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…”
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.”
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!)”
Am I going to stay up? Or, give up?
Today, I held a two minute plank in a full-flexed, push-up position. I didn’t hold two minutes because I set out to push my own limits of what I could do. I was tricked into staying up by my yogi, Ronn who is the official timekeeper of everything we do in class.
Of course, there were signs that things were not right. My arms were excessively shaking and I had to deliberately contract my abs to support my frame. I theorized that I had miscounted on the number of diverting Happy Birthday songs that I normally compose to people that motivate me, but everyone had all been sung to and we were still up in the hold.
I looked back over my shoulder at Ronn to see what was up and saw him focused on his breathing, totally concentrating in the effort. I was right at the edge of my ability. I felt that I could choose to collapse on a whim. There was nothing left in me to stay with him.
Oh my gosh, I thought, am I going to stay up or give up?
Continue reading “Remember When We Were Lions”
7:15 am, Sunday, February 25, 2018.
The Garage, Granada, Nicaragua
With the early morning minutes ticking away, I quickly pull the car out of the garage, lay out my weights, exercise mat, water, and jump rope, and then begin to prep my phone to set up the day’s first video of the garage workout. My fitness trainer, Bertina will also film the next 60 minutes of exercises from various angles on her phone and between the two of us we can cover for most of the technological challenges that occur when filming while training.
I shyly learned the practice of recording our workouts from Bertina six months ago when I was new to strength training and unaccustomed to reviewing myself from unflattering angles. Bertina understood why I didn’t want to eye my untrained body full of flaws and weaknesses, but she reminded me of the bigger picture. She advised me to use the imagery to see my body in balance, to not only look for areas that need improvement, but also to where I was winning in my efforts to become stronger.
My body gradually, then drastically improving on film
Continue reading “It’s not (just) about vanity or finding your inner hottie. Filming yourself working out is just smart.”
Feb 22, 2018
When I find someone who can help me get to where I want to go and is willing to school me in how to get there, I know that the universe is offering me something that I have to grab onto with both hands and say, yes to right away. Continue reading “Get smoked, get coached, and shukran Beirut.”
February 20, 2018, 08:00.
I love to be surprised with new physical challenges. Novelty brings a rush of excitement to my life and all the better if it’s something I can jump into with my whole body. I am at Junior’s with Chris and Bertina and they are introducing to me a wicked, new planking exercise that has my heart racing even before I try it. Chris shows me a photo of an athlete planking on a standing barbell in a lowered push-up position.
Oh my gosh, this is hot. Yes, I want to do it! Continue reading “Oh, the joy! (This is not your mother’s plank)”
Today when Chris and Bertina come by in the morning, Chris looks right, then left, and hands me a baggie of white powder.
Don’t jump to conclusions, he deadpans. I laugh. This is so Chris. You’re doing more now, and you’re asking more of your body. You need to feed your muscles, he says.
He explains that he’s brought me the good stuff. Protein powder that has 23 grams of protein per scoop. Talk about the good goods! I am to put it into a smoothie with whatever I want that makes it taste good to me. Chris emphasizes that it is a supplement that is an addition to the regular foods I consume and is not a replacement for anything. Continue reading “On Any Given Sunday: Building Muscle, Learning Pauses”