In early January, after surviving the trials and turmoils of 2020, I found myself 17 pounds heavier, having to go up a size in pants, and feeling more breathless more often (not caused by wearing a mask). Time to start fresh.
I began eating smaller meals with more veggies. I tried restarting my walking workouts by going to my favorite parks in the predawn hours in hopes of avoiding crowds. But it seemed everyone else had the same idea. Dog walkers, joggers, runners, families with small sleepy children, and other walkers crowded the paved and dirt paths.
One morning, I tried cycling on a segment of the River Mountain Loop Trail but I felt as if I were on Interstate 15 at rush hour! Speeding packs of cyclists, solo triathletes tucked into aero positions, ear-budded runners, and nearby residents walking their off-leash dogs kept me in a constant state of alert. Back to my indoor trainer I go!
And I’m not going back to the gym anytime soon. Sigh!
All this frustration motivated me to search for a fitness challenge to keep me moving and I could perhaps use on my indoor bike trainer.
Lifting: Strength Training Challenge
I signed up for the STRONG Fitness Magazine Transformation Challenge,* an eight-week online program comprised of four workouts each week, nutrition ideas and information, and a private Facebook group for camaraderie and support. I paid my money ($97 US), took those dreaded “before” photos of me wearing only a sports bra and triathlon shorts, noted my starting weight, and dusted off my hand weights and bands.
The fun started Monday, Jan. 18 and I successfully completed three of the four workouts (with quite a few modifications to avoid undue stress on my achy wrist and to accommodate my out-of-shape body). Despite a workout plan I felt was designed for women at a higher fitness level than me, I felt great by week’s end and happy with my accomplishment.
However, during the second week’s first workout, I felt a twange in my left shoulder while doing a plank. That evening, the patellar tendon atop my left knee cap was super tight and uncomfortable. So, instead of doing the second workout, I focused on stretching…lots of stretching. I felt better for the third workout…until that twange returned and a bunch of other odd sensations cropped up in my right hip and lower back.
Crap! I began my usual self-analysis: Was I trying to do more than I should? Was I not making the right modifications? Were the exercises simply too advanced or called for too many reps? Was I really, really, really that out of shape?
Juggling: Making Modifications
I decided to skip the rest of week three’s prescribed workouts (and that momentum went right through this week, too). But don’t think I lazed about on the sofa noshing on chocolate truffles. Nope! I kept stretching several times a day, and did several quick sessions of old-school bicep curls and squats (such as using three-pound dumbbells for 10 reps making up one set, and 20 body-weight squats). I step away from the computer more often to drink water or do a few modified jumping jacks. My efforts might not be much, but it’s something more than I was doing before!
A new four-week workout regimen begins this Sunday, and I’m very curious what that will entail. I hope what I’ve done this past week will get me back into the Challenge.
Conclusion: I am Lifting AND Juggling!
I’m lifting by doing those workouts I can physically. I’m juggling by making modifications as needed to help me stay injury-free. I know I will regain the strength and fitness I feel I lost last year, and drop those unwanted pounds…maybe more. It’s only a matter of time…as long as I stay consistence and have plenty of patience.
*Editor’s Note: I am a paid subscriber of STRONG Fitness Magazine print edition.