Ladylike lifting

An iPhone conversation, joking about a quaint deadlifting society for proper ladies

The first rule of PLDNS is that acronyms are stupid.

With much less trouble and much more satisfaction than I thought was possible, I completed Workout “A” from Stage One of the New Rules of Lifting for Women program on Tuesday of this week.

Some of the moves were versions of exercises I already do as part of my physical therapy; one was only slightly more difficult due to lifting 30 pounds of plate rather than tugging on an elastic band. Others were easier versions of what I already do; two sets of 15 push-ups at a 60-degree incline don’t seem so bad when you’ve been doing 60-80 wall push-ups two or three times a week for months.

It was a shorter workout than my physical therapy workout, stretched more of my body, and left me glowing and happy.

A woman in gym clothes photographs herself in a mirror holding a book and a cell phone.

After that first lifting session, I was queen of the gym. My reign was short, as the kingdom of Gymnasia is both a little dull and a bit smelly.

I drove home from my office feeling great and … wibbly, if that makes sense. Wibbly-wobbly. My legs and arms didn’t really want to work, and I was a little light-headed. “Gee,” I thought. “I hope I don’t have to pay attention to driving home!” Happily for everyone, there were no sudden stops to make, no lanes to swiftly change, and no exciting car chases in which to engage, and I made it home safely.

The next morning, walking down the stairs at the crack of animals wanting breakfast was painful. So very painful. Argh, my quads. My butt. My life. Why did I do this to myself. The only silver lining I could see at the time was that I’d thought to freeze my mud pack so I could ice down my shoulder to reduce the next-morning shoulder pain. I used DOMS and general laziness as an excuse to skip my workout on Wednesday, for which I gave myself a demerit on my calendar (see November 30th in the image below).

Imagine my surprise when I was still sore all day Thursday, despite a good full-body stretching with Pilates in the morning. I had a friend come into town that day, and while I was fine when we were exploring the Oak Lawn district on foot or taking my dogs for a walk, getting in and out of my car, rising from chairs, and going up the stairs to the little thrift shop close to my old apartment caused me to grunt in pain. I wasn’t trying to whine or be dramatic; I had just turned into a big baby, in stark contrast to the Amazon I felt like on Tuesday night. Happily, I was less sore on Friday, and the soreness was completely gone by Saturday morning.

My calendar has me marked down for just one weightlifting routine per week, but I got my physical therapy days kind of switched around over the weekend. The end result of this schedule juggling was deciding to do Workout “B” from Stage One of New Rules on Saturday. The” B” workout was, for whatever reason, a hell of a lot harder than the “A” workout. Whereas I felt as though I practically floated from set to set on Tuesday, I had to pause and catch my breath 2/3rds of the way through my first set of deadlifts. It might just be that I used too much weight instead of easing back into it, or maybe my muscles were still tired. Whatever the case, it was rough going.

I feel all right immediately after the “B” workout, though – much better than I’d felt after the “A” workout (I wasn’t all shaky on the way home, for one thing). I iced my shoulder again just in case. My right calf, which had started to twinge after I sat on it funny on Friday, was sore before my workout Saturday, though that was mitigated by a 5-minute warm-up on the treadmill, and is still a tiny bit sore now several hours later.

It’s worth it, though, to feel stronger and better. The effort is paying off. My body is looking slimmer, as I noticed while I worked out in front of the mirror on Friday night, and more people have complimented me on my progress. My face looks thinner in the photo above than in other photos from this year. I feel more physically able, accomplished, and motivated to keep going. Good, tangible, visible results can be so addictive. I hope to stick to the weightlifting, as well as the rest of my exercises, and see my body change even further in the weeks to come.

Three weeks of an exercise calendar with tasks checked off

Calendar at 3 weeks. Not bad!

The 90 Days Goal calendar of doom is such a great tool for helping me keep track of my workouts and keep my mixture of workouts balanced. I’m counting on it keeping me honest about continuing to work out when I come back from a 4-day trip to visit my family. I may have to alter the rest of December to include at least two weightlifting workouts per week, though, as I’m too anxious about getting results to wait an entire week between planned sessions. I just have to make sure I go slowly enough and don’t lift too much, in order to avoid hurting myself in new, exciting ways.

Plus, I am going to scream if I get one more Get-Uninjured-Soon lace doily from my friends at the Proper Ladies Deadlifting and Needlework Society; my walls are practically covered in barbell-embroidered spiderwebs. Hasn’t someone told them about e-cards?

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