it, reducing how much of it I eat, what I eat, and all of that. Nothing really major in the way of changes…just small changes that will make a difference.

There’s a plan of attack. Just not yet a ninja attack. BOOOM!

Progress and starting over

Yesterday was gym night and so I went to the gym! I got there early so what did I do? The stair master, yo. For ten minutes. Take that. Tyler came over and was all “Let’s get going!” and I was all “Let me get to ten minutes, that’s less than a minute away!” and he was all “yes!”

Then he says “Tonight I’m going to test you on things we’ve done before. See how you do, how you’ve improved.” And off we went.

I had to do a modified insanity circuit.  I used a 10lb dumbbell for the first set of 6. I do the bicep curl, squat, up, squat and plant the weight, do a squat thrust (or a burpee for all you people that like to call them burpees) then up. Lather, rinse, repeat. He kept reminding me to do all of that in a fluid motion BUT to kind of reset once I was standing back up from the squat thrust so I’m doing a full bicep curl. I did them. They were hard but they were easier than the first time I did these things. And on the second set I did 8 with a 12lb dumbbell and on the third set I did 10 with a 12lb dumbbell.

I had to do dumbbell chest presses with a leg lift. Well…basically I was on the ground with my legs bent at the knees and off the ground. As I press the dumbbell up, I straighten my legs out as low to the ground as I can. Because I’m uncoordinated I sometimes match my arm movement with my legs and he has to keep reminding me to push the dumbbells straight up. Which is funny because he knows why I’m doing it and not that I’m not being strong. I did all three sets of 10 with 15lb weights. And? I smiled on my last set because I realized how much easier this was than the first time I had to do it AND I was doing it with a heavier weight. I high fived myself. I’m not even lying.

Then I did squat 180s which may have been my least favorite thing of them all. Yes. I enjoyed them less than even the burpees. With this exercise I squat all the way down to the ground with a 10lb dumbbell, do a bicep curl, then stand up, and immediately spin. I call the squat portion the gorilla. Because I feel like I look like a gorilla doing it. And on the way up he kept reminding me to be “explosive.” Which means to be fluid and fast! Jump up, Andrea! Kapow! But I’m just happy I wasn’t passing out and it was ugly but dammit they got done. Three sets of 10. The second two sets was with a 12lb weight.

Then I had to do the bicep press and tricep whatever with a dumbbell. We started with the 10lb and moved up to the 12lb for the second two sets. First set was 10, then 13, then 15 reps.

I’d been lightheaded most of the day thanks to some stupid weather system that was in the area. And then as I’m trying to work out without passing out from the dizzy this guy comes and gets on the slammy ropes and starts slamming them in a very fast wavy motion as I’m trying to squat and it’s in my eye line and woah buddy it made me dizzy as all hell and I had to sit down and then explain that I’m just so very odd.

And that was the gym. I felt really good. I see progress. I see me improving. It was awesome. I felt like I’m looking better and getting stronger.

I went to Taco Tuesday with the Wendy family because I like the Wendy family and I like tacos. What’s there to say no to? Nothing, that’s what. And that was great.

Today was a good day. My legs were a bit sore but nothing that gave me pause about Ballerobica.

So, today was my first Ballerobica class. And I felt all sure and strong about it because I’ve been going to the gym now since March and I’ve improved and this is going to be great!

The music starts and she starts telling us what to do as we watch her and ourselves in the mirrors. I’m having to follow dance moves. I’m having to hold my arms up and point my toes. I’m realizing I was too cocky and came in with the wrong attitude and I was kicked down a few notches. Gymming is not the same as Balleting. Nope. People told me. I ignored people.

When I wasn’t all up in my head about stuff, I had a fantastic time. I was moving. I was doing ballet arms and ballet toes and legs and I was moving and sweating and dancing to the music. But then I’d catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and I’d get snapped out of the joy and into the reality that my belly is flopping around, my arms are a wee bit floppy, I look all red faced and old, and I’m just awkward and gawky.

But then we got to the barre and we did stuff not in front of a mirror. And then I was free to enjoy it again.

Ballerinas are bossy. They correct your form and they say “Point those toes!” and “Tuck in that butt!” and it’s all very different from the gym and it was all very hard but….so was the gym at first. And I was super excited about this. I love to dance and I need more cardio and there is stretching classes and all sorts of things that will benefit me and I can take the classic straight up ballet class and I think I should do it but I’m going to sleep on it. Because I did cry. Because of fat and old and gawky. And my sister yelled at me. Because of sister.

