Saturday, October 2, 2010
Finding My Rhythm in the Gym
So, in a big effort to take care of my aging body I have been working out a lot in the last two years. When my gym started offering classes, I was the first to sign up for Zumba. Not 10 minutes into the first class I slipped and fell. Hmmmm. Maybe Zumba wasn't for me. The next class I thought I'd try was a fast-paced weight lifting class. OK, I was thinking to myself, I know how important lifting weights is, so I'll give this a try. The class I decided to take was packed with peppy people. Galloping up and down on those turquoise and black steps while lifting weights to the beat of the music while sharing a step....yep, I turned my left ankle and had to limp out of that class in pain. OK. I'll just use my elliptical machine at home. What's that pain in my right lower back....guess this machine somehow irritates my body. Let's try running. What's that pain in my left knee? Oh, forgot. Years ago I was diagnosed with patella-tibia syndrome...my kneecap is not "riding" well. What to do? Seems like every time I work out I end up in pain. Last summer I took 6 weeks to regularly spin and attend a slow-paced weights class. By the time September rolled around I couldn't bend my right knee without crying in pain. I couldn't get up from a squatting position to save my crazy-ass life. The sports medicine doctor tells me squatting with weights can cause behind-the-knee pain. Here, take 4 Aleve a day (equivalent to 12 Ibuprophins) for a week and stay off it. What am I supposed to do, I think to myself, give up and let age move in on my round body? Alas, after a lot of thought, several doctor visits, and some rest I think I've figured it out. First, I stretch every morning (yoga). Second, I don't spin every day and when I do I take it easy even though the spin instructor spins maniacally or dances around the room like a American Indian at a religious ceremony. And, I stretch lots after spin. Third, I'm done with weight lifting classes for now and will use what I've learned from class (lift until you are completely spent) to lift weights on my own. No pain and I'm feeling good...maybe I've finally found my gymnastic rhythm.