Well I managed it very easily today – getting up and going to the gym as planned. (But the truth is, the noisy neighbours’ grandkids got up about 6.30am and decided to make a little bit of a racket, causing the adults to ‘shout’ about still being in bed…. Me too I was thinking at the time.)
Anyway gym time it was and I was looking forward to it today – no excuses just straight into training and working hard at the routine set up for me by Mark M. Upperbody exercises, Russian Twists for my ABS and a lot of stretching for Neil (the knee) and my hamstring/calf. After doing the targeted number of Reps/Weights for each exercise, I was still feeling fresher than I expected. I had added a little more weight/reps to see if I could improve my efforts from last week – Yes was the answer and quite easily.
This was a turning point in my confidence, the challenge I was looking for an excuse to attempt. The ‘No One is Looking’ thoughts had returned to my head – making me feel both ‘Brave’ and ‘Sneaky’ at the same time. I was all alone in the main studio with all these exercise machines & equipment calling my name, daring me to have ‘just one go’. So I did, I tried to focus on what I had been told to do by the Knee Specialist and the Physio-Terrorist. To manipulate the movement of Neil (the knee) and to stretch the hamstring/calf as much as my pain threshold would permit me. By doing this I would be able to recover the full mobility and range of movement a little quicker. There was one condition to my doing this – to ‘STOP if it HURT’ or I could possibly cause more damage.
Today was that day of free challenge for me. Taking the next step in gaining more use of Neil (the knee), whilst at the same time not causing more problems. As I scanned around the studio I could see my first piece of equipment that I had been longing to use for the past 4 months – the Treadmill, standing big and bold, daring me to run on it again!! I had a read of the operating instructions to remind me of the safety features (the STOP button) and the speed and incline adjustments. Now or never I thought to myself. Get on and start walking before I psyched myself out of doing it with the fears that lingered in my mind.
I set the pace to a 3.5 speed, a little faster than a baby crawling and on a level setting. I then gradually increased this to a 6.0 speed but still on the flat. I managed to do 12 minutes and covered 1km in distance before I decided to stop. It wasn’t due to any aches or pains, but simply down to doing ‘Just Enough’ for me today. (I used to do 8/10 kms on the treadmill and kept a steady pace of 1km per 6 minutes or less without much difficulty, several times a week).
My next victim was going to be the Static Bike, my most favourite exercise machine in the gym. Now this was the way I’d spend most of my time doing Cardio – Speed/Time Trials or Hill Climbing, for a period of 60 minutes. I loved doing that as I could do between 35-38km an hour on the Time Trials or 33/35km on the Hill Climbing. But today was all about getting back on to the bike and pedal slowly with a determined focus on not pushing through the pedals or applying pressure through Neil (the knee). So I did 1.60km in a 10minute period and at a very slow pace on the flat. Did I feel like I had just won the Tour de France or what? The feeling of achievement in my mind was significant and made me so proud of my efforts. Alright I know they are not even worth mentioning in reality, but as a start and an assessment, I felt I was back to training – if only for those 10 minutes. I again stopped for the same reason that I had done ‘Enough for Me’.
The usual Lobster bath was gracefully met with a sense of contentment, achievement and pride, as I soaked there for about 45 minutes and dreamt of my next challenge ahead. I have since chilled on Claire (the couch) for the past few hours and continued to do the ‘Wiggly Toes’ stretches that I have done for the past few weeks. Tonight I am hoping that Neil (the knee) is also feeling as tired as I am and that we can have a restful & relaxing sleep. (I can but dream!!)
Finally, I have not taken any painkillers for the past 8 days so I am anticipating some reaction to today’s efforts. But if I can manage for another few days, without taking them then I will have achieved another goal too.
LENT – Day 19 and all is going well. Even the beard is starting to suit me apparently.