Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pride and Pain

No, it's not a new Jane Austin novel, it's my last two days of working out. Monday I did my usual weight lifting and I'm rather proud of myself for it if for no other reason than I did it with badly bruised knuckles. I'd had a lovely accident on Sunday and smashed my hand against a door. Trust me, it won that contest. The result of that was a great big bruise on my middle knuckle and enough swelling to make clenching my fist very difficult. I admittedly took joy in telling people I got the bruise from an MMA match. *cough*

Pictured: Not Me.

As fun as my imaginary fighting skills are, the real life bruising was a lot less pleasant. Still, I had a workout to do and I was NOT about to give up so I pressed on. Let me tell you how much push-ups, pull ups, and weight lifting suck when your hand is hurting.

Something kind of cool happened afterward though. On Monday, I looked like I had several cotton balls stuffed under my skin from the swelling. Today, you can't even tell I bruised it. It looks like working out helped move around the blood that had leaked under the skin and that meant the swelling went down. Kinda cool really. I'm also kind of proud of myself for going ahead with my workout despite the bruising. My head was held a little higher yesterday just for knowing that I had done it.

Then I got home last night and did my Tabatas.


Ok, so they suck. I DID learn something important though so I'll share it here in case anyone decides to try this insanity too.

Do NOT look at the timer.

No really. Just don't. It's not worth it. Last night I just put my head down and didn't bother looking at the timer because I didn't want to see how many rounds I had left. You know what? It was actually BETTER than the last time. When I look at the number of rounds I have left, I get discouraged, my body starts trying to tell me "You can't keep going. Look how many you have LEFT." By just tuning it out and only focusing on getting through the tabata round I was in just at that moment, I got less frustrated and the rounds seemed to go by faster. I was still hurting by the end but at least it wasn't as painful as it's been before. 

Also, I think a lot of things are about perspective. I like to think I'm in pretty good shape but I'm certainly not a walking bulge of muscle or anything. I still look at push-ups with a disapproving frown but then I feel that way about anything that makes my head feel like it's going to burst.

This is me doing pushups.

I had been pretty unhappy with myself because on the first round of tabatas, I could pop out a good 7 push ups, and that made me feel good about myself, but by the time I was getting to rounds 3-7, I was barely managing 4 push ups. Yeah, I know, some of you are rolling your eyes and thinking "oh you poor thing" but getting to those numbers has taken a lot of work for me. I was starting to feel bad because I could only do 4 of that exercise during each round.

Then I stopped and realized that yeah, I was only doing 4 push ups, but I was doing that EVERY 15 SECONDS. That's no little feat. I had been spending so much time chastising myself for not doing enough each round that I hadn't sat back and realized how much I'd been doing in so short a time.

This does just apply to me either, if you can only do 1 push up, don't beat yourself up for it. You know what? You did one push up! That's awesome! There are people not managing that much so pat yourself on the back. No matter what exercise you're doing, just be proud that you're doing it. Next thing you know, you'll be doing more than 4 push ups, more than 6, more than 10. Working out isn't an instant fix, it's a slow climb to get to the top of a ladder.

The view at the top is pretty damn awesome though.

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