I exercised for 3.75 hours Wednesday: 1 hour walking dog in morning; 1 hour with trainer; 45 minutes lap swim; 1 hour walking dog in evening. I’ve been wondering if it’s a bad thing to have so many fitness blogs, but I thought What’s the point of my blog? To talk about what I’m doing when I’m traveling, and this is a new adventure for me. This whole blog isn’t going to become about fitness, but as I incorporate it into my life, I’m going to give you some of these blogs as well.
As you can tell from yesterday’s blog I’ve already developed a love/hate relationship with my trainer. He’s nice enough (and if I had more time in California I’d buy him a drink or a Valium for having to put up with me) but it’s difficult to think about how nice he is when he’s pushing my weak muscles to their limit.
Like my blog about failed Buddhism, I still try to find a lesson in my experiences, particularly when they’re new or I feel that I didn’t live up to expectations of myself. I was mostly proud today. I did everything he asked and was only disappointed because my left arm isn’t able to do half the work of my right. I don’t know when it became some weak. I guess it was a gradual distance from the activities that used to make me so happy.
Today my lesson was to realize that I am still sometimes trapped in the body-consciousness of a teenage girl (if only I were also trapped in my teenage girl body).
I was thinking about these things while swimming. After the hour’s training session I rewarded myself with 45 minutes in the lap pool. Swimming is the only place I can still get into a “zone” with exercise. It used to be running. In high school we would run for hours after school on the dirt roads around Marion Center. I was never a sprinter, but God I had endurance. I just got out onto those open roads and let my mind go. I can still smell the dirt and grass, the musty smell of fall, turning crisp in my lungs as the cold set in, and the smells of flowers of spring and summer.
But for my junior year we moved to another school district. The summer before school began my toes were operated on to remove the middle joints because I had bad hammer toes and was in a lot of pain. I had the surgery because they said it would be less painful to run again. It was worse. I stopped running.
The school where we moved had no swimming pool, so I went from years of running and swimming to no activity. When we moved back to Marion Center for my senior year, I joined the swim team again, but one joke from the coach about my two periscopes during my backstroke and I quit. I had gotten used to the modified toes by then and could walk and jog on them with only mild pain, but I was mortified by my C cups prominently displayed against my still small middle, and limited my track to shot-put and discus.
Do you remember my telling you the other day how much I love my breasts? I do. They’re ample, and beautiful and I know I’ll be lucky if I get to keep them, because the combination of obesity and heredity are dangerous factors in breast cancer statistics. But what I didn’t tell you is that while I do love them in private, I still fall back into the mental state of that teenager who tried to hide them—from sports, from boys, from myself.
These exercises were difficult for me not only because I love/hate trainer Gary pushing me so much, but because the posture required to correctly do these exercises forces them into prominence again. I can’t round my shoulders to hide them, and each exercise carried a mental struggle against posture before I could even think about pushing the weights.
It’s funny how easy it can be to slip from adult to child and back again. I have no problem, for example, finding the humor in the fact that they call a couple leg machines the “good girl chair” and the “bad girl chair” (the former works your inner thighs to help you keep your legs closed, the latter your outer thighs). But while finding it funny, the chair was the only place I “lied” to my trainer. Like my fear of putting my breasts on display, I was afraid to put the chair as wide as I was comfortable, because of the anxiety of sitting in a room full of men with my legs so far apart.
So I still have a lot to remove in my own self-consciousness if I really want to improve my fitness. I feel it working already: even as I type this I notice I keep correcting my posture, pulling my shoulder blades in, sitting tall and feeling stronger. But I’ve been lucky this trainer has been so professional, or I think I might have quit from that self-consciousness. Isn’t that a piece of irony? I can have a completely filthy mind, but I don’t want his to be anything but squeaky clean. Hmmm. I’ll analyze that another day.
Until then, last fitness blog of the week. Tomorrow you get something extra super special that I think you’re gonna’ like!