…would have to be the one that found me today. I clicked on the Google link to find out how this person found my blog and this is what it showed me:
If you’re wondering, this is the post it pointed to: The Other F Word
It’s been eight days since I last wrote about my excercisonal escapades and what a ride it has been. I realized after the disastrous day of burning all the calories I had ingested for the day, that I really needed to eat before I go to the gym. I’ve noticed a definite difference in how I feel while on the treadmill if I eat right before I go versus if I don’t. So along with packing a lunch, I’ve been packing a pre work-out meal as well. That has consisted of about four ounces of some sort of protein and I’m not 100% sure that’s what I should be doing, but for now at least it keeps me going and that’s what I’m looking for.
I’ve stopped having so many issues with my feet, sort of. The various bandages I bought at Target have helped protect the blisters I had gotten and so far I haven’t gotten any new ones.
Last Friday after work, I had the appointment with the Personal Trainer to go over what I wanted to do and after some discussion we determined that I could get 13 one hour sessions for $554.00. There are some mathematical gymnastics that take place to arrive at that cost for that many sessions but that’s what we came up with. Fortunately, I do not have to pay that all at once so the training is not completely out of the realm of possibility. I had thought that part of this “orientation” would be a session with the trainer but we spent an hour talking about what they had to offer and what the cost was and how to apply the package and then he sent me on my way. I actually managed to run a bit. I’ve never been much of a runner and my stamina is definitely lacking, but at one point I cranked the treadmill up to 5 miles per hour and ran. Well, perhaps jogged is a more accurate term. It was perfect. My footfalls were in tune with the beat of the song playing on my iPhone (whatever that was) and I wasn’t pushing myself too hard and I was doing OK. It felt great. That calories burned counter was scooting up to higher numbers, I was breathing steadily and their wasn’t really any discomfort in my shins as I am accustomed to having. I made a point of not looking at the timer on the display but instead just kept my eyes forward and kept running. After a few minutes, my side did start hurting and I ran for several more minutes trying to ignore it. I made it about six and half minutes before I started feeling like I couldn’t keep going and I took the treadmill back down to about 4 miles per hour and walked fast. As the time was clicking down to the final minutes, I decided that I would run the last five minutes. It had been 20 minutes or so since I ran and I felt like I was recovered a bit. The clock ticked past six minutes and I was watching for it to count down to five minutes and I decided that was silly. If I was ready to run, I was ready to run. When the clock hit five and a half minutes I cranked it back up to 5 miles per hour and I ran until the automatic cool down started. That night, I ran a total of twelve minutes and it felt great! I haven’t been able to run since.
Saturday was my laundry day and after sleeping till noon, I spent the afternoon and evening at Michelle’s house doing my laundry. I thought about, and should have gone to the gym after, it is after all a 24 hour gym, but I did not.
Sunday was meant to be spent with Lil’B but his family went out of town and they weren’t going to get back in time. I spent the day ironing and watching DVR’d TV shows. I was literally on my feet and ironing for ten hours (everything iron worthy I owned needed to be ironed) and the entire time I told myself that I was going to go to the gym later, when I was finished ironing and the crowd had thinned out. I finished ironing around 8:30. If I had gone to the gym it would have been 10:30 or later before I got back, showered and had dinner, so I decided not to go.
My legs were sore and my feet hurt from being on them on hardwood floors the whole day and I made a joke on Twitter about how ten hours of ironing must be equivalent to or better than an hour on the treadmill, right? When I woke up Monday morning I had actually lost three pounds from what I weighed on Sunday morning… Maybe it wasn’t so much of a joke after all.
Mondays are Dancing with the Stars party days. For those uninitiated, a Dancing with the Stars party is where Michelle comes over and we eat dinner and watch Dancing with the Stars. She doesn’t come over every Monday but she comes over most of them. There was no time for going to the Gym as I had to go home and make it sufficiently presentable for her (i.e. I had to clean the bathroom and kitchen, and sweep the floors.)
I went back on Tuesday and the line for the treadmills was insane. I spent an hour on a recumbent bike. I burned around 300 calories, which was not nearly enough, and fought to stay on the seat of the bike. I like the recumbent version better from the perspective of not making favored appendages go numb and tingly, but it seems to be impossible to get the seat in just the right location to be able to ride and not feel like I’m falling off the seat.
