kyleri: (michael)
So last Thursday Dwen finally succeeded in dragging me to the apartment complex's gym. I did a lot better than I thought (was worried) I would; and had a lot more fun than I'd expected.

Somehow I'd forgotten the sheer joy of lifting weights. Serious ones, not just the little six-pound free weights I bought a while ago. The good pain of pushing myself past what I think I can lift; the sweat bursting out all over my skin and the sweet smell of it. Pushing the breath out of me to push for just one more rep. The stretch and ache of my muscles between each set. The clang of the weights against the rest, until I remember the trick of easing them down. Shaky, trembling, stand and balance against the weakness of my overstressed body, pace and drink until I steady up for another set.

I pushed myself far too hard with the weights, of course. It's been far, far too long and I had no idea where to even begin, how much I could expect myself to lift. So it was too much, of course, and when I was done I could barely lift my spoon to eat dinner; holding the bowl as well was nearly too much. And two days later I still ached.

I've never enjoyed aerobics but Dwen pointed out (and rightly) that I needed them. Five minutes on the cross-trainer and I was done, done, done. So I walked around a little, drank more water, and on her advice tried the treadmill instead.

I've always disdained treadmills. Why walk on a machine, inside a building, when you can walk outside instead, out in the world with the good smells and things to look at and the air moving and everything in the world to focus on instead of the walking?

See, this is why I shouldn't go saying I don't like a thing unless I've actually, you know, tried it.

I like walking. I like it a lot. There's so much to look at and smell and listen to and here I'm stopping to listen to a bird singing, there to stare down a particularly brave squirrel (and I'm still getting used to red squirrels instead of grey), walking right off the path to chase a prairie dog or a rabbit or look at this cool leaf or let's go down to the lakeshore!

Which is fun and all, but not so much good for getting the heart rate up and keeping it there.

The treadmill is a different kind of joy, more akin to the discipline of lifting. Once I found the right speed setting I rest my hands loosely on the handgrips and close my eyes and walk, just walk, the sounds of the television and a couple talking in Indian over to the left fading away as inconsequential as I put on foot in front of the other, again and again and again until the rhythm of it, the symphony, builds and the walking is all I am. One foot and then the other and control my breathing until it eases and suddenly I've walked for fifteen minutes and the machine hits its automatic cooldown routine. Only then do I feel the ache in calves and that spot in my right thigh and my back; three minutes later I'm reaching for my water bottle and I'm done for the night.

I hurt, and I know it'll only get worse. But it's the good pain, the one that means I'm doing well by my body and even though it hurts to do something as simple as put on my coat I relish it, revel in it. How could I have forgotten the sheer joy of this pain?

--

Friday, what with one thing and another, I didn't go. Yesterday I couldn't stay away. I went a lot easier on myself with the weight lifting and today I don't hurt near as much. But I put in twenty-five minutes on the treadmill and then five on the stairmaster and it was even easier than less time was two days earlier.

The treadmill measures your heartbeat as you walk. Thursday night my heart rate peaked at 175, which is far, far too high for someone who's simply walking (and, not incidentally, the reason I started doing this; my heart's working harder than it should have to far too often). Saturday, at the same speed and incline on the treadmill, it went no higher than 155. I'm surprised at the difference; it seems too great too quickly. But it's in the right direction and that's all to the good.

And I suppose when I go back tonight I'll see if I've kept the progress I've made so far.
kyleri: (sea)
Again. And maybe this time I'll stick with it. )
kyleri: (gulls)
I've been using the 'one damn small thing at a time, and maybe it'll help' approach to getting healthy lately - improving what I eat, doing little bits of exercise here and there - and up pops a brand-new community for just that purpose...

[livejournal.com profile] 1kmilejourney

Come and join the fun! Okay, and the health, too.

Woo!

Jan. 25th, 2006 11:03 am
kyleri: (wolf)
This morning? More music, more dancing, more stretching. Sweaty and achy now. Must Shower. But damn, do I feel good. :)
kyleri: (Default)
Woke up, stumbled around a while. Think I ate breakfast in there.

Took a _bath_. First time in a gazillion years. Used some nice honeysuckle bath salts we were gifted with at Gulf Wars. Absolutely wonderfully relaxing; my neck hasn't hurt all day. Also, somehow the tub was cleaner when I was done than when I started.

[livejournal.com profile] fosveny called from the airport in Miami, asking for the address for the base. I found it and gave it to him. Apparently, driving in Miami sucks rocks. A lot. Really a lot.

Took a long walk, up to the health food store and back. Stopped at the grocery store, carried about fifteen pounds home for the last bit. Hurt when I was done, but not too awfully much.

Cookies and milk for lunch. Yeah, I know. I slip some days. But it sure was good, and I don't do it too often.

Took a nap, complete with cat. I loves my little cat.

Woke up, had dinner. Did dishes, started laundry, straightened up a bunch. Sat and read for a while; got through two of the magazines which have been piling up.

Came back upstairs and got some time to talk to [livejournal.com profile] fosveny, [livejournal.com profile] giselle0002, and [livejournal.com profile] baronadhemar. Stuck in the Krishna Das CD I picked up at Evil Kirsten's last week and played it. Okay, it's Indian chants. Okay, they chant Hare Krishna. I really wasn't sure about the thing...

By the fourth song I was dancing around the room holding a highly confused Miki. Two songs later and I'd dug out the piece of paper Lewis's Uncle Hal gave me, with directions for a set of Chinese exercised called the Eight Pieces of Brocade. And by the time the CD was done I was sweaty, exhausted, and achy, and completely happy.

I'm thinking this goes into the morning routine. It'll sure hell wake me up.

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