So, even though I have progress at the gym I will be starting at square one with this. And that is fine. I started at square one at the gym and look at me now. Look how I’ve improved and stuck with it. I’ve cancelled ONE session and that was due to work not me. So, yeah. Ballerinas are hardcore. I did jumping jacks. And ab stuff. And stretches. And toe stuff. And kicks. And arms. And ouch.

The girl that lead the class asked me what I thought so I was honest with her about how close to crying I was and how I felt like it should have been a wee bit easier since I’ve been at the gym and I see progress. Everyone that heard me say that shook their head “nope” and she said that it’s all very different and that for my very first time out I did pretty good and that she only had to correct my form a few times. Which is true. So, that was nice.

But I did it! And then I cried. And now I’m not and tomorrow is Thursday gym day and I’ll talk to Tyler about it and I’ll ponder and we’ll see what I do next. A cliffhanger!

Lazy long weekend

I haven’t taken any walks or anything of that sort. But I did swim laps yesterday. I wound up doing 20. That turned out to be about 15 minutes of laps. I need to get a battery for the clock outside so I can know that I’m actually doing worthwhile lapping.  But 15 minutes of swim laps is better than 0 minutes of swim laps!

I jumped on the scale this morning and my water retention must have stopped because I’m back at the weight I was before my period started. Not too bad. But I’d still like to see that number go down a bit.

However, as I am reminding myself again! I am not doing all of this for my appearance. That will be a nice side effect, sure. But my main goal is my strength, fitness, and health!

When I got out of bed this morning and saw myself in the mirror I started to have that thought “Wow…once I lose that 10 to 15 pounds I am going to LOVE my body….” and then I stopped and said…..”NO! I love my body now. My body is my body no matter what it weighs or how it looks. I love it. It’s mine.” and then I started to go over all of the good things and none of the bad.

*wpid-photogrid_1401116649568.jpg

 What I’m trying to see now, and I do see it after my first viewing, is not that I need to lose some more weight. What I see is that there’s muscle forming under there. Muscle that has not been there before. And maybe only I can see it. And that is fine fine fine. I’m the only one that needs to see it. Because I really don’t want others to judge me based on how I look. I want to be appreciated for my brain, my humor, my wit, the things that matter to me. Then on top of all of that if you also find me attractive, super bonus awesome time. We all want that, really. But it’s not all I want because it’s not all that I am. I am NOT just my appearance. That’s dumb.

So, I’m gonna keep on keeping on. Because I’m doing good things for myself. For my physical and mental health. Which is all very good.

———————————————————————-

*This is first thing in the morning belly where I am also engaging my abs. That is simply a disclaimer so I don’t get comments about not being too hard on myself or whatever since people sometimes misconstrue things. First thing in the morning abs with muscles engaged is far different than noontime belly. We all know this. Stopping disclaimer now.

The day of fatigue

Before I went to bed Wednesday night I decided to try the plank rows  here to see if I could do them without anyone watching. And I did one or two on each side. And what I discovered is that I just do not like how the weights rub on my thumbs and I’m convinced that my fingers don’t have enough room between the bar and the floor and I don’t want to scrape up my hands. And that is the girliest thing I have realized since joining the gym. “The weight rubs my thums! Waaaah.” It is what it is. But I did some. Boom. Not going to be defeated by some dumb exercise. Yeah. Whatup?!?! *chest pump*

Anyway…

I woke up Thursday and was instantly just tired and ugh and in pain because some months are just like that for me. Not all of them, luckily. But this one has been. And Thursday I just really felt like I had been hit by a mac truck. I thought about calling in to work. But I didn’t. Because it was gym night. And then once at work I felt like going home several times. But I didn’t. Because it was gym night.

People told me I looked fatigued. It hurt to walk. It hurt to think. Thursday was just really bad. But? I went to the damn gym, y’all. Take that. I’m a bad ass. Or something.

I don’t know if Tyler was fully registering how bad I felt but after a while I just kinda hid it as well as I could.

