Wednesday, May 2, 2012


I went to the gym yesterday for the first time in five months. Doctor's orders. My hand injury (December) and sprained ankle (March) were acceptable excuses for several weeks of all that slacking off, but the rest was pure slothfulness and procrastination. I was sensible; I did not overdo it. I had a short, gentle workout (or so I thought), trying out a few exercises from my old strength-training classes with light weights. Then I did some luxurious stretching and took a long walk to keep my muscles happy.

Today it hurts to walk, to bend, to get out of a chair, to lift my arms. I'd better go back and do it all over again tomorrow. I haven't lost much flexibility, just a shocking amount of strength and endurance. (Walking five miles a day doesn't do a darn thing for one's muscles.) So now I have a goal: to get strong enough to survive an hour-long strength-training class — without giving my instructor an unusual number of reasons to make fun of me.

That means I'll need to complete sets of military push-ups with decent form; I used to be able to knock off sets of eight several times throughout a class. I can't do a single one now. I'm reduced to "girl pushups." The indignity! I also need to be able to hold the plank pose for a minute. That was also impossible yesterday. I collapsed, shaking, and curled up into Child's Pose.

I have my work cut out for me. My inspiration will be Possum:

Possum contemplates his next workout.

Since he is lazy and well-upholstered — rather than athletic and sleek — he might strike you as a poor role model for my fitness renaissance. But he spends a few minutes a day tearing around the apartment with Wendy, wearing himself out. Then he spends the rest of his day lying around, righteously recharging his batteries. I'll be aiming for the human version of that. The first part will be hard, but the second part — maybe even curling up for an afternoon nap with Possum — should feel very, very good.

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