Tell me if this has ever happened to you…
I had a bit of an “a-ha” moment today as I realized that something I was accepting as “fact” was just an excuse in disguise. Let me tell you about it.
Last summer I joined a new gym and as much as I enjoyed working out in a new fancy place, my fatigue was really getting to me. Ten minutes into a workout and I was done. I was diagnosed with celiac disease in August and immediately went gluten-free. By September, I was finally getting my energy back and couldn’t wait to push myself physically. I set a goal to do an Urbanathlon race in November and started training. Although I had the energy, my body started showing signs of breaking down. I knew that my hips were off, but I was still able to run and do circuit training. My left hip and quad were getting more painful by the day, but I pretty much ignored the pain and added in some extra stretching after my workouts. One day, I did a side lunge at the gym and felt a searing pain go up my inner thigh into my groin. It hurt SO badly, but that’s not really a spot that you can grab in the middle of a crowded gym without getting some stares. I limped back to the locker room.
I’m a big believer in chiropratic medicine, but only if you have a good chiropractor. I’m pretty picky, especially after having an amazing one in Tucson for a few years (if you live in the area, go see Ira Gluck and tell him I sent you!). I found one in Phoenix that came highly recommended, so I took myself and my injured hip/groin for a visit. As we started to work through my kinks, it became very apparent that more than 20 years of poor posture mixed with competitive athletics and two c-sections had kind of wrecked my body. Healing would take more than a couple of visits.
One morning soon after my first visit, I woke up and I could hardly move. Apparently fixing one part of my body threw the rest of it into a tizzy. I couldn’t twist at all, so backing the car out of the driveway was a bit unsafe. Drawing in a deep breath was a challenge. I definitely couldn’t exercise. Four months and lots of therapy later, I can finally twist and turn and breathe in and out just fine. I am standing up taller, my shoulders and head are closer to where they should be, and I have been given the green light to exercise.
But exercise comes with limitations. I’m not allowed to run or do any kind of plyometrics because the original injury in my hip has caused a lot of weakness and pain that needs to be strengthened and stretched. Cardio-wise, I am basically stuck with the elliptical machine.
Dang it! I hate the elliptical machine! I want to be running outside in our beautiful Arizona winter weather.
As much as I have tried to adopt the mentality of “I will do what I can do, and give it all I’ve got,” I was still convinced that I couldn’t get that good aerobic, heart-pounding, sweat-inducing workout on the elliptical. I even told people that. I might have even told you, “I can’t get a good enough cardio workout on the elliptical. It’s just not possible.”
I guess I was complaining.
Today I went to the gym and got on the dreaded machine. Every time a new song came on my iPod, I would switch pedaling forwards or backwards and changed the incline and resistance. At one point, the resistance was too much to not use my arms, so I started swinging my arms instead of holding onto the bars. You know what? It was tough! I was sweating and breathing hard…I wanted to quit! That’s how I knew I had finally figured out how to get a good workout on the elliptical. I had to push through the pain and tell myself not to give up.
In the end, I guess I was just whining. What I had resigned to as “fact” was just an excuse in disguise.
Are there any “facts” in your life that might be an excuse in disguise?
***Update: after writing this post, I went to the chiropractor who told me to lay off the elliptical (it is inflaming my psoas) and try the bike for the rest of the week. The bike?! I can’t get a good enough cardio workout on the bike!!!
JUST KIDDING! I am going to have a great time on the bike!