We started out with me warming up on the stair master. I could have chosen any cardio I wanted but I chose the damn stair master. Why? Because the last time I was on it the damn thing defeated me and I ain’t about to let a machine have the last fucking word. But he set it really fast because I’m supposed to be pushing myself but my cardio is still weak as shit and I got dizzy again. It took longer this time, though. And I got winded. Because damn if I’m not just still out of shape. And that’s a bit disappointing for me to realize. Or think. I could be wrong. But it’s what I think as I’m breathing all heavy on the dumb ass stair master.

So we stop that and get to the muscle building.

We started out doing step up and overs. I have to do them much faster than the dude in the video and I move my arms in a fancier fashion. It’s like I’m dancing a bit. And it helped that the soundtrack at the gym was 1990s alternative music themed. “Today” was the greatest day I have ever known, indeed. I had to do 20, then 40, then 60 of these things. And you know what? The very first time he had me do them I had a hard time with my uncoordinated ass trying to figure out how to do it without tripping. This time? I did them smoothly and quickly and with jazz hands at the end. GO ME!!

I did three sets of burpees where I was holding a weight stick then I’d plant that, do the burpee, stand up, shoulder press the weight stick, repeat. For 10 reps. And then at the end he joked that I should javelin the weight stick across the room and I said I would if I could yell out “WOLVERINES!” and he agreed to those terms. He also explained that he’d seen the original because his dad has done a good job of showing him really good old movies. I wanted him to be quiet just then. My uterus is trying to kill me from the inside out and he’s all telling me how his dad showed him movies from his youth and I was all “Dammit those are the same movies of my youth and I am not old enough to be your mom!” But, yeah, I could be. If I’d gotten right on that whole birthing kids thing at the age of 17. His dad is older than I am. I just decided. I feel better now.

During this part of the workout he had me do the ball slams with a 15lb ball. This was easier than before even though the ball was heavier. But I think the fancy angsty ’90s alt soundtrack helped with that. I slammed the shit outta that ball “Say it ain’t sow00w0000!”

Then on to the really hard stuff that made me want to punch things.

I had to do a low squat onto the step, stand back up with just the power of my legs, then jump up from that standing position onto the step, jump back down to the ground and then start all over again. Holy dang. That took a few practice rounds with me holding on to Tyler so make sure I could even jump onto the damn thing and I could and then off we went. He wants this to be a fluid motion. I wanted my uterus to not be spasming. Nobody got what they wanted, ok. That’s what I’m saying. But I did them. Three sets. Six, then eight, then ten. They were slow but I did them. I win.

I also had to lay down on the step and do leg lifts as I squeezed the swiss ball between my legs. This is where the evening took a turn in my mind that I dare not share outloud with poor Tyler. Because I like him and don’t want to scare him. But when he had me lay down on the step he was all “now scoot your butt all the way to the edge then lay back.” This is now a visit to the gyno. While my uterus is on fire. NOT GOOD! Then I have to lift my legs and I’m pretty sure he said “Spread!” and I’m all “This is the most action I’ve had since December!” in my head while also feeling like I wanted to punch things still because holy fucking shit lifting that swiss ball with my legs was neither fun or easy. I have cramps, you know! And now I’m having to use my ab muscles and my leg muscles and those are the muscles that were being attacked the most by all of the uterus assholishness going on.

I’m sorry. You came here for a regular old update on how well my gymming is going and I’m saying uterus left and right. Sorry. But not really. I can say what I want. Uterus.

The first two sets of the swiss ball leg lifts was torturous because I would go all the way down to the ground and stop and I’d have to rebuild my momentum after each and every lift. He finally convinced me to do them quick without stopping on the last rep and I did and it was easier but holy damn still hard. But easier. So I did six, six, and eight on that.

I then discussed the plank row with him and how I did it at home and tried to do it at the gym but it rubbed my thumb and I was all “I know! This is the girliest and whiniest shit I’ve pulled since coming here but it really is bothering me!” and so we determined I should wrap my thumbs or use a rag to wrap the dumbbell or something and practice at home. Because I told him that I am NOT going to be defeated by a damn exercise and he said he agreed and it was all pretty good.

I told him about my ballet class and he asked me lots of questions about why and how and where and I told him and he was really pleased with how motivated I am and that I took action on this. So that was good.