Wednesday, I spent an hour on the treadmill, walking at a decent clip, but still didn’t get the number of calories as high as I’d like them to be. I tend to get shin splints and I haven’t yet figured out how to prevent that and therefore haven’t been able to amp up my speed on the treadmill.
Now, yesterday was my first session with the personal trainer and OH MY GOD I’m dying. I knew I was in trouble when he started me out with a warm up of five minutes on an elliptical machine. I started out doing well for the first two minutes, but I could really feel it in my thighs and by the time the five minutes was almost up it was all I could do to keep my legs moving. I was drenched in sweat already and he asked me if I had run and jumped in the pool while he wasn’t looking. (I should have)
My trainers name is Tawiian (pronounced tuh-won). When I finished on the elliptical machine he asked me “When was the last time you stretched?” I told him I didn’t know and he asked me, “Last week”? I told him I didn’t know, in a tone that said, “I HAVEN’T STRETCHED, LIKE, EVER, STOP ASKING ME!” He stretched me and man did it actually feel good.
Apparently the concept of easing someone into something that is new to them is lost on personal trainers. That man had me doing things I’ve never done before, with heavier weights than I could imagine using ever. The session was an hour long and I considered the idea that I might not be able make it the full hour so I was quite surprised when Tawiian told me we were done.
I sat in a chair at his desk while he went to get some paperwork he had printed for me and I felt numb. I sat there for five minutes before I got up and I waddled out to my car because I could barely walk. When I got home, I sat on the toilet, doing what people do on the toilet and reading Twitter on my iPhone and I kept falling asleep.
I took my shower and went to bed. It was 8:30. My last thought before drifting off to sleep was, “Wow. Going to bed this early, I just might make it to work on time tomorrow.” I slept for 12 hours and got to work at my usual time of 9:30.
I feel better today, but I’m still sore and very tired.
It’s Friday again, and the coming out support group that I talked about before should be meeting again tonight. It starts at 6:30 and I was planning on attending. I still want to go, but I’m pretty beat from yesterday. We’ll have to see how I feel at the end of the work day and then I’ll see about going.
I’ve written nearly 25,000 words of my book. That’s half of the over-all goal, 5000 words ahead of my personal schedule and 3500 words ahead of the national goal. And on that note, I gotta get back to it. Talk to you in another eight days, give or take.
From the age of 14 my mother has worn high heeled shoes. She told me that it was a different time and that’s what women were expected to wear. She went along with expectations and never wore flat shoes again. (She also plucked her eyebrows to the point of extinction, but that has nothing to do with today’s story.)
By her fifties though, styles had changed and it was difficult for her to find casual high heeled shoes. She bought her first pair of tennis shoes in forty years. She only wore them a few times because they hurt her feet. She couldn’t really understand why tennis shoes would hurt her feet, but they did and soon her feet hurt when she walked around the house barefoot too.
Finally she went to the doctor to have them check it out. The doctor determined that with forty years of wearing high heeled shoes, my mother had developed bone spurs in her feet and that was what was causing the pain. The only known solution was to continue to wear high heeled shoes. One Saturday while she was out shopping with her friend Dorothy, they were a J.C. Penny and my mother saw some shoes by Arizona Jean Company. They looked like Converse All-Stars, but they had thick soles and two and a half inch heals that were about two inches thick. She bought a pair and they felt so good she bought three more in every color.
My mother has also had a long history of sprained ankles. She has sprained both of her ankles more times than I can count. When I was a baby she was carrying me the garage one morning to go somewhere and as she stepped down the one step into the garage her ankle twisted, she went down on one knee and literally threw me across the cement floor – on my head. (That’s my dropped-on-my-head story. Don’t we all have one?)
Six months before I moved to California, my mother came home from work one evening, went to the mail box and stepped off a two inch curb wrong. She went down on both knees. We thought she had sprained both ankles but after several hours in the emergency room (the pain was worse than she’d ever felt and she could barely walk) it turned out she’d torn ligaments in both ankles and she had air casts on both feet for weeks.
Today, on Twitter, I followed a link to a product that will solve all her problems. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Riggledo’s Mom’s Ankle & Foot Reinforcers! They’re ugly as sin, but they’ll get the job done!
