Weighty Matters

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Hurts So Good

on March 23, 2016

Don’t worry.  This is not a post rooted in BDSM.   Far from it. I just got home from Tai Chi class and am about to run a nice hot bath and soak in it for, oh, an hour or so.

I’m hurting tonight from a combination of rowing class first thing this morning, a few hours on my feet this afternoon and, yes, even the gentle movements of 90 minutes of Tai Chi.   Hurting, and strangely happy about it. 

This morning’s row routine called for us to do five minutes of rowing, during which the trainer occasionally put us in short power sprint intervals. After each five minutes of rowing we got off the machines and did a one minute wall sit. 

Ever do a wall sit?  Go stand with your back against a wall and your feet in front of you, roughly shoulder width apart. Then sink down until your upper legs/quads are parallel to the floor.   Keep your back against the wall and hold the position for a full minute. 

Go ahead. Try one. I’ll wait. *whistling, humming*. You’re back? Great! How did that wall sit feel? If your legs didn’t start to tremble or burn by around :45, you’re in super awesome shape. 

Now imagine doing a wall sit after rowing for five minutes (about 1000 meters).  Then think about repeating that combo seven times!

My quads were killing me all day. As timing would have it, this workout came on a day when I had an afternoon media shoot at work which means that I spent the hours standing and walking, also known as not sitting. 

I had about an hour and a half after I got home to make and eat dinner before Tai Chi. I love Tai Chi and its gentle flow of moves. Gentle and flowing don’t mean we aren’t engaging and using muscle.  In fact, most of the time we have most or all of our weight on one leg or the other with frequent sinking down and standing up. 

Tonight, we focused on a sequence of moves in the set that are, quite possibly, among the worst moves for someone with already crying quads.  I felt my poor muscles quivering with every Creep Low Like Snake, Golden Cock Stands on One Leg, Step Back to Ward off Monkey, and Wave Hands Like Clouds.

We repeated the sequence over and over… And over and over and over again. 

By the time class was over, I was toast – if toast could ache, throb and hobble to a car.  And I couldn’t have been happier. 

Five years ago, I’d come home hurting and needing Ibuprofen just from an afternoon of walking and being on my feet.  I was miserable because I was so obese and out of shape. The pain and discomfort were constant reminders of the damage I was doing to myself and my body. 

Today the muscle soreness and tiredness are evidence of how far I’ve come and how hard I work to achieve strength, endurance and balance.  My body can do so much more. I can do so much more.  These are great reminders!

I hurt so good.  Now for that great soak in a hot bath. 

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