Monday, September 12th, 2011

tumblingdays: Post-It Note that says "Walk Around the House Like a Fucking Champion" (defiance)
This morning I accomplished something really challenging at the gym. I've been working toward being able to do planks, which require a good deal of core strength. They are not easy. If you've never seen the exercise, here is an image: http://cdn.womenshealthmag.com/files/images/0905-poster-side-plank.preview.jpg. Not me. I think eventually you straighten out the bottom arm, but I am definitely not there yet, and with my arthritic shoulder may never be. Still, I can do this pose for 30 seconds on each side, with a 30 second basic plank in the middle. (Another image that isn't me: http://www.fithacker.com/images/plank.jpg.)

I was sitting up after the second set of these thinking, "How in the hell can a minute and a half be that LONG?!?!" when my personal trainer said, "There. Wasn't that worth it?" And I realized that holy shit, I just did a full set of planks without giving up, without my body giving out, without falling down, without losing my breath! Holy shit.

I've been working toward incremental improvements in fitness for so very long that I had forgotten when I first started working out that I was proud when I broke 10 seconds on the basic plank and that I couldn't even get my hips off the ground to do a side plank. Here I am, poo-pooing at my minute and a half, and it is SO MUCH farther than I've ever been. Even better, those planks were just a stop in the middle of circuit. There were weights and crunches and rows going on.

I don't regret that I've opted for incremental fitness. I don't know anyone who wouldn't love to get fit really quickly, but that's not realistic. This process- where I set small (very small) incremental goals and then meet them and then set a new goal- is much more effective than any get fit scheme I've seen. Sometimes my new goal is related, sometimes I get bored and do something completely different. Some goals just get sidetracked- earlier this year I got a wild hair to learn how to do cartwheels and after falling often I moved on without ever really getting it right. Permission to simply fail and move on is part of the plan.

On another note, I finished Chapter two of Women Food and God without any new insight. Chapter three gave me A LOT to digest. I plan to re-read it and blog about it later. It merits some consideration.

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