Getting Strong

I joined a gym a few months ago. My fitness counselor took my basics, tested my fitness, checked my BMI and body fat ratio. She designed a strength-training workout for me and had the college intern take me out to the floor and teach me how to use the equipment. Since then, I haven’t been back too many times, but lately I am more focused on making strength training part of my routine.

On Tuesday I went to the gym and looked at my workout sheets. I’d been making it about once a week, but at least I’d been doing both the upper body and lower body workouts each time. Unfortunately, I’ve been skipping the core work…because it’s done on a mat rather than a machine. I just can’t get myself to pull the mat out in the middle of the serious weight-lifters and start doing a very poor imitation of a core workout. I always think I’ll just go home and do some planks or crunches, but it never happens.

Today I made it to the gym for the second time this week and got to work. I moved quickly through the workout and tried to increase the amount of weight I was lifting wherever it seemed appropriate. I do see some improvement in what I can do, and I know that if I can get to the gym at least twice a week I will see even more improvement.

Meanwhile, I’ve not been running as much. It is so hard to fit it all in, but I know that I will be able to find an equilibrium and it will involve more physical activity, not less. I have a race coming up in ten days, so I really need to get out on the road and up and down some hills, too. We’ve had a lot of rain lately, which has discouraged me from getting out and running. Even without too many more runs, I know I can tackle the race…but of course I want to beat my time from last year!

I have to accept that I just may not be able to beat my time from last year…I am on a different path right now. I am trying to improve my strength, and I have made a good start. I am also trying to lose weight. I’ve not been as successful there. Partly it is that I’ve been running less and partly that I’ve been weight-training more. I’ve gained rather than lost weight, but I trust that some of that is due to an increase in muscle mass.

The main thing I need to do is focus on getting to the gym at least twice a week and doing both the upper and lower body workouts. I need to focus on three sets of twelve reps and increasing the weight when I can. I hope to solve my body aches and pains along the way.

I have chronic shoulder pain that has only been helped by many visits to the chiropractor, for instance. If I can strenghten the muscles around my shoulder, maybe I won’t need the expensive chiropracty. I have arthritis in my knees that has previously been helped by physical therapy. Weight loss has greatly reduced the pain, but the lower-body workout I’m doing is very similar to the physical therapy that previously worked wonders on my knees as well.

There is no downside to becoming stronger. Self-care comes in many forms and this is one.

Find the Joy in the Journey…and the Joy in becoming a stronger person!



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