Well, what a week.
I mean, for me…it wasn’t that big of a deal, or anything. Not compared to the week our country has had. But, for me it was simply a much needed good kick in the butt. Who knew I was flexible enough to do that to myself?
It was a figurative kick in the butt.
I came back from the gym all high on endorphins last Friday and tapped out the first of what looks like a 52 entry commitment – from the guy who couldn’t successfully complete a tryptich blog entry. It surprised me how much input that first installment received across all of my social outlets.
The support was motivating.
I am happy to report that I was able to complete my accountabilities last week, returning to the gym to lift the next day and even making it through an hour-long session of cardio during the week. But it was a much more cathartic and ever so slightly entertaining week than just accomplishing those goals.
As I mentioned, Saturday I made it back to the gym – after coffee with the Silver Fox, natch – and did back, biceps and legs. A good follow up to the prior day of chest, abs and triceps. I’ve always enjoyed splitting my workouts up by muscle groups or push/pull rotations. If I did full body workouts, back to back gym days would be inadvisable. The whole goal of this fitfy adventure isn’t to bulk up so much as get fit (aka: trim some of the fat) and get comfortable with the white ape looking back at me in the mirror every day.
He’s so judgy.
Splitting up my lifting days by muscle group will just allow me to go to the gym more frequently to lift versus going and plugging into a cardio machine, something I still hesitate to overdo because of my knee. That said, getting out of bed at 3 am on Sunday morning for work was…a reminder of both why I need to do this and why I dread doing this.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.
My poor chesticles. I was a little stiff in the back, which isn’t entirely abnormal after a good 8 hours of sleep, but my chest.
Raising my arm to pull back the shower curtain and then again to wash my hair?
It felt like fire.
It was awesome. Crippling, but in an awesome way.
To add to the delight of rising early Sunday morning for work, the Silver Fox and I had indulged in some Chinese food for dinner the night before to celebrate the Lunar New Year. To say it was a tasty treat was to downplay the yum factor of a food I don’t indulge in too often…generally eschewing the walk to Old Town/Chinatown to get my Golden Horse for the walk down the stairs of my building to get some Thai.
The added delight? A Make So Good hangover. One that had me up to use the bathroom and hydrate myself three times during the night.
But, by Monday afternoon, it was all pretty well settled. The DOMS and the MSG hangover…luckily Monday wasn’t leg day, though. No need to tempt fate. Recovery after a workout is motivating in and of itself. So, Monday afternoon I leave work and go to the gym.
I hate Mondays at the the gym. Pretty much Tuesdays, too. Everyone is there paying for their weekend sins. I hadn’t had any – aside from the Chinese Food Fiasco – this particular weekend since I was in bed between 7 and 8 both nights so I was particularly not looking forward to the Monday/Tuesday gym bunnies. The gym starts getting busy by 3 those days and I was aiming to get there before it got really bad at 6. The Fox had planned to go at 3:30, but when I told him I was leaving work at a reasonable time and planned on getting to the gym at around 4:30, he decided to wait and go with me.
It wasn’t too busy when we arrived.
You know, this Silver Fox guy…never late. Definitely never late. Usually because he’s early. So when I tell him my plans, I can usually expect him to follow up in what would be considered timely if it weren’t so preemptive. At 2:35-ish, I get a text that says, “I’m dressed for the gym”, which of course I have to respond to with the observation that he’s just gonna be chilling in his gym clothes for two hours.
Alas, this is The Fox’s way.
So, I’m completely unsurprised to get another text at 3:45 saying, “You must be getting close to home”. Yeah, yeah…sure, sure. I was, but I was also writing a blog on my way home, so I had back burnered my bestie and put him on mute while I finished it up.
Like I said, though…we arrived at the gym at 4:01 on an original E.T.A. of 4:30, so I forgive myself.
That earlier arrival was still not early enough to merit two cardio machines next to each other. He likes the traditional treadmill and I prefer this machine that kind of reminds me of that hydraulic lifter that Ripley uses to fight the Alien queen in Aliens. Well, but for the legs.
We have an unmatched pair that we can usually get together, but not today.
It was really fine, though, that machine is a little more stressful on my knee than I wanted to endure, so I grabbed an elliptical. I was surprised by how well I performed after a long break. The hardest part of cardio for me is usually shutting my brain down for an entire hour. I’ve never figured out how people actually read while working out on an elliptical, so I am stuck listening to music and watching whatever is on TV without and sound. It’s hard to not get bored.
And watching everyone else exercise.
My heel started aching in the final 10-15 minutes, but otherwise, it was a nice, successful 5 mile and 600-ish calorie return to cardio. The next day was my acupuncture day, so I felt like I could make it past the heel pain. In addition to my acupuncture to treat my general decrepitness, I’ve been trying out a pill that is an herbal blend that reduces lower body pain. I had been off of those for a full week and figured that they could be a useful crutch as I transition my body out of healing mode and into a more active mode. Ironically, I was shoving this cardio session down my own throat simply because I wanted something to bridge the days between working out on my days off. I walk a frantically paced 5-8 miles a day at work, so I get my cardio unofficially in on a weekly basis. But my heart fitness and waistline don’t particularly match up, so more equals not worse in this case.
After the gym, The Fox declares he’s going to the Safeway to get some stuff for dinner. I tag along, but only after lamenting that I hadn’t brought my wallet with me. He promises to front me, so I tag along intent on getting some chicken for dinner.
I go butt wild while we are there. I’ve been resist-attempting to take my lunch to work. I started at the new year – the other one, not the lunar one – with salads, but ended up eating them for dinner the night before and buying lunch at the airport. Still, I was eating salad. At Safeway, I decided to take a page out of my boss’ book and try taking a sandwich.
I end up owing The Fox $60, which I discovered last night he has forgotten about.
Tuesday morning I spring out of bed like a near 50 year old who thinks he’s