OK. I know you’re missing me terribly while I’m away doing this NaNoWriMo thing. I miss you too. (Even if it has only been two days.) You’ll be glad to know that it’s going well. I’ve got a little more than 5500 of the 50,000 words and it’s really flowing nicely. That’s 500 words ahead of my daily writing schedule to make the deadline so that’s great, though I’m still behind the “national average” for the day. I’m not worried. The truth is, I don’t think 50,000 words are going to be enough to tell the story I want to tell.
You’re also probably wondering (and I’ll now tell you) how things are going with the gym. I went on Tuesday night to Target and found a pair of “athletic shoes” that didn’t kill my feet to wear and only cost $40.00. I also found bandages that are more suitable to my particular injuries and they seem to help make shoes in general more tolerable, thank God! I did make it back to the Gym yesterday after work. I arrived around 7:00 to find the place absolutely packed and a line of about six people waiting to use the treadmills! Crazy!
I bypassed the line and went to the row of stationary bikes. I tried one of the upright ones (last time was a recumbent style bike) and rode it for 20 minutes. Burned nearly 160 calories (that’s it!?!). By the time I was finished my butt was sore and, well, let’s just say the seat puts pressure on a special nerve that makes a favorite part of my anatomy…go to sleep? I didn’t know that part of my body COULD go numb, but there you go. So when the 20 minutes were up, I was glad to be finished.
I headed back in the direction of the treadmills to find that there was no line and three of them were open, so I was able to get right on one. Sadly, it did not go as well as the first two times. I only burned about 380 calories in the hour I spent on the treadmill and my feet were hurting again. I was wearing short socks and the back of my left shoe was rubbing on the outside of my Achilles tendon. No new blisters but it rubbed a raw spot on my ankle. Clearly I’m going to have to wear longer socks at the gym. I really struggled to finish the hour and I had to lower the incline a couple times. But the important thing is, I went and I didn’t quit.
I realized when I got home that I burned about as many calories at the gym as I had consumed all day (didn’t eat dinner before I went) and I’m sure that was a big part of my struggle.
Tonight, I’m going immediately after work to the location that’s closest to my office in an attempt to get in earlier (hopefully it will be less crowded) and tomorrow I have the appointment with the Personal Trainer.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must get back to work… on my book, that is.
On Friday, I managed to forget all about the coming out support group meeting for most of the day which was probably for the best. And then I remembered… And I freaked out a little bit. You might have noticed. But I sucked it up and headed toward the center around 6:30. The group starts at 6:30 but I had no intention of arriving on time anyway. When I arrived at their door it was nearly 7:00.
I headed up Telegraph Avenue and saw the building from a distance; kinda hard to miss the enormous rainbow flag in the window. I did not, however, see a driveway or a parking lot or an entrance. So I passed it up and turned at the next street, drove around the block and came back from the other direction. I turned on the side street closest to the center and parked at the corner. I locked up the car and headed back toward the center, fighting my nerves.
The Pacific Center appears to occupy a former residence, complete with big picture windows, elevated front porch up four or five stairs and a large solid oak and etched glass front door. There’s a path from the sidewalk to the front steps bordered on either side by a small yard with shrubs and gardens and trees. It was actually a lovely and inviting place, and while I was still nervous walking up the path, I also felt a little better about being there.
I walked up the worn and paint-pealed steps to the front porch with the blazing light hanging overhead, and as I reached out to turn the door knob, I noticed two signs on the door. The first sign, down at the bottom of the etched glass window listed their drop in hours, Monday through Friday between 4 and 8 pm. The other sign, posted at the top of the glass read that they were closed and would be returning at 4:00. I tried the knob anyway, it was only 7:00 after all, but the door did not budge.
I was confused to be sure. There were lights on inside and on the porch, but no one was visible through the large, uncovered picture windows. I was also relieved and at that realization, I was disappointed.
The group meets on a weekly basis and there will be other opportunities to go, but I had taken the steps and gotten myself there and I wish that I could have gotten the rest of the hard part over and done with.
Saturday morning, I went to my appointment with the membership consultant, Abraham, at 24-Hour Fitness. There’s really not much to tell about this except to say that he showed me around, asked me what my goals were and talked to me about personal training and the Bodybugg. I had already made up my mind about joining this gym so it was just a matter of getting my information in the system. As it turns out, they have special rates for employees of my company and so while I was expecting to have to pay a modest initiation fee and $34.99 a month membership fee, I ended up paying no initiation fee and my membership is only $29.99 a month. My upfront costs were about $15.00 less than I expected.
