Back in the Saddle


Last week I let pain and fear throw me. But this is a new week, and it’s time to get back in the saddle. As I said before, it’s a marathon not a sprint. It is ok to fall down, it’s human. What is important is that you pick yourself back up and try again. So, I am dusting myself and getting back on this horse. And I am very much hoping it doesn’t put me through the wringer again. There is only so much debilitating pain a lass can handle! But despite the excruciating pain, I really do enjoy going to the gym. Rhona had warned me about women only gyms being a bit more judgmental than mixed gyms. But honestly, it doesn’t feel like that at the Women’s Fitness Plus gym. And what way to start the week other than having a go in the newly fitted personal training studio. It looks amazing, they have this huge multi-purpose gym monster thing, three squatting racks, and apparently, there is a lot more to come. Denise, my personal trainer, was super excited about it. She hadn’t left there all day. To be honest, I was pretty excited too, and a wee bit scared. I had seen a video on their Facebook page of one of the personal trainers testing it out. It looked awesome but she was doing shit that I could not possibly imagine doing myself.


First up was step-ups paired with kettlebell squats. These were done alternating as usual for 3 rounds. The first two rounds I used an 8kg kettlebell with a 6kg dumbbell for the last round. I followed that up with chest press with two 6kg dumbbells alternating with an upright row with 8kg kettlebell. The final combo was high knees and “PowerPivot” arm raises. Finishing up using the straps, leaning back and the pulling myself back almost upright or the leaning tower of flab as I called it. It was very hard going doing it all but once it’s all over I feel so pumped. I was soaked in sweat. Denise joked about her barely being able to do a pull-up on the rig. And I, stupidly, challenged her to one. Seriously, what was I thinking. I think weights make my brain fuzzy. She did two. The first seemed easy but the second was a struggle. She dropped down quite triumphant, and then it was my turn. I stood up on the bench and grabbed on to the bars. I was barely able to lift myself up by an inch or so, before my arms gave out. Pathetic I know. But if someone super fit like Denise found it tough, that brief tango with the pull up bar, is surely nothing to be sneered at.


I was very much relieved to find myself not in too much pain the next day. I was stiff, but nothing to write home about. And I had yoga with D to look forward to. While some poses were sore from the stiffness, it was quite enjoyable. Plus, the gossip in the car rides to and fro certainly is enjoyable. Hard to have a proper goss session if the hubbies are in tow. As I stretched to take off my bra, there was a flash of pain across my shoulders, tensed me right up. Flashbacks from last week’s agony surfaced. “Oh, don’t tell me it starting all over again.” Went to sleep, dreading what tomorrow would bring.


So, morning came, but the pain did not! Hurrah! No excuse not to do boot camp tonight then. Yeah!!! Denise came bouncing in, super giddy, after her body combat class. She spots me straight away and asks me “how’s the pain?” I was a bit cocky, “Yeah, no pain at all!” “So we can go harder next Monday then?” she laughs back at me. Oh no, landed myself in it. As there was twelve of us, we were paired off rather than going in groups of three or four. I was paired off with Joan who had similar fitness level to mine which suited me. Everyone else seems so much fitter and more able than me. Like with the personal training session, the exercises were done in alternating sets with 3 pairs of sets. The first set was one person sitting up against the wall (obviously not on the floor) and holding your arms out, which was a whole lot tougher than it sounds. While the other person, did high knees and trying to touch the other person hands with their knees. Again, quite tough. On the last set, I struggled to keep up on both. But I shaked it out and kept trying.


The next set was press ups with every time you push yourself up, you clap hands with your partner. Changing the hand each time. This was paired with mountain climbers, which for love nor money I can’t just get a handle on. Seriously why do I have so much trouble doing these, everyone else makes it look so easy. It’s the same with the elliptical I just can’t handle it; I can’t do it. The next set was one person doing ab crunches and the other standing on the first’s toes for their balance and with a kettlebell lifting it above the head. The last set, oh the last set. I did not enjoy the last set. The first person leaning against the wall did arm extensions with the kettlebell while the other is did lunges across the room and back twice. And that was the torturous part. I hate lunges so much. Lunges and burpees with equal venom. I thought I was going to collapse after the first one. I wanted to cry it hurt so much. But I kept going trailing behind everyone else. Now, I completely forgot to mention that Denise was literally dancing around while we were torturing ourselves. Which was quite funny, and dulled the pain somewhat, but not totally. So, halfway through the last round of the kettlebell extensions, Denise told us just to dance it out with her. To finish, we did intervals of jogging on the spot and sprinting. Exhausted was an understatement.


Both me and my husband work in the Cork city centre which is totally handy for commuting seeing as we only have the one car and Pierre has a car space at work. But the carpark is a twenty-minute walk from South Mall. This is normally not much of a problem. I just stick on the music and walk away. Anyways, I normally end up waiting for Pierre. But when it is lashing rain like Thursday was, it’s not so much fun. Even worse so, when after walking all the way within spitting distance of the carpark, (well a world record setting spit really!) some complete and utter b*****d tore around the corner, straight through a puddle drenching me from head to toe. I was as miserable as the weather. Sopping wet. All I wanted was a bath and my bed. And you are probably wondering why I’m talking about this, as opposed to my fitness journey. See on Thursday’s I have Pilates, and I was so miserable, cold and wet, I decided to skip the Pilates class this week. I just seem to be working, exercising or sleeping, and I felt a little rest was in order.


So, I had my weekly weigh-in on Saturday morning as usual, it was a little later than normal. Poor Pierre had to work so I dropped in him and got my gym session in first, and then into Dee for the all-important weigh-in. I was down another 2.5 pounds. I was now just shy of half stone in total. I was now half way through the Kickstarter program and was making steady progress towards my target of 10-14 pounds. I was supposed to go for a run on Sunday, but instead I cleaned my oven. My house is seriously being neglected at the moment. I need to get better organised, it’s not going to get any easier if and when there is the pitter patter of little feet.


Weight: 12st 8.8lbs

Run: 1km on a treadmill.

Feelings: Feeling much better this week. Mood is definitely boosted (apart for the soaking by the jerk in the white Ford Focus)