This is my happy place.

Be, Weight Training, Junior's Gym, Granada, Nicaragua, Injury Recovery, Personal Fitness, Strength

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.

Be, Weight Training, Junior's Gym, Granada, Nicaragua, Injury Recovery, Personal Fitness, Strength (2)

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. Continue reading “This is my happy place.”

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”

between darkness and light

What I miss, Junior's Gym , Granada, Nicaragua, physical therapy, injury, health, fitness, exercise

It’s been another week of being stretched and prodded at physical therapy and then gingerly navigating my way through Junior’s Gym alone.  Recovering from an injury has created a whole new routine in my life of calculating what I am able to do now that I have been physically forced to put my ego aside. Routines can be efficient and effective but this new one feels full of restraint and limitations. Continue reading “between darkness and light”

The pleasure of living through the pain.

The pleasure of living, physical fitness, strength training, health, exercise, granada, nicaragua, injury

It’s been ten days since I injured myself gravely and I have been scanning my body daily for signs of improvement. I can see definitive advancement from the first eventful day when I implored Bertina that it was okay to leave me lying on my back on the garage floor and go home. I am not sure how long I ended up staying there, but I do remembering not knowing how I was going to get up. This was a dark day of pain and unknowing. Continue reading “The pleasure of living through the pain.”

Oh, Miguel! What am I going to do? “Reposo, reposo, reposo … y ANIMO!”

Animo, Strength training, fitness, health, exercise, injury, personal fitness, granada, nicaragua

I am staring up into the brightness of a single, exposed light bulb that hangs from the ceiling amongst beads of sunshine piercing through holes in the zinc roof like stars in a night sky. What does Miguel do when it rains?, I wonder. Continue reading “Oh, Miguel! What am I going to do? “Reposo, reposo, reposo … y ANIMO!””