The entire top left quadrant of my back is knotted up. This is what I get for attempting to be healthy. Before the holiday season hit, and I headed to the mainland, Bernadette and I were working out twice a week together. We had been doing that for more than four months, so my body had adjusted to the strength training regime meaning I didn't wake up with screaming pain after awhile. (The first couple weeks were rough, though.)
I don't know if I've mentioned what Bernadette does - she's a personal trainer/massage therapist, though at the moment she works more as a personal trainer at a gym up on one of the Army bases on Oahu. She's a health nut, which is said with the utmost affection. Not only is she informed about the nutritional and physical fitness needs of others, but she's a committed runner/swimmer/cyclist and is in the midst of training for a triathlon for herself. Nut. But her nuttiness was to my benefit, as I put on a few inches around the middle after moving out here. (It was the annoying type of weight gain where the scale doesn't say you've put on more than two or three pounds, but you know something is up because your pants don't fit around the middle anymore and you're looking for shirts with an empire waist.)
When Bernadette and I got back from diving with the Manta Rays on the Big Island in July we decided to hit the gym to do strength training twice a week. I'd much rather do strength training than, say, cardio because cardio is evil. Cardio makes me feel like I want to die. I don't think things that are supposedly "healthy" should make you feel like the end is nigh. Bernadette put together a nice workout regiment that involved mostly strength training and an occasional cardio session (I suffered through them). I even made it through a couple of her yoga classes. (Did I mention she's a yoga instructor too? Yeah, total overachiever.)
Once the holidays got close, Bernadette had guests and then I headed to the mainland. When we finally met up on Tuesday, it had been close to five or six weeks since I had been in the gym. We took it relatively easy that day, since Bernadette admitted she had only done strength training twice since I left. Yes, she runs 15 miles, bikes 50 miles and swims for an hour a day or something else utterly ridiculous - but no strength training. Was her admission supposed to make me feel better? The closest thing I did to working out while I was away was . . . um . . . nothing. Oh wait, I did 12 push ups at the cabin to show my family that I could do push ups now. I'm pretty sure that doesn't count. Anyhow, due to Tuesday's workout, I was pretty sore on Wednesday.
Then yesterday I went to a kickboxing class with a friend, whom I shall name "Claudette". (Names are almost always changed to protect the innocent.) Claudette is married to one of the guys Zac works with. Since the new year she has attended some sort of organized gym class six days a week. Spinning, Zumba, kickboxing, step aerobics, etc. She's not a health nut like Bernadette, but she's trying to lose a few pounds and has committed herself fully to the effort. Last week Claudette asked me if I wanted to attend a kickboxing class with her. I don't usually do group fitness classes because I have terrible coordination and usually end up fumbling all over the place, making me feel conspicuous and awkward. But it dawned on me that Bernadette and Ken (her husband) will be leaving in April for their new duty station. If I had any hopes of maintaining some sort of exercise program after Bernadette left, I needed to find something new.
Last week's kickboxing was uncomfortable at best. I am no Chuck Norris. Neither is anyone else for that matter - just so we're clear on that. I enjoyed myself more than I thought I would though and, by golly, I worked up a pretty good sweat during the class. Skipping ahead to this week, even though I still had lingering soreness from Tuesday, I went to kickboxing again and pushed through another hour of kick-a$$ club music (I do love that part) and sweat and exhaustion. Last night I had a hard time climbing up into bed. Yes, I said "up into bed". Our bed is very high, and I am very short. I almost need those carpeted stairs that you see on tv that gives little dogs bed access.
This morning I tried to sit up in bed and it didn't go well. Like I mentioned earlier, the upper left side of my back was shrieking with pain. As I'm working on the computer today I've occasionally got a heating pad wrapped around the sore area, taking breaks to stretch everything out. I'd say I need a massage, but I'm afraid that I massage would reduce me to a blubbering mess at the moment.
And as much as I hate to say it, I feel better after a couple of kickboxing classes and weight training. I don't like exercise, but it does actually make me feel better - in the long run. Because in the short run today, it's crummy. Curse my 21st century sedentary lifestyle.