Thursday, April 21, 2011

A New Me, Part 1: Ready, Set, Go!

For the majority of my life I've been in chronic pain. My joints and muscles complain for no reason at all, some days to the point that the thought of running errands or carrying my portfolio is daunting. I've been told it was due to lack of exercise, which I know to be false as even at my height of physical fitness when I was in Marching Band, running every other day and horseback riding, my joint issues were present.

Over the years, a combination of injury (I have a damaged rotator cuff in my right arm) and my pain has led me to become less and less active. My right arm is practically useless save for fine motor skills. I can't run any distance. I can't easily lift more than 20 pounds. I feel useless.

So, I'm going to change it. Despite my chronic pain, my frustration with being physically weak has gotten to the point where I need to do something about it. So, I am starting a new workout regiment to prep for starting running this summer. I'm starting with this no equipment needed workout that I can do in my room. The article recommends doing the routine 2 nonconsecutive days a week, but I desperately need to push. So I'm aiming to do the workout at least 4 days a week (on track to doing it, at least in part, every day). I'm starting not even doing the entire routine, limiting myself strictly to the 20 minute time block and only doing what I can in that period of time. I am also only doing 2 sets of each workout so that I can maximize the muscle groups worked during those 20 minutes. The goal is to get some toning and prep my large muscle groups for running, as well as raise my heart rate for those 20 minutes.

Once the semester ends, I have a week before I am going to my parent's place for a few days then returning to do a studio intensive for two weeks. Total (including this week) this gives me about 3 weeks to prep and ramp up my cardio before starting running once I go down to my parents. After that, My goal is to run at least 3 days a week to start, using this starter guide to get me up to my goal.

I've set what feel to me like reasonable goals for the end of the summer: run a mile in 10 minutes or less, and be able to do at least 10 reps with a 10 pound weight with both arms (particularly my right arm). I don't want to be a noodle any more. It's not the weight I'm worried about, it's ability. I used to be so fit! I was a badass! My ability to own my male friends in physical contest (other than brute strength) was renowned. I'm not that person any more. I don't have that body any more. I realize that I will never have my body from high school back, but I realize that it is not unrealistic to aim for the same level of fitness I used to have. I have not gained all that much weight since then, I've just lost muscle.

I will keep this series going with periodic updates on my status through the summer. Here I go!

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