Nicaragua is in the midst of turmoil and change. The day’s political events around the country are dramatic and unpredictable. On a local level, we are entrenched here in Granada with roadblocks surrounding us on all sides. We are preparing our house for a national strike that will stop all transport and most economic activity for 1-2 weeks. School is let out at different times each day, but is kept open thankfully so that the kids have some normalcy in their lives and graduate on time.
Whenever I feel that we are in precarious position as a family, I do one more thing to get ready for whatever outcome that potential danger presents. I feel that acting in preparation allows me to breathe more deeply after it’s done. But honestly what I think really holds me together is being able to go each day to my local gym and do what I need to do to push my body, sweat and tire myself physically to relieve as much angst as I can that I am holding inside.
Noticeably, I am spending a lot more time at Junior’s Gym than ever before. Either I am incredibly disorganized or I just really need this time there, but each morning I can easily spend two hours at the gym putting my head and body together.
It’s true that there is a element of disorganization with my workout. I am still very cautious about injury and I avoid overly sophisticated combination movements that might trigger a relapse. I dedicate myself to a target muscle and carefully focus on my alignment before moving on to a new exercise. It’s very safe and super inefficient.
Having said that, doing it every day does have an efficiency in creating positive results that I never knew before my injury when I was spending half my workout week in yoga. I have definitely become stronger, fuller and curvier in the last two months by focusing on strength training. Since these were my fitness goals all along, I can’t not fail to see the silver lining in what I have learned about my training as a result of being injured.
My planking routine, while repetitiously robotic is extremely solid now. After I stretch, I start my workout planking and now spend 6-7 minutes warming up in various plank positions every day. The feeling from doing this routine the same way every day consistently is exhilarating.
The first minute is distant and cold, but I know where I am headed. The second minute requires more interest and internal will and I start to feel the burn. I plank to each side for a minute each and by then I am warm and totally engaged in what I am doing. Two more minutes on forearms and in full-flex and I am in a zone of concentrated determination that has my mind and body heatedly coordinated to push me through the final seconds.
Knowing that I can do this same exercise every morning gives me a physical confidence in myself that I have been chasing for months.
The other part of my theory that I just need the time there is undoubtedly true. My affection and loyalty for Junior’s Gym grows every day. I love to learn from all the members there who are working weights in unlimited ways to become stronger and sexier people. When I see someone accomplishing an incredible movement, I am lifted up inside to see their internal will to counter gravity made physically visible. I love being a part of that concentrated mood that is threaded throughout the gym to pull out the stops and really move the metal.
Trust me when I say that it is its very rustic and basic nature that makes it so ultimately thrilling.
I am enormously grateful for these experiences each morning that in some ways oddly seem difficult to justify when I think of the time I spend on this routine (when I factor in a second shower, travel time and a mega-breakfast afterwards, yes this is a major time-suck every morning). But it is what I want and it is what makes me feel good inside. It is what gives me incredibly the physical confidence that I so desperately wanted when I started this journey nine months ago.
It is also helping me to keep it all together in my head when I most need to be calm and think clearly.
As Chris so rightly likes to remind me, “This, makes that, better.”