When I first started meeting with Tyler I said he was what I imagined Adam Levine’s younger brother would look like. Now that I’ve been going a bit more and we joke and have a good time and I know his personality better I’ve decided he’s more like what Bret McKenzie‘s younger brother would look like. If Bret McKenzie was more groomed. Not that any of that matters but I wanted to amend the record of things. I’m odd. The main thing about Tyler is that he’s just really damn good at what he does and when I watch some of the other trainers that are at the gym I’m really glad that I had a personal recommendation because if I’d just walked in on the street and been paired up with one of them at random? I’d not be going like I am now. I would have hated it and I’d have quit. Yes, I am motivated and I get myself to the gym every Tuesday and Thursday but if I didn’t like the person that was there waiting on me? I’d not go. Plain and simple. I’ll recommend him to any person around that wants a personal trainer. The end.

And I say all of that after he made my bloated, angry uterused body jump up and down a lot. I can’t imagine the horrors he saw. Poor kid.

Born to dance!

I have been toying with the idea of an adult ballet class for some time here and there. And now I have actually taken action because now I am a girl that takes action and does stuff! Plus I just feel a bit more confident in general so I’m sure that helped.

Next Wednesday I will be taking my first Ballerobica class!

From their site:

Our Main Program – Ballerobica is a 60 minute total body workout that combines the fundamentals of ballet with cardio and strength training. The ballet bar (barre) is used to support the body in both static and dynamic movement, which leads to long, lean muscles. The cardio revs up your metabolic rate for an increased calorie burn, and the strength training tones and tightens. This hybrid workout burns fat and produces perky bottoms, creates toned arms, lean thighs, and flat abs. The end result is a leaner more graceful body that has been toned and tightened in all the right
areas.

Ballerobica classes are set to sweat inspiring music and follow a vigorous pace moving through specific exercise sequences designed to shape and lift the entire body. Immediately following each sequence the target muscle group is stretch thoroughly to elongate and lengthen the muscle. This technique allows you to work and strengthen your muscles without the bulk. Not only will you achieve a longer, leaner look, but you will also gain increased flexibility.

No equipment is used in class except for the ballet barre. All strength training is done using your own bodyweight. Because no additional weights are used, this is the perfect workout for people with injuries or physical limitations. It is the safest most effective and efficient, way to tone your entire body.

Benefits
Fast body shaping results
Extreme Core Strength
Greater range of motion
Elongated muscles
Toned Body
Reduced Body Fat
Improved Posture and body alignment
Fluid body movement
Lean thighs
Firm Arms
Better Balance
Flat Abs
Perky Bottom
Increased Stamina and Energy
Enhanced Flexibility
Connects the Mind and Body
Relieves Stress
Supportive Group Environment
Precise Instruction

I’m really looking forward to this! And? When they have a straight up Intro to Ballet class available at a time that works with my schedule, I’ll check that out, too.

Consider cardio stepped up. With dance! I’ll try not to act like this guy:

Just the facts

This is going to be short and sweet because I’m tired and I’m sweaty and I feel all ick. It’s that time of the month. And I didn’t want to tell Tyler that and so when he asked how I felt I told him I felt terrible and he wanted to know what hurt and I was all oh nothing and then he was very much like “I’m confused” and I was all you don’t wanna know and then he was “Oh…yeah…got it!” And off we went.

Because my knees kinda hurt and you are all very surprised he had me to TRX squats. I went all the way down. These were no sweat. They may look like they would be and maybe they should be but I found them to be one of the easier things I’ve done. Maybe since I’ve done so many other squats now? Muscles and strength and all that.

Then I did the TRX rows. I didn’t have to do them inverted this time. But I was angled a bit more than this. So that was done.

I did three sets of 10 swiss ball dumbbell chest presses with 15lb weights.

I did three sets of 10 swiss ball dumbbell crunches with one 15lb weight.

Then he tried to get me to do a plank row:

That shit wasn’t happening. It was hard, I couldn’t get the hang of it, I didn’t feel strong or coordinated enough to pull that off. He tried EVERYTHING. We tried it without the dumbells. We tried it with just me holding on to the one dumbbell and doing the row without a dumbbell, which worked for one set. We tried it with lighter weights. I got all worked up and my mind just blanked and I could NOT do it. And I explained “I’m getting worked up. This is part of the other.” and he was all “yeah, I know” and then off we went to something else. He’s good that way. But dammit, I’m going to practice this one. YES I AM!!

Then I did three sets of 10 hack squats on the hack squatter machine.

Then I did three sets of 10 hamstring curls with 50lbs. I think he was back there helping me. He’s sneaky.

I was kinda all over the place and not very steady, even though he said I was good and balanced on the swiss ball on my last set. During the first set he stood kinda right beside the ball like I may roll right off of it onto the floor.

At one point this group of girls that is frequently at the gym at the same time as I am came over and plopped right down in our space and I could see the annoyance on his face and he was all “Come on.” and we walked to a different area and we said a few things that may be referred to as mocking. And then we both proceeded to trip over the same machine. That is what happens, people. You go around mocking and then blammo! You trip. Let my tragedy steer you down the right path.

Oh so long ago

Thursday seems like forever ago and I’m trying to remember details and coming up short.

When I arrived at the gym I head for the treadmill but Tyler grabbed me and asked if I could help with an IT issue. I tried but couldn’t. I didn’t even mention things like a video card issue or drivers, etc. So I’ve been feeling kinda like a failure over that. It doesn’t take much, y’all.

Then we did the usual check in on my body parts and I have no idea what was so different with the crunches on Tuesday or what happened between Wednesday and Thursday but good lord were my abs sore! So he was all “Yeah!” about that and then determined we’d just do upper body. Give the knees more rest and my abs a break. Very nice.

We went and started on the BM vertical chest press. Four sets of ten. Started with 40lbs, then 50lbs, then two sets of 60lbs.

Then the reverse grip lat pull down. When I first started with the weight he set it on he was all “no, no no!” and I was all “What? Am I doing it wrong?!” and he was all “Nope. That’s too light. You can do that too easily!” and moved it up to 60lbs. So I did two sets of 10 at 60lbs and then one set of 10 at 70lbs.

Then we did the tricep rope pull downs. These look easy. They are not. That spread apart movement of the rope at the bottom is hard! Because of physics or some shit. So I did three sets of 10 with 30lbs.

Next up is the HS incline chest press. three sets of 10 with 20lbs. Oh, no…the third set was with 15lbs because this motion remains ridiculously hard for me. Like, I get to a point and I’m pushing and engaging my muscle and it feels like it’s just locked in place and my first instinct is to let go of the bars because it feels weird and then I’m all “What is wrong with my body?!?!” and so I finally explained this and that allowed him to explain to me that that is a thing that happens to muscles when they are being worked and are tired. They stop. Or something. It made more sense when he said it and it made me feel better. Yay.

Then to the back extension machine. And? I bend all the way over and touch the floor and am no longer afraid and do them fast and he was all “Woah! look at you!” and then asked if I feel it in my lower back and I was all “Not really.” and to that he said “I’ve been waiting for this!” and now I have to do them as I hold a weight. One set of 10 without weight, one set of 10 with a 5lb weight, and then one set of 15 with the same 5 lb weight.

He tried to get me to bench press some dumbbells on a slight incline bench but that wasn’t happening because it was hurting my shoulder. That’s why we wound up on the HS incline chest press! And he had to adjust the seat and stuff to find a position that didn’t cause popping and cracking. Which is not anything at all like poppin’ and lockin’.

Then I had to lean up against a wall and do straight bar wall curls with a 20lb bar. Three sets of 10.

And? Finished it off with using the same straight bar to do some shoulder presses. UGH! More of it being sucky. This is my weakness. The over the head stuff. BUT! He tried to let me off here with two sets and I said NO! I want to do the three, even if I can’t do it for 10 reps I want to at least try the full three routine, dude. And to that he said “Yes, ma’am. I like it!”

While I’m at the gym I don’t really feel like I’m making progress because things remain hard but then as I’m walking to my car and I don’t feel like I was beat up and I look at his documentation and I see that I’m doing some of the exercises with heavier weights than when I started I realize that it’s still hard because I’m still doing new stuff each and every time! Even if it’s the same exercises, doing it at different weights makes it new! And I’m not as sore the next day, usually, and I can recognize that.

Also, I went to Costco yesterday to buy kitty litter and Coke and these items usually feel much heavier than they did yesterday! So I am seeing some progress. And that makes me pleased.

I went on my walk yesterday morning before it got so ungodly hot and with all of the errands I ran I walked well over the 10,000 steps the Fitbit wants me to.

Today I did not a lot of anything. I haven’t done that in a long, long time and I just kinda felt like that was what I wanted to do. So I did. And I didn’t put the Fitbit on at all. And that is fine. Not every day is going to be awesome.

I did go to the grocery store and bought food for the office and home and it all looks pretty good. Apples and raspberries were involved.

And now I think I’m caught up again.