I am a ginormous fan of non-scale victories when it comes to my better health quest. Sometimes those are not even diet and exercise related at all.
My son, G, is a primarily a runner, although he does bike and swim as well. A month or so ago he asked me about joining my gym, primarily for the pool, and I offered to set him up with membership. I also suggested he take a few of my sessions with fab trainer J, because if he wanted to lift a little coaching on form and technique would help keep him on the safe and sane track. He had his first session last week and was feeling it afterwards. But I’d suggested if he ever wanted to work out with me, I’d be happy to have a gym buddy.
Last night he texted wondering if I’d be in the gym tonight (I typically am on Wednesday evenings, hanging out with my friend K) and I asked if he wanted to join me. Sure! he replied, and we set up a meet time.
Made my whole week. My adult son wants to hang out with me. In public even. Where I would introduce him to my kick-ass friend who is a rising rock star in lifting.
The experience was a first for us, made more special in that I could keep up with what he was doing, having been training with J for awhile and understanding all the stuff on his List. We got to chat while he worked (I continue in my regular Wednesday evening supervisory capacity and did not match him set for set) and I go to be fairly impressed by his efforts. For sure I know I do not want to do fab trainer J’s job; if the client didn’t care, I probably would cease caring as well.
It was a super fun evening with my son, getting to see my friend K, and being uncharacteristically rude to a supplement sales rep. On the latter item, I feel a little badly about my unconscious, reflexive response to being accosted about supplements almost immediately as I walked through the front door of the gym. Plus J had just been texting me about the dude’s remarks to him and fab trainer made the mistake of describing the guy to me. So when he came up to me about trying his supplement in that overly hearty, sleazy salesman way, I told him his supplements were crap and he was a douche for pushing overpriced crap I don’t need. He laughed off my remarks – maybe he didn’t hear me or think I was actually that woman who is that kind of rude – but on the way out I felt a twinge of conscience at my behavior. Not enough to stop and apologize, but still.
Before all that, though, I was in the gym this morning plodding my way through a couple of Lists. First I warmed up, then I went through a core-focused stability ball warm-up J prepared last year. It has been awhile on that one, and I would love to say it was easy-peasy and what was all the whining about when it was new. Nope. Not happening. Still challenging enough to try and reach 20 reps per set (I think I made 15 on most of things, 20 on a couple of them with rest pauses to pep-talk myself into continuing.
Then I proceeded to the FreeMotion machine for a run through an upper body List. Neck and shoulder kink have magically disappeared, and since I had planned to be doing something leg-intense on still slightly sore and tight hamstrings with G and friend K later tonight, I focused on upper body.
So. Much. Fun.
When mind is clear and really focused on the work, the workload feels really good. It was nothing spectacular, no uber special effort or amazing breakthroughs to report. Just a regular day, regular practice, methodically working my way through a List exercise by exercise, set by set, until concluded. An item crossed off my to-do for the day.
But it’s still gratifying to get it done. I enjoy the experience, thinking it through, imagining all my muscles working and maybe growing stronger. Machines seem far more mysterious to me than the dumbbells; I have a far easier time with envisioning body and muscles working and growing stronger with the dumbbells than with the same weight on the machines. Plus doing the same exercise on different brand or style of machine feels like a unique experience that is not working the muscles in the same way, although I can logically see that any perceived differences exist primarily in my head.
And that’s okay. Mind is a powerful tool that either works for me or against me in my exercise efforts. I am continually coming to grips with that reality.
There is no denying how much it makes me smile to know the muscle work in my lats and back is still felt hours after I have left the gym. More than legs or lower body, that sort of worked sensation in the back and upper body makes me think Wow! Legs work all the time. Back and shoulders and arms? Not so much, and definitely not in the same ways.
And finally, M said something this morning that still makes me laugh.
I was getting ready to leave and he said “I wish we had a lot of video of your legs when they were fat.” Yep, he said that as a standalone sentence. I actually laughed out loud and interrupted his thought, because seriously – what sane man uses that F word about his wife ever and stays happily married? Once again, another example of how we are not a normal couple. But then he continued with “Because you could see the difference between what they were like then and how different they are now.”
It is true; I do not perceive the changes in the same way he does. Lately I have been wondering about my seemingly pudgy knees, except they are not so much pudge as the emerging leg muscle makes legs and knees look different. I don’t think my knees were ever that flabby, but maybe they were; we don’t have any video of my legs when they were fat so I will probably never know for sure.
And not knowing is a huge step forward in this particular battle. I am happy that legs and knees continue to work well and serve my purposes.
It was a good day.