Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Slow progress is still progress - a #GlowGetsFit update
The last time I joined I gym I was 18 and in my first year of uni. I was around 55kg and thought I was fat (oh, the hilarity!) so I joined the campus gym all "yeah, let's do this, let's get totally smokin' hot".
That feeling lasted about three weeks. After a handful of sessions did not see me looking like a supermodel I gave up. Because motivation and I are not usually on speaking terms.
But this time, something has shifted. I'm enjoying going to the gym. I can hear you now: "Wait, what? Who are you and what have you done with the real Glow? I mean c'mon, really?". But I mean it. At least right now I do, who knows what next week will bring.
It's been about five weeks and I've gone to the gym at least five times a week. More times in the first week than I ever went to the uni gym, actually. I do pump class, combat, yoga, weights, or sometimes I'm just a cardio bunny and I jog on the treadmill. I have no idea about jogging, but I can sustain 7km/hour for 1.6km without stopping. Everyone else on Instagram is running marathons and here I am rejoicing at 1.6km, but for me that is huge. HUGE!
As someone who has suffered from a diagnosed chronic pain disorder for over a decade (and the decade before that when it was non diagnosed and involved a shit load of trips to the childrens' hospital for nuclear scans and what not), exercise is still very new to me.
I mean, I had an ACROD pass for ten years for Christ's sake. Disabled parking! My muscles and ligaments were so pathetic at their job that I was allowed the same parking privileges as those with exploding hearts and peeps in wheelchairs. Granted I rarely used it because I was always abused by people who have no idea what an invisible disability is, but still, I had the pass. I was on a disability pension because I couldn't always get out of bed (I was also a bit crazy at the time, but let's just stick with musculoskeletal shiz right now, OK?) and here I am now, running on a freakin' treadmill and attending pump classes.
I still feel my usual pain, though it has lessened over the years a bit (I gave up my ACROD permit). Well, either that or I just got used to it with the help of hundreds of hours of mindfulness training and therapy. It's definitely still there, but the post exercise pain drowns it out. Like when you're super itchy and you shove your hand under hot water so the heat cancels the itch, the work out pain is cancelling out the "me" pain.
I'm not really sounding like a good advertisement for the gym right now, am I? Go exercise and you'll hurt way more! But it's different pain. It's pain for a reason. I did something kickass to elicit these aching muscles, rather than just waking up unable to walk for no reason.
If I can't get to the gym, I spend about twenty minutes on the elliptical (the one I scored for free at bulk rubbish which is AWESOME and works perfectly except for the temperature gauge - why do I need one of those though?) and will do some sit ups and kettle bell work at home. Or yoga so the kids can join in.
I haven't weighed myself since I started. I don't feel the need to because this isn't about being skinny. I want to be strong. I want to be fit. And I can feel it happening already, slowly but surely. I can ride further, jog further (the fact I can jog at all is awesome, really), lift heavier things, walk up stairs without needing the handrail. So many things I couldn't do before. But saying that, I wouldn't turn down some associated weight loss, just so I could fit in my damn clothes again. It would be nice, not gonna lie.
So here I am, getting fitter. Getting stronger. Feeling the urge to share inspirational fitness memes (it's a sickness, I apologize). Wanting to buy new workout pants. Listing the pros and cons of Garmins vs Fitbits. Taping my aching feet and shins. And feeling fucking awesome.