I have finally concluded that no one, not my husband, not my dogs, not mysterious eldritch creatures, absolutely NO ONE has been replacing my pants with amazingly similar replicas that happen to be one size smaller. I came to this realization with great sadness but a steadfast determination to change. (Yes, I ate all the left-over Christmas cookies first. Don’t judge.) I decided the best way for this was a 60 days fitness challenge consisting of 5 days on and 2 days off.
“Yippee for me”, I know, but I assure you, I’m not putting myself on blast for moral support or approval. I decided to discuss this because, while I desire better health and, quite frankly, more loose-fitting clothing, I absolutely… with every fiber of my being… did not want to take the first steps towards initiating change. You see, wanting to change and starting to change are entirely different animals.
Nevertheless, January 4th found me in my room, outfitted in my (slightly too tight) work out clothes. My dogs, separated from the bedroom by a baby gate, yet free to roam the entire rest of the house, stared anxiously into the only room they could not occupy for half an hour, certain they should surely die from neglect.
Day 1: Against my better judgement, I pressed play. The next 30 minutes are a horrible blur of hopping, squatting, lunging, contemplating my life choices, push-ups and sweating. It finally ended. I was WAY more tired than I should have been. I wholeheartedly regretted this 60 day commitment.
Day 2: EVERYTHING HURTS. Seriously, everything. Once I actually managed to get out of bed I zombie shuffle-limped down the hallway while 3 exuberant dogs, stoked about life and mornings and sunshine, did their best to commit matricide by repeatedly running between and against my already unsteady jello legs.
Somehow, through some supernatural force or witchery, I again found myself in my room, workout clothes on, suffering dogs peering through the gate, workout on the computer. I pushed play. The muscles that had survived the first workout were brutally punished for continuing to function at a somewhat normal ability.
Day 3: EVERYTHING STILL HURTS only now I can’t easily lift my arms. I currently live in the mid-range…if something I want is positioned too high, I don’t need it. If I drop it on the floor, it lives there now. I still have a third work out to do today. I am afraid. Opting to get it out of the way before anxiety wins, I pressed play before the clock struck 11am. Did I get it done? Yes, I did. Did I enjoy it? No, I did not.
Day 4: The only time the workout can be squeezed in today is before work. 6:30 in the morning, now in the living room, not really sure what is going on, dogs have abandoned me for a cozy bed and more sleep, I press play.
So, I’m not going to lie. There’s a person doing modified exercises whilst the class jumps like caffeinated rabbits around her. She does not hop. She does not leap. She modifies her push-ups. She is my person. Today was a slog.
Work has noticed that I am having, shall we say, motor issues. They are amused.
Day 5: I am no longer walking like a toddler with a full diaper. This is an improvement. My legs and arms feel almost normal. My back hurts across the shoulder blade region but is manageable. This is to be the final day of the workout before 2 blissful days off. I couldn’t get it done in the morning so it will be waiting for me when I get home. I’ve tried to imagine several scenarios where I do not need to return home and do this, but dogs would legit starve. (Ok, they would actually be fed when my husband came home but if you are about 2 hours late, they lose the will to survive and sad Sarah McLachlan songs mysteriously play from nowhere.)
In the living rooms, dogs rolling about the floor, STILL IN MY WORK CLOTHES, I throw my sneakers on and push play. 50% of the time, I was following the modified work out, I took breaks, I didn’t feel like doing it, I was hungry…but I got it done.
Day 6: I woke up actually feeling pretty ok. A little sore, but nothing too intense. Today and tomorrow are the “off” days before I repeat the whole process. Best not to think about that now. I’ll check back in post workout, hopefully not in agonizing pain. Thanks for reading!
Brooke Rieth, NP