Celebrating 50 articles, my 9th month at the gym AND that I can move my toes again!

50 articles, injury recovery, strength training, health, junior's gym, Granada, Nicaragua, exercise,

From the beginning of my fitness journey, I strove to document the process of getting stronger and gunning for the best curves of my life. I needed a way to to talk about what I doing and the highs and lows of the process each week. This blog was a natural answer to my need to write about my physical life but it also was the perfect medium to display all the revealing imagery that was produced from filming my workouts.

I am now in my ninth month in my effort to train six days a week and am writing at this moment my fifty-first article to describe it.  If you have been following me for awhile, you will know that 8 weeks ago I was injured while training and have spent the last two months working out while also doing physical therapy. This traumatic event and recovery process has all been an important part of my journey. The setback was huge, but I importantly learned about my body’s ability to heal itself overtime.

50 articles, injury recovery, strength training, health, junior's gym, Granada, Nicaragua, exercise, 2

This week I am also celebrating that as a result of that therapy and my body’s healing process, I can move all of my toes again! This is a muscular victory and I have to work at it daily. I still cannot feel those toes on the ground and so there is still a neurological hurdle to face which may take more time. But I am enjoying a kind of faith that phase by phase, I will repair myself and regain all of my former movements and capabilities.

If I make a progress check in the mirror for how things are going visually, it can be somewhat challenging to be patient. There is so much that I want to accomplish, realistically it is going to take me years to get to where I want to be in terms of my physical strength and the strong but feminine female figure that I have in mind for myself.

But I now have a faith in that process, too. Not only can I look back at my earlier articles and see how far I have come, I recently had the benefit of asking an expert, someone who knows me well, if they could see a difference. Continue reading “Celebrating 50 articles, my 9th month at the gym AND that I can move my toes again!”

Chasing after the weakest movements

Got to get grounded, Granada, Nicaragua, Injury, Junior's Gym, physical fitness, health, exercise

This is week 7 since my injury and my 13th physical therapy session. I often look to my therapist’s face for clues for how well I am progressing.

¿Como esta? ¿Como se siente, hoy?” she inquired yesterday. “Do you have pain?”

“No, never,” I answered. “Just the numbness in the outside of my foot and the two toes.”

“How often now?” She inquired.

“All the time,” I said, puzzled. I had thought she understood that. “From when I wake up until I go to bed.”

And then I see it in her face. Doubt. Concern.

“There is something pressing on your nerve, absolutely,” she said seriously. “I am going to gift you time on the compressor to see if we can lengthen the space.”

The compressor is ironically for stretching. It literally pulls at me at my spine between my L4 and L5 area where I have less space than I should. There is a certain torque and timing to it based on my weight and it is not continuous or painful. But it does look like it should be located in the basement of a Spanish castle where the Inquisition Committee has a way of making you talk.

When I finish stretching (without any significant confessions) she has me walk a tight rope figuratively across the room. This is the kind of exercise I would have excelled at before I hurt my back and leg with no problem. But today I teeter, awkwardly lifting up my feet too high and placing my arms out for balance.

“No,” she counsels. “Do it normally.”

This is critical. My movements these days are accommodating and compromised. I’ve developed a new walk that isn’t mine, but compensates for the lack of sensation I feel. Anyone who knows me would instantly see that it was affected. I need to force the movements that I am avoiding.
Continue reading “Chasing after the weakest movements”

Can’t or won’t, darling?

Confronting my weakness, Junior's Gym, Granada, Nicaragua, Health, Fitness, Injury, Exercise, Training

“Live baby live, now that the day is over.” My friend Elise is quoting me old lyrics from INXS encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone. You are young, you are beautiful, she says. You need to go out. You need to find somebody.

Ouch. Does everyone notice that I don’t? Probably. I can make up a million excuses why I stay in my comfort zone, but the truth is there is a weakness there that I am avoiding. A fear, if you will, of what is on the other side. Too much murkiness. What if I get hurt?

My physical therapist is pretty much telling me the same thing about my fitness routine. “What are you doing now at the gym?” She inquired, yesterday. Continue reading “Can’t or won’t, darling?”

Slippery Slopes

Slippery Slopes, Junior's Gym, Granada, Nicaragua, Health, Fitness, Injury, Exercise, Training (4)

Have you ever lost touch with a really good friend that you once spent numerous hours talking, laughing and exploring life and dreams together? A person that you knew so well that you could predict what they would say or do and it would make you smile even before they did it?

What if that person was you? Continue reading “Slippery Slopes”

If I want it back (and you know that I do), you can believe that I’m going to get up and work for it, baby.

The only way is up, health, strength, injury, Junior's Gym, Granada, Nicaragua, exercise, fitness.png

As of this week I am back at Junior’s Gym here in Granada, Nicaragua on my own, without a trainer. This is a good challenge for me.

