Tuesday, May 3, 2011

the gym thing, slightly interrupted but ongoing

Passover takes a toll on a fitness plan.

During preparations for the holiday, which included deep cleaning and removal of anything remotely resembling leavening, time for other endeavors outside of work was, well, truncated. I managed to make it to the gym once during the entire week before the holiday, and once again during the eight days of the actual holiday itself. Of course, my carb intake always goes up during Passover; combined with working out less, well, I was concerned.

The week after the holiday, I managed one more visit. Down from my usual two trips a week plus a yoga class now and then. I felt tired, lower-energy and slightly distressed at the possibility that all my progress might turn around overnight and when I did resume my routine I'd be starting at something very close to zero.

I went to the gym again tonight, determined not to lose any more ground -- short track season begins in just six weeks -- and feeling vaguely discombobulated by way too many things percolating in my mind of late. Arrived at the gym, stretched gently and went straight to work. 25 minutes later, I was in my abs routine and feeling the burn. I left the gym slightly sweaty, and rode home in shirtsleeves along streets lit up all golden by a sun sunk low in the sky. My mind was still going slightly crazy, but working out had taken the edge off my overtaxed brain and heart so I could actually breathe the evening air and enjoy the sights along the way.

Have I lost fitness? Not too terribly much. Last night Sweetie put her arms around me in a loving embrace and commented that my back and waist both felt a little smaller. I had lost some weight, true; but to be told that there's a noticable difference by someone else is always surprising. In a nice way. Tonight's workout included a trip to my favorite apparatus, the thing I call the "chair lift". Stand, grab the arm rests and handles, and carefully swing the legs up at a right angle to the torso; then carefully lower them to hanging again. Repeat nine more times to complete one set. If your abs plan calls for a repeat, do it. Carefully. I love this thing. I don't know why. It makes me feel stronger just to do it.

Must get back to work, two nights a week, without fail. Short-track begins in six weeks and I want to be as ready as I can be.

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