Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Fitness Failures

I didn't make it to Body Pump or Body Vive class yesterday. Maybe it was the time change, but I decided to rest a little bit and just do the elliptical. I have a book that I can't renew again (Who Killed Kit Marlowe? by M. J. Trow) so I used that excuse.

Group fitness exercises have made the difference in my workout, and hence, my body. I've just started doing spinning - which powers the gym - and I'm "powering" through that. So I feel guilty when I can't or don't go to a class. My personal mantra is "I have to shower at the gym."

That sounds CRAZY, doesn't it? And so odd for me - who eschewed diets & exercise for years.

As a kid, I ran around, climbed trees & tried to get my older brothers to play with me. I rode bikes with my best friend Beth (now Liz!) and we'd daringly cross the railroad tracks DURING rush hour. We played on the bars at Washington Grove Elementary and even climbed onto the school roof periodically.

Then came 1987 - the year we moved. We moved a mile away to a townhouse development. I stayed at St. Martin's, we still shopped at the same grocery stores and my walk home from school was still a mile. (Except when I took the shortcut once I discovered it.) Beth & I were still besties, but the bike rides disappeared. My neighborhood was not ideal for riding given the number of cars in a congested area and I lost my main physical activity.

So I stopped exercising a lot before I even became a teenager. I had tried team sports, I wasn't very helpful on a team...For one thing, my brothers had taught me to throw overhand, which didn't make any sense in softball. Umm, only girls throw underhand...As my dad often recalls, I was the antithesis of grace, so dance & gymnastics didn't work very well. I dreaded physical education classes.

When I went to Holy Cross in Kensington, there became less time for exercise. Morning rush hour generally meant at least half an hour to school. My mom generally drove me and then I walked down the hill and up the hill to Grosvenor Metro station. Sometimes, I'd beg a driving friend for a ride to the metro.

But I was a singer, a drama club girl and an awkward nerd. I'd rather bury my nose in a book than put on sneakers. I believe I may have gone years without buying sneakers after the PE requirement was fulfilled in sophomore year.

In college, I tried to use the gym equipment, but never developed a lasting habit. Then in Fall 1996, I was sitting in the Delta Sigma Pi weekly fraternity meeting. I was wearing forest green suede Birkenstocks and they were irritating me when I was sitting? That's weird. I fiddled with the buckle, but no, something still felt wrong. So I grabbed my foot and felt a bump on the top of my foot. Hmm, that's odd. My mom had Morton's Neuromas on her left foot from years of wearing high heels. But those are on the BOTTOM of the foot. Who gets a bump on the top of their foot?

Apparently, I do.

So off to the podiatrist I went and he diagnosed a bone spur. Which anyone who has seen me walk would understand. I walk FAST and I POUND the pavement. I attribute this to years of walking in high heels as well...I think the constant jamming caused it. Christmas Break 1996-97 - I spent in that lovely knee-high black boot and couldn't drive. I finished my senior year with a handicapped pass and my friends enjoyed my parking privileges.

And that is how I became a victim of my foot. Granted, I've had four surgeries since that initial one, most recently 2010. Luke & I used to joke that he'd have to wheel me down the aisle at our wedding. My papa says if my mom & I were horses, we'd have been disposed of LONG ago given our many ailments.

All those years of wallowing in pain, aging, sitting behind a desk, having a baby and not changing my diet meant I am a lot heavier than I'd like to be. Last winter, I had bronchitis for about 5 months, followed by sinus surgery in May. I started working out in June, but wasn't 100% til autumn. I haven't been on steroids since September. My cheekbones are actually visible now! I still need to lose more if just to avoid the judginess of my pulmonologist's tech who scolded me like a 5 year old about my weight's effect on my asthma.

But I've been scared for the past 10 days. The psoriatic arthritis flared up. I would reach for my keys in my purse and yelp in pain. The topical pain reliever didn't help. Anti-inflammatories weren't helping. I'm trying to train my left arm & hand to squeeze the shampoo bottle or spread the peanut butter. I made Lily fill out her summer camp forms so that I can just sign them. (Even if I had Luke do them, it's questionable which would look more childlike.)

Today, I felt much more energetic. So I tried out a class at CA - Zumba Circuit, which combines TRX and weights with Zumba. I had forgotten about the TRX and I got worried that I wouldn't be able to hold on. The arthritis flare seems to have receded.

And my feet do hurt. There might be another neuroma or cyst or spur on top of my foot, but I'm not giving into my stupid foot anymore. I'll never be a runner - I think that would be asking for trouble - but I can exercise in a healthy way. My inertia was hard to break through, but I did.

What is your inertia?

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