Been blogging this experience for 3 months and every now and again I review parts of it to see any changes in my story. Not many obvious ones but some notable changes in my physical efforts/abilities are becoming evident over the passage of time.
For instance – although today is the 117 day of postings, it is in fact Day 168 since my injury occured and the start of this process. During this time I had to miss about 45 days initially through an inabilitly to train and also because of the medical advice given by the Doctor. However, since Mid February/Early March I have engaged in the noble art of ‘Pain Infliction’ – or training to you and me.
Despite the amount of training that I do I am still at a stage of impact exercises for my legs but high impact on my Upper Body. I can see the difference in my arms/shoulders/chest through the weight training that I have encompassed as part of my routine. My work shirts/T-shirts are tighter and a few comments have been made about how much stronger I look – nice though they are, I’d still prefer to be the ‘Running Man’ appearance.
My cardio training now has entered the 6th week of Static Bike, Cross Trainer, Rowing Machine exercises and is steadily improving each week – New PBs in one of the most weeks. However, my muscle definition in my legs are clearly different and my right leg is still building up, through more effort/workloads. Neil (the left knee) is nowhere near the same size, shape or strength as my right leg – looks like one fat leg and one skinny leg. This is only to be expected by at the same time because it is more noticable, it is more of a temptation to work harder. Stretching, bending, lifting and straightening isn’t enough to build the muscles around Neil (the knee) but is keeping me mobile. I am getting to a period now that is showing my frustration more and more at the lack of progress I am achieving. I can’t complain about the variety of exercises that I do as I am almost at my limitations as it is. Mark McG, Mark G, Alison and the other PTs in the gym have been great at giving my ideas, advice and mini-challenges over the past 3 months – I wouldn’t be where I am in terms of fitness levels if it hadn’t been for them.
My training buddies – Derek, Jody and a few other members regularly chat and give moral support to me. I have a new training buddy as of today – Jackie J (my own private Nurse – lol) and she has inspired me again today with her own efforts at being a gym member for the 1st time.
Now there are a few others that have offered me help in a different way over the past few months, Edgie – the Poison Dwarf, who was one of my running partners, John – the Old Hamster Git of a neighbour – and is a brilliant Veteran Rower & moaner when we watch the football together, Tony – my other running partner who is now training with his daughters for bigger and better events. Then there are my Sons – Tom & Zak, who just train and try to compete with my all the time, knowing that I won’t give up, even when they know, that I know, I can’t beat them.
What do all these people have in common with me? They are all there as a support network for me, in what has been the most frustrating period in my training life. The Gym group are more sensitive and encouraging in their support, but the others – they are more critical in their support because they know what motivates me more. The fear of failure is a bigger worry to me than the feeling of ‘doing a bit’ of training. This is the balance that I need to ensure that I keep focused on the future, the things that will enable me to recover quicker after the surgery.
More recently I have been finding training, sleeping, working, resting and relaxing more difficult because of the pain and aching that Neil (the knee) is sharing with me. Mood swings, stupid eating and weight gains have started to take place too regularly for me. The sanctuary of goingto the gym to ‘De-Stress’ isn’t having the same impact as previously and I try to work harder, with some success and more and more failures – I think that is why a ‘NEW PB’ becomes more important for me at the end of a gruelling session.
Now for today, I decided to do the early bird training session with Jackie J, as it was her 1st time at the gym. Dave, the gym PT, gave her the usual tour around the place and an introduction on some ofthe exercise machines. She did really well and it was evident that she had put a lot of effort in today. Whilst Jackie was getting use to the place I focused on my Cardio on the Static Bike as the priority – 20mins on Level 3 = 10.1km. Although it wasn’t a PB, it was a harder level and only 100m less than my previous best. Next was a play on the treadmill and a form of power walking – 10mins on Speed 6.0 and incline of 7.0 made me work hard and increased my heart rate to over 140+bmp.
Jackie had been on the treadmill and had changed now to the Static Bike – so I did another 15mins at a more sedate pace and just chattered to her to give her encouragement and support. Then it was overto the ‘STAIR CLIMBER/STEPPER’ evil machine for me and a battle of efforts. I managed to do about 5mins on it, with very little progress despite the maximum efforts I was putting in to it, before going back on the Treadmill again. A final 10mins of speed 7.5 and an incline of 8.0 had been enough for me today. I had an excuse to finish my session a little bit earlier than usual – Jackie was tired…..
I’ve spent the rest of the day having a power nap or watching TV whilst trying to chill out. All this has done is to make me more tired than before. Torrow though I will be going back to my 2nd home (the gym) and having another go – Neil (the knee) permitting.