Bertina, Chris and even Junior’s Gym trainer Guadalupe (more on Lupe later) with whom I should be training this week are all there! But they are tucked into my favorite section of the gym where I have no business being because my physical therapist has given me a limited list of about three exercises that I am authorized to do none of which includes weights.

Without a trainer, I am…sipping smoothies in the back of the gym, chatting up the other members I never get to talk to, typing a love letter into my phone, and chilling in an ugly green plastic chair with my feet up. Well, not all of that is true! I’ll leave you to you imagine which parts are or aren’t. Continue reading “If I want it back (and you know that I do), you can believe that I’m going to get up and work for it, baby.”

Dear Journal, sometimes I feel like there is this extra weight pressing down on me…

1 Strength Training, exercise, health, granada, nicaragua, personal fitness, juniors gym, wall sit

Bertina kept the challenges flowing this week with lots of surprises in our fitness itinerary. While wall sits are nothing new, I wasn’t expecting a 35 lbs barbell on my lap to accompany this week’s sit at Junior’s Gym.

The thrill of the moment was when I realized that I could push past the minute and a half that she asked me to complete because I was loving the challenge and felt that I was in a strong position to keep it going. There is something about those weights that sparks a happy chemical reaction, upping the excitement level and my desire to draw out the task for more time. Continue reading “Dear Journal, sometimes I feel like there is this extra weight pressing down on me…”

The happiest days are these.

Strength Training, weights, Junior's Gym, Personal Fitness, Granada, Nicaragua, Health, happiness

Happiness matters to me. My health matters to me. I want to feel energized and strong. It’s not youth that I want. It’s more mature than that. My youthful emotions were mercurial. My adult emotions are goals and choices. I choose to feel amazing.

It’s what I want for myself, it’s what in the end, only I can give myself.

Strength Training, weights, Junior's Gym, Personal Fitness, Granada, Nicaragua, Health

My fitness journey began with a physical goal of achieving strength and the figure that I felt better represented who I wanted to be. When I thought about all that I wanted out of my new body and what I supposed it would bring to my life, I didn’t factor in the emotional joy. Continue reading “The happiest days are these.”

Gotta make it hurt so good! Tuesday’s arm workout in pictures…

Feels so good, Arm Workout, weights, health and fitness, Granada, Nicaragua, Junior's Gym, March 2018, it feels like this

It’s Tuesday morning and I am back at Junior’s Gym in beautiful Granada, Nicaragua for a surprise arm workout with Bertina. She’s organized a jam-packed exercise agenda this morning that takes us to each corner of the gym and even out onto the sidewalk. Continue reading “Gotta make it hurt so good! Tuesday’s arm workout in pictures…”

Month 7: Ain’t nothing gonna break my stride. Not even me.

Thursday! Junior's Gym, Strength Training, Granada, Nicaragua, Lunges, compass lunges

Every day when I wake up and I feel all the aches and pains in my body, one of the first thoughts in my mind is I can’t go It doesn’t matter which day it is, whether I am meant to head to yoga or strength training, my brain offers the same default reaction before I even get out of bed: skip it, take a break, rest, go back another day.

I now expect this train of thought as part of my normal morning routine and I have learned to counter these messages with a blank mind and well-marked steps to get me to training.  I shove aside indecision and program myself to do the same thing every morning. Continue reading “Month 7: Ain’t nothing gonna break my stride. Not even me.”

And she looked at me, and smiled and said,”Today, is not a girly workout.” (Oh! And I wore my skirt!)

Not a girly workout, strength training, Granada, Nicaragua, Junior's Gym , squats

In case you were wondering what I was doing today, Bertina told me it was definitely not girly. Meaning, my favorite trainer was going to up the level of challenge today during strength training until I called uncle. So be it.

She innocently started the day with ‘just a traditional forearm plank’. And then when the clock started ticking, she advised me that she was laying barbells on my back. Sweet! Continue reading “And she looked at me, and smiled and said,”Today, is not a girly workout.” (Oh! And I wore my skirt!)”

Four minute miles all over my body and you asked for it: my training week in pictures.

2 minute plank, strength training, granada, nicaragua

Sir Roger Bannister, the first man recorded to have run a mile in less than four minutes passed away yesterday in England. Up until the year that he broke through the four minute barrier in 1954, the athletic and scientific world hotly debated whether a four minute mile could ever be broken. Most people concurred that it couldn’t be done.

But when Sir Roger succeeded in shaving less than a second off of the four minute mile in 1954, additional athletes immediately followed his example in achieving the same feat. Their training had not changed so much from earlier in the year, however their personal dream immediately became more tangible.

I am starting to think that we stare at our own four minute miles every day. Continue reading “Four minute miles all over my body and you asked for it: my training week in pictures.”