Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Falling downstairs

Over the past 48 hours I've found myself weighing options at the top of every staircase I encounter. Option 1: take each step, one at a time, and give into the groans that refuse to be silenced. Option 2: Find an elevator or escalator, accepting a longer walk in exchange for the option of not groaning in public. Option 3: Scoot down on my butt. Or, Option 4: Fall.

True, option 4 has certain risks. And it really should involve at least a helmet. But on the other hand, if I can just land right the pain should be quick. Because taking each step one at a time causes my lactic acid soaked thighs to punish me, severely (oddly, going up is not nearly as painful). So, I have paused at that top step, and considered climbing over a banister or two. It's not THAT much of a drop, if I aim for the couch I'll probably be ok.

I remember when I first started bootcamp I was all peppy about that first week pain. It was novel. And I worked in a building downtown with an elevator. And I spent most of my day sitting in a desk chair. Now, working for myself and juggling a larger family I've got a lot more stairs to deal with and less time to coddle myself. Don't get me wrong, I'm proud of myself for jumping back in. I'm amazed at how two days of bootcamp has already made me feel sexier and stronger even though, objectively speaking, my size 14 jeans are still just as tight.

I could take it one step at a time. But, at least for me, the slow steps are more painful. If my goal is to get to the bottom of the stairs, if my goal is to get fit and feel strong again, then I'm ready to take my licks, bounce a few times, and get to the bottom with scars I can be proud of. I used to think that getting fit was all about will power and "taking control" or "making the connection". There is some of that involved in getting to the top step. But once I'm there, it's all about putting myself in my trainers' hands, and then letting go.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Back to basics

5:30 a.m. I found myself pulling into the parking lot designated as the meeting point for the first ever Stone Mountain Park Operation Bootcamp meeting. Yesterday I'd been anxious about starting over . . . again . . . but it felt good as I tip toed around the house this morning getting ready to leave. I enjoyed being up before the sun because it brought back so many positive and reinforcing feelings from the 4 months or so when this was my daily routine. I had gotten fatigued walking through a park in the sunshine yesterday and felt daunted, but as I hopped out of my car this morning I felt energized and ready to play. It was a very good day to begin again.

This is the first Stone Mountain camp, so far just 3 recruits and two instructors although I understand we may be expecting 2 more tomorrow. Shaunya and Chester, the instructors, had great energy and helped us all feel very comfortable. Due to our parking spot (our FREE parking spot) being just outside the park itself, there is necessarily a bit of a run in at each end of the workout and I was feeling breathless early on. But if there is ONE valuable lesson I can say I learned more than any other in my first bootcamp, way back when, it's that the breathing will improve, and that I'm highly unlikely to drop dead. I didn't feel panicked at the breathlessness like I used too, I just felt annoyed by it. I'm looking forward to feeling it fall into place.

We did our PT test today. The one mile run felt a lot longer than one mile, it was an out and back course, relatively flat. By the time I saw Chester at the halfway mark I was certain they'd miscalculated. They probably didn't, I just started off a little bit gung ho and paid for it down the way. I was very pleased with my time, 13:39. A bit off the 8:26 I did at my last PT test over a year ago but reasonable for not having run for some time. The second half was tough, I definitely found myself digging into my old box of tricks (just to that stop sign, then you can decide if you'll take a break. Just to the top of that hill, just to that driveway . . . ).

On the other measures I did ok and reinforced that I definitely have retained some of the strength I earned last year, even if I have hidden the muscles away a bit. My other results were as follows:

Pushups in one minute: 20 regular and 15 modified (bent knees)
Situps in one minute: 28
Tricep Dips in one minute: 10 regular and 22 modified (bent knees)
1 Mile Run: 13:39

So there's my first goal, beat all those numbers next time around! The best part of the morning by far was the run back to the car. I was still feeling winded but I earned a little taste of that elusive "stride" that is so addictive and I'm excited for tomorrow!

Finally, one brief note since I mentioned it in earlier posts. After bootcamp today I went to court and had my divorce finalized. It was emotional. It was a relief. It represents, I hope, a new beginning in my relationship with my ex-husband. He's the father of my son and we share parenting time 50/50 so we're involved with each other regardless.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Days keep sliding by. 30 of them apparently just whooshed right by me. I felt them ruffle my hair. They smelled of rain.

I could hardly walk for a couple of days after the 2 miles. I've been falling back on karate and I'm ready to test for my orange belt. I enjoy learning and challenging myself with that and I'm actually enjoying hop front kicks now when a couple of weeks ago I thought they were physically impossible. On Tuesday last week we had a REALLY intense workout and I thought I was going pass out, it felt like bootcamp used to in the beginning and I just kept reminding myself of that as I gasped and gaped. However, it's not consistent. Thursday's class was much more low key. It's definitely worthwhile and helps me with grace and balance and just learning more general kick assedness, but if I'm going to get back in the shape I was last year (YEAR??? Ugh), I need 4-5 of those a week, not just occasionally.

OBC has a camp starting in Stone Mountain at 6 am on Monday the 27th. That is the first one in my new area that starts at a reasonable time (the Lawrenceville 5:15 class just seemed a wee bit on the unfeasible side). I'm thinking about it, looking at the money and the time commitment.

Monday the 27th is also when I'm supposed to be getting divorced. Our final hearing is scheduled at 9 a.m. I'd definitely feel good walking in there with a PT test under my belt. I say supposed to be because my ex has informed the court that he can't be there and I'm waiting to see if they're going to reschedule it. I'm trying hard not to obsess over it and to just stay zen. If it isn't that Monday it will be another day. I just desperately want it to be that Monday. My therapist thinks I'm stuck until it's final. In my business, in my personal life, even in my health. I think he's right.