Workout to Work it Out

Fourth day of testing and fourth negative for ovulations. Still to be expected.

 

I went with my unicorn roommate to spin class yesterday, despite the unprecedented heat. At the end of the 45-minute class, we were sweaty, exhausted and totally relaxed. A couple months ago, I asked my mom for a gym membership for my birthday.  Just a short one to see if I would really get into it and start working out.

My hope was to start working out at an intensity that improved my health. And, to start working out before I got pregnant, so I could continue working out through my pregnancy. I have chronic lower back pain, and neck stiffness as part of a collection of injuries throughout my athletic career.

Philosophically, I’ve known that when I don’t work out, and I let my body get weak, my pain is much more significant. Before August, I’d gotten to the point where standing for more than 15 minutes at a time was terrible. Walking was fine, but standing still was miserable.

I spoke to my chiropractor and he tentatively diagnosed me with degenerative disc disease. Which is not actually a disease and pretty much translates to: Your spine is pissed off and you need to be much nicer to it from now on. He hinted at surgery (something that my Dad has gone through) and suggested I start swimming to take the pressure off my back.

What I really heard was: “You’re pregnancy is going to be excruciating if you don’t do something about this RIGHT NOW.”

So, off to the gym I went. My community does not have easy access to a pool and, since I’m a business owner twice over and President-Elect of our Chamber of Commerce, commuting to a pool isn’t really in the cards. So I improvised. Signed up for the gym and started going to the Fitness Stretching and Pilates classes that run 6 days-a-week at my local gym.

Within 2 weeks my pain had decreased by 80%. I was shocked and, quite frankly, really embarrassed that I’d been dealing with this pain for so long when the fix was so simple. I’ve since graduated from Fitness Stretching and Pilates to Group Power and Spin class, now that my body is strong enough to handle the activity.

My inner athlete is doing a serious happy dance, all the things I’ve learned over the years about workout planning, strength and conditioning are coming back to me and I’m really enjoying myself.

Now, don’t get me wrong, my inner introvert still fights back. I’ll want to go to the gym all day long while I’m working and then, when the time comes to change clothes and go….all I want to do is watch The Voice and eat frozen yogurt with my dog. It’s tough to stay motivated.

Here’s my fancy-pants trick to get myself to go. As soon as I pull my truck into my garage, I start saying:

“We’re going to the gym. We’re going to the gym” and I engage in, what I’ve dubbed, my Gym Dance, which is pretty much a bunch of flailing and spinning to convince myself I’m more excited about this than I really am. If I can manage my Gym Dance for just 3 short minutes, I can get myself back into my truck and off to the gym. At that point, it’s just a matter of deciding to go to a class or making my own workout for the day.

Things I Like:

  • Lifting
  • Rowing
  • Walking
  • Spin
  • Core

Things I hate:

  • Running
  • Jogging
  • Working out close to other people

Things I wish I could do more: Elliptical – not so weirdly, my feet fall asleep on the elliptical from the constant pressure on the pedals.

Not so fun since doing cardio on an elliptical is a really great way to get low-impact work done without mashing on my joints. Same thing happens when I’m on a bike for too long, in the saddle or out of it. Which is why I love spin class. Despite the workout being pretty hard, the instruction to get up and then sit back down throughout class means that my feet usually feel pretty good by the end of class.

I’m hoping I’ve reached a basic fitness level that I can maintain while pregnant to help stay healthy and manage the pain as my body changes.

4 thoughts on “Workout to Work it Out

    1. Thank you! It can be really effective, especially when it’s coupled with a very loud and repeated chant of “I will go! I WILL GO!!!” Somehow the louder I say it, the more motivated I get. Seems to work for me, though…I doubt my neighbors appreciate it 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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