Strength Training

The new yoga pants fit well. After struggling most of my life to find pants that would more than kiss my ankles on my seventy-two inch, thin frame without swallowing my waistline, the sigh of relief is more than audible. I slide on a shirt over a muted pink sports bra and tackle the stairs.

After a stretch and warm-up, several deep breaths, and some cardio, I punch several buttons, meandering apps and menus on the tablet at my feet. It rests carefully against the downstairs couch, almost silent except for the Spotify playlist pumping some techno-sounding beats from Zedd. I remember when techno was new.

Still, I persist until I find the right button–and some fitness diva starts excitedly voicing words like “plyo.”

I enter an alternate sphere of focus and energy, of strength and life. I jump, I squat, I curl, I lunge. I plank longer than I’ve ever planked before today. I am gaining strength.

I’ve been working more consistently for about two months now, and my body is responding. My yoga pants fit better, and my heart is happy.

My arms…well, they still need some work. But my core and legs are getting stronger.

How do I know? Well, while doing the “Cha-Cha Slide” recently, Mr. C asked me how low I could go…& I could go all the way to the floor.

And this girl knew her strength training was actually working! 🙂

I’ll Tell You What I Want…

The red lines on the clock form themselves into numbers I can read.  7:58 a.m.  The kiddos are off to school, husband at work, and I walk to the computer, move the mouse to the Spotify icon at the bottom left corner of the screen.  I have to think about which side it is since I still don’t know my left from right without thinking consciously about it.

I scroll through playlists, and a title on my daughter’s list catches my eye.

Less than a minute later, I feel the cold tile under my bare toes scraping back and forth as I do jumping jacks.  And I’m singing along….

I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want.

My arms are burning (from yesterday’s arm workout) each time my hands sweep over my head and I want to cry.  Instead I yell….

So tell me what you want, what you really, really want.

I continue to the chorus as my body yells for me to stop, but I keep jumping and counting and singing and up and down and counting and yelling.

What in heaven’s name is a “zig-a-zig-a” anyway?  I don’t care.  I just keep moving.  Down to the floor for push ups.  I yell the mocking words that are echoing in my brain that someone recently said to me, “Before trying more advanced moves, maybe you should learn to do a regular push up first.”

I laugh to myself, and my shoulders buckle underneath me, screaming inside my skin.  I can almost hear them.  The weights I take in my hand pull me lower, lower, harder, stronger, but I lift them anyway; I raise them higher and longer and more than I ever have.

I drop to the floor, put my hands down to support me, and walk my feet up the wall for a handstand.  Tighten abs, I tell myself as I try to hang on for one more second.

A new voice half-sings, half-raps over the speakers about fish in the sea, and I am back on the tile with more jumping jacks.  Sting.  Ow.  Keep going.  A few more minutes.  You can do this.  (The endorphins must be kicking in somehow….)

Drop for another set of push ups.  More jumping jacks.  Squats.  Punches.  Punches with squats.  And I’m yelling with Hot Chelle Rae about a “really, really messed up week.”  I can relate to that line.  And I’m punching harder, and my shoulders are still on fire as my legs threaten to crumble underneath me, landing me in a pile of ruin like the photos of Pompeii I saw in grade school.

Maybe I should give my body a break….

Nope, to the rug for abs.  Crunch, one-two-three-four-five, (suck it in), seven-eight-nine, (watch your neck), ten-eleven, (dang, I forgot to pray for Dad this morning).  I holler an audible prayer through labored inhales and exhales in time with the crunches and lose count.  Bicycling until my abs are screaming.  I hope I can move tomorrow…or even later today.

One more shoulder move…one more song.

I know how I “Wannabe.”