Day 3: Gingerly returning to the studio

Well, I don’t hate Chris, today but I respect his predictions. I randomly saw him at the supermarket last night and he did a comedic double-take before asking me, You still standing? Wait ’til tomorrow! (chuckle, chuckle).

4:00 am in the darkness, and I am surrounded by pain. My body is so uncomfortable with grievous muscles that I don’t know how I am going to make it through the day. I feel around in the night stand drawer for ibuprofen and quickly plan each physical move of how I am going to get up and get some fish oil. I think I can sneak around the pain with the right limited movements and supplements.

5:00 am, I have achieved the full realization of the world of physical pain. It’s almost time to get out of bed, I am definitely not going to be able to sleep this off. Should I go to Ron’s yoga class?

God yes, I’ve been waiting all summer for this. He’ll know what to do.

I gingerly step up to each stair by Kathy’s Waffles House next to Ronn’ studio. The waiters are eyeing me with friendly amusement as I negotiate each movement. I never really noticed the quantity of these stairs before!

Before we get started, I explain, in case he has missed it, the state in which my body is today. His eye widen and he looks doubtful about my strength training class. He worries that I will be over-trained, pushed too far, too fast. However, Chris is as cautious as a trainer, as he is ambitious. He shoots for small successes that build confidence over time. I trust his process.

I impress upon Ronn that I need to build muscle mass, that I feel that I am wasting away. I think on this level what I am doing makes sense to him. He understands about physical life changes, after all like Chris, he is also in his 70’s. The additional benefit of this to me is that he is patient, and full of gold nuggets of wisdom that do a wonder of good for me.

I ask him if we can take photos of the session this week so that I will have record of the changes in my body as this project goes on.  He questions whether there is a point. Will you see the difference in the photos? There can’t be a drastic change. Well true, I am not beginning an enormous weight loss program where ‘before and after’ images after months of exercise will bear startling results. But I sense change will be there in time all the same.

Ronn believes that the more drastic change will be in the text that I write, the evidence of personal growth and he is probably right. I should also be growing in confidence and clarity as time goes on and I focus more attention on my health and well-being. In any case, he agrees to the photos and I am relieved that I will have some sort of additional documentation from the perspective of the yoga studio.

We go through the routine and Ronn begins to unwind the tightness in my muscles. In the end of the class I am laughing out loud and I realize that placing my yoga classes back to back with strength training was a fortuitous plan. The yoga provides a useful balance to what I did with Chris and Bertina that could make the whole schedule doable six days a week.

Walking back outside into the world, the yoga high loses effect and the pain sets in. I text Bertina about THE PAIN.

I am back to calculating effort. Can I avoid picking that up? Do I need to sit? Can I put this off for six weeks? Why does my house have stairs????

In a weakened state, I wonder what the point is of going to training tomorrow. How will I be able to do anything?

I conclusively decide that I must go no matter what and cannot leave my brain to negotiate alternative options. How quickly my mind is already resisting going back to the gym, where it knows I will probably emerge an hour later seriously uncomfortable.

But I am old enough to know that sometimes life throws you an opportunity and it might not come back again. You can miss out on a lot sitting around wondering whether you should say yes.

Better to suit up and show up.