Here is a story about success in small doses and listening to our bodies. I’ve been heading to my personal training sessions for 14 weeks or so. One hour. Once a week. Workouts at home. Lots of strength training and low impact stuff – a plan molded for me and my goals and my personality and my headspace and my fitness level. I love my trainer and the environment at the studio and the whole community, but I don’t like working out.
In addition to the once a week private sessions I’ve also been to a few classes and fallen in love with strength and stretch. I have been striving for better functional movement and general muscle and joint improvements. My first 6 week assessment was an ego booster of accomplishment.
…and then I stepped on the scale. Which hasn’t moved. And last week I had to modify all my exercises because I hurt my back sliding across a slippery deck. I was feeling frustrated. Down. Wondering what was wrong with me.
But today was a day of refreshed hope. Of achievement. Of a better outlook on life. I finished up my session and wanted to commit homicide. HA. I love my trainer but she worked me hard and I had to stop talking by the last set of exercises because it took every ounce of strength to push through. I am sore. It hurts to get out Of a chair. And in front of a full wall of mirrors it can be easy to pick apart the flaws you perceive in yourself.
But then I remembered when I started 3 months ago I couldn’t:
– do a pushup.
They’re still a struggle but I did 30 modified ones today. (3 sets of 10 reps.)
– Do a weightless hinge without back pain (nevermind a deadlift.)
Today I did 30 deadlifts with a 45 lb trap bar.
– Make it through a full circuit of exercise.
Today my PT snuck 4 extra exercises into my circuit without me realizing and we made it through all 3 sets of everything. (I still think pushup are evil.)
This may not sound like a huge accomplishment for some, but for me they are small measures of success. I didn’t have the strength or energy to do this two years ago. I’ve struggled to get to this place. These are small but huge ways to acknowledge that I am worth investing in. That my health matters.
One, our bodies are amazing and even if they don’t do what we want they’re intricate and beautiful and worthy of care, whatever that may look like for you. Two, it’s okay to listen and slow down and rest. (If I hadn’t been smart about that last week I don’t think I would have made it through this week.) Three, the scale is nothing more than a source of information. It hasn’t moved for me… but I’m feeling amazing and sore and proud of myself and seeing physical improvements in the mirror and in my movement. (Also, I rescued two pairs of pants from my too tight pile last week – not an end goal but a measure of the changes happening as a result of my efforts.)
So… don’t give up! Set your goals. Look to the future. Whether it’s lifting weights or trying to prepare more home-cooked meals or or sticking to a budget or making it through math class… don’t give up! You are worth the investment, too, my friend. You want someone to cheer you on because you passed an exam? I’m your girl. I think it’s important to celebrate the small successes along the way and to celebrate those successes with one another!