I’ve made a few random fitness updates over the past year (or eluded to it when talking about other things). Three or so years ago, I was at my most unfit and my heaviest. I struggled to walk 20 minutes or 1.5km without it being uncomfortable or causing aches and pains that would take hours to ease. It was not good.
I’ve been slowly working on getting into better shape since sometime last summer, when I started making a real effort to walk more (which eventually led to me walking pretty much everywhere, all the time). At my peak, this past July, I was even going for periodic epic walks home (7-10 km, upwards of 2.5 hours of walking). That started to fizzle out a bit because of the summer heat and the fact that I moved to an office that was closer to home, which meant that I wasn’t getting as much walking done, so the thrill of seeing the weekly kilometres count was numbed. Then, my co-worker somehow convinced me to join a gym with her and actually go (!). Being the spoiled government worker that I am, I can take advantage of a corporate wellness program that includes paid group fitness classes. They’re getting their moneys worth at the gym I frequent, as more and more government workers get memberships and start coming to the classes (to the point where they are getting almost too full and the gym is adding more classes to spread people out).
Last week, I went to the gym 7 times (5 lunches and 2 after work outdoor cardio classes). I hurt on Friday. Enough to make it hard to sleep. It’s been hard (especially the cardio classes, because our trainer is amazing and somehow gets to to keep pushing to the point of wishing I had enough energy to either punch her, ha ha). My arms (biceps, etc.) hurt so much on Friday that it hurt to answer my phone.
But, that’s ok. It was the good kind of hurt (I know I worked hard, but wasn’t injured). I did have an overnight bad hurt earlier in the week (felt like a pulled muscle), but it magically went away and did not resurface at all, despite doing 2 (careful and low key) workouts the next day (I only did the second because the first did not make the injury come back).
This was my most ambitious week and I mostly pushed myself this much to see what I could do (sometimes you have to go for more than you think you can do). It wasn’t that bad, really, but I’m really glad that other commitments will give me Wednesdays off for the next couple weeks.
And, hey, in the past few weeks (I just joined the gym in September), I’ve come a long way. There are a lot of things I can do better (better form, more reps or longer, etc.) and a lot of things I finally have the confidence to do. Like burpees. Bane of all gym classes. Hated by people of all fitness levels. I did real ones. Quite a few real ones. Honestly, I was kind of amazed, especially as I did them on automatic, not purposefully trying to do any, and I just kept going with it. I also did mountain climbers with elevated feet (to be fair, I only did this once, but at least I know I can do it!).
So, given all this success and the fact that my personal cheerleader and gym buddy (read: person who gets me to the gym each lunch hour) is running off on mat leave at the end of November, I decided to re-adjust my budget to allow for a couple personal training sessions a month to give me someone to be accountable to and to track progress (the one thing I’m not very good at judging, yet).
It’s been tough work, but I’m really happy with the progress I’m already seeing and I’m excited to see what I can do in 6 months. Maybe my gym buddy wasn’t crazy when she suggested we try trail running next year.