Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Good Humor Truck

Anne and I bumped into each other at the club while we were filling up at the ice machine on Saturday morning.

“My body feels like it was hit by a truck! I told her. “But it feels like it was hit by an ice cream truck, not a big rig! 

She said “Oh, you mean a Good Humor truck?!” and we both laughed, I knew what she meant.

I started back lifting on Wednesday, exactly 4 weeks to the day after I broke my rib. For the first two weeks I was in too much pain to do much, but come the third week I was pounding out the steps on the stair mill, an hour a day. “Get me off this stupid machine!” I was crying inside.

Monday and Tuesday I started back with my lunch time stairs and jump rope, come Wednesday my legs were toast. Wednesday was shoulders, I was strong, I didn’t drop my weights, and I felt great.

Thursday was glutes, that wasn’t quite as easy, perhaps as my core was more involved. Friday was back and biceps. I enjoyed that, my bi’s were quite sore on Saturday. My weights had to be lowered for these exercises too.
Saturday? The day I had been anticipating, legs. It’s my deadlift and squat day, among other things. I have always prided myself on how heavy I can go and still maintain good form. Really, if you aren’t using good form you are defeating the purpose and risk injuring yourself, so why do it?

I had to drop my weights dramatically. I could only deadlift 135. Front squats were only 85, and back squats 115. I was feeling like a failure. 

Then I realized, it’s not only getting my body back into the swing of things, it’s getting my head into it too. You see, for me, weights are a head trip, pure and simple.

My head has gone through many interesting phases in the last four weeks. Feeling scared, sorry for myself, anger, frustration, embarrassment, anxiety, elation, pleasure, accomplishment, sadness, enlightenment.

I have never taken four weeks off in my life. Even when I had meningitis last year (was it only last year?); I lifted, only I did it with a painfully pounding headache at times…

In the past four weeks I have learned that I am an accomplished lifter, I know how to stay the course and eat healthfully without "dieting", and still look smoking hot; I have learned to enjoy food and wine with my family, I have learned that I can, and I should relax more often. 

I have learned that while competing was good for me, and it may still be good in the future, it’s only one competition, with the same people I always see, talking the same stuff I always hear, saying the same positive (and negative) things about others as they always do.

There was a time when I felt I HAD to compete to look good. I HAD to compete to justify my obsession with weights. I HAD to compete to prove something.

I no longer do. I have proven myself to the most important person in the world: 


And, I am quite proud to say, that I am most impressed with the me I have become.

Just look at me in the picture above! I look pretty darn happy huh? And good too! It was Saturday after 2 hours at the gym, I seem to have maintained well, sore but still in shape. After a couple days lifting my arms are already starting to look fuller again.

This is what I wear to the gym, everyday, 365 days a year. A bra top and these little shorts. I like the way I look, and I only look better when I am close to a competition. 

I know many competitors who wouldn't be caught dead in public like this, unless it was 2 weeks before a competition, because they are not proud of how they look in the "off season", or they think they need to be "stage ready" to allow anyone to see their bodies. Pretty sad state of affairs, not sure if it is true body dysmorphic disorder, but I definitely know several who fit this mold! Me? I think most women would give their right eye to look this good in the "off season" or "on season"!

Tonight (I am writing this on Saturday), my son’s 17th birthday, I am making a nice dinner (pork Milanese with pasta and homemade tomato sauce); he goes off to a concert while we watch UFC 129 in HD and enjoy a few glasses of wine.

Sunday? Shoulders again. I suspect I will still be running from that Good Humor truck, but I am quickly running faster than it can drive and I can barely see it behind me.

Next week, on Saturday is the competition I had been prepping for when I injured myself. Will I be going to sit in the audience and cheer on everyone? 

No. I wish them all well, I hope they come away feeling accomplished, but I won't be there. You see, competitions happen all the time, this one takes place every single May without fail. 

Saturday I will be attending a much more important event, my son's varsity lacrosse team is in the quarter finals, that doesn't happen all the time, and what would they do without the team mom there anyway?