When I arrived at the gym Saturday morning the parking lot was packed and the place was bustling. Abraham told me that Saturday mornings are usually pretty busy because people want to get in a workout before they go out on Saturday nights. I had thought, going in that I might spend some time on a treadmill or something after I finished the paperwork but after seeing all this, I decided to wait and come back in the evening. I went back to the gym around 6:00 and it was much quieter, which I prefer. I spent 20 minutes on a stationary bike, and then accidentally spent an hour on a treadmill. I don’t run, yet, but I walked a very brisk pace and when it was all said and done, I’d burned about 1000 calories.
I couldn’t resist weighing myself again when I got home and I had lost two pounds since getting up in the morning. I weighed myself again Sunday morning and had lost another pound. Not bad!
I went back to the gym on Sunday around the same time and it was a little busier (no longer Saturday night, nor Halloween) and spent another hour on the treadmill. This morning I was down yet another pound from yesterday. There might be something to this exercise thing, after all!
While I was on the treadmill on Saturday, I started feeling some pain on the back of my right heel. You know the kind. It’s the kind of pain where you already know when you take your shoes off you’re going to have a blister there. I had that kind of pain. But I ignored it and persevered and before too long the pain went away. Sunday, I began feeling that pain again, on both heels, but I stuck it out and did the full hour. It hurt but wasn’t unbearable, but when I got out to my car, I suddenly couldn’t take it anymore and I had to take my shoes and socks off. It wasn’t until I got home and was getting in the shower that I realized I’d been bleeding lightly, from my left heel. The water from the shower really hurt but I survived. It was while washing my right foot that I realized I had an enormous blister, the largest one I’ve ever had, about the size of a fifty-cent piece!
My shoes are not new, but I didn’t think they were that old. The back of the inside of both shoes is worn out with the inner construction visible. Clearly new shoes are my new top priority. I can’t go back to the gym until I get new shoes, so tomorrow, right after work; I’ll be heading to Target for some not too expensive running shoes as in interim fix until I can get something better. I’ve got to get this done before Friday because I have an orientation with the “Fitness Manager” Jeffrey for personal training at 6:00.
As a new member, I can get a “starter package” of three 50 minute sessions with a personal trainer for $129.00, a pretty good rate really. I couldn’t afford to do that this week-end, but I can get it next payday and go from there. I explained to Abraham that I really don’t know what I’m doing in the weight room and I would like to have some help from a personal trainer but I can’t afford to hire someone for every visit to the gym. He told me that Jeffrey is the guy to talk to. He might be able to make me a deal, or arrange for me to pay for the packages over time. We’ll see how that goes. I’m just hoping that I can work with a trainer periodically, maybe once a week or every other week, so that I can get some guidance and encouragement and feel like I’m actually doing things correctly and getting the results I need. My hope is to spend a session with a trainer on some sort of periodic schedule and get help that day and instruction for what to do until we meet again on some sort of schedule that is productive, but still affordable. At $129.00 for three sessions that’s $43.00 a session. After this first three it goes up to about $75.00 a session, clearly not something I can afford on an on-going basis.
So all in all, I’m feeling pretty good about the gym (only 2 days in, I know) and I think I’m going to enjoy this process. I think it helps a lot to have changed my focus from saying I want to look like this:
It’s November and that means it’s time for NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. As some of you may know, I started a novel a few months back. I got two good chapters written (at least I think they’re good) and then I got a little complacent about it. I decided in September that I wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo again and this would be a perfect time to continue work on my novel.
I participated in “Nano” last year but all I did was make a point of writing a blog post everyday and compiled those into a “book” for the sake of the program. This year I want to actually write a legitimate novel, continuing what I’ve started. To “win” the “competition” you have to write 50,000 words by the end of the month. I haven’t started yet. Figuring that week-ends will be limited in my ability to write, I figure that I’ve got 21 days to write 50,000 words and I’ve pretty much missed today. That gives me 20 days or 2500 words a day.
That being said, forgive me if my posts are fewer and farther between. I’m not abandoning this blog or my lovely readers. I will post here and there, but it won’t be as frequent, I suspect. I will be back to this and in full swing come December 1st, though.