Oh, my aching arms

This time last year I was joining a gym.  I became very diligent in going every day, swimming a mile about four times a week and then trying to hit the fitness center as well about three days a week.  I was pretty good about going, too.  Lost no weight (okay, I lost a half a pound in eight months) but then I could tell I was building muscle, especially in my arms.

I love to swim.  I’m not so fond of sweating, so ‘working out’ isn’t my favorite thing.  I like strength training, and working with weights, and riding a bike (especially when there is a tv screen attached)–but sweating? Not so much.  Thus the love of swimming.  I can’t tell if I am sweating since I’m already in water.  I use resistance paddles, work my upper torso especially, and also try to swim on just my legs.  A bum set of knees makes that harder, but I do try.  So I enjoy the time that I spend there.

Then, last fall, November came around.  The week of Thanksgiving I only made it to the gym once, and I started working a three-week gig the week after.  Plus it was the Christmas production at my church, so I was there five days a week minimum.  I.e., didn’t make it to the gym.  (I was climbing two flights of stairs eight times a night, that counts for something, right?)  Once I finished working, it was the week of Christmas–snow and a trip to DC, home for less than 48 hours, then away for Christmas, home for less than 24 hours, Charlottesville, home for less than 12 hours, DC for more football . . . it was exhausting.  Fun, but exhausting.  New Years was busy as well.

The point of all this is that I think I’ve been to the gym maybe five times since Thanksgiving.  I missed about three weeks total there in December, maybe a bit more, and have averaged about once a week since then.  I even stopped doing my at-home cardio stuff too.

Yesterday I did half my cardio video.  Yes, I’m a slacker.  I only did half.  I hate doing jumping jacks, and this girl obsesses over them.  Plus doing them on a hardwood floor with inappropriate workout wear (note: need to wear a bra when doing jumping jacks to avoid MASSIVE pain) means that I just had no interest.

Let me tell you something, though.  I may have only done half, but half is enough.  I don’t hurt from the crunches.  Despite my massive stomach size I do not feel much pain for that.  My upper arms and pecs are another story altogether.  Holy cow.  I only did about four minutes worth of push ups, and they were girlie push ups at that.  But dang, I’m feeling the pain.

So what do I do?  I go to the gym today.  (Yay me! New resolution to go regularly!)  I swam my mile.  Did it in fairly good time as well–about 48 minutes.  Slow for most people, but 1750 yards in that time for me is good.  About half of that was in backstroke, trying to keep the upper body stretched out from yesterday.

Six hours later, let me tell you I think it failed.  I am hurting, and fairly badly at that. And as part of my resolution to give up sleep again this year for Lent (as well as the snooze button), I have a feeling it might be a few days before I feel like I can lift anything over three pounds.  Right now even my eight pound cat causes angst.

My one solace in all this is that if I finish my mile I allow myself a half hour in the sauna.  And that, my friends, is what I am looking forward to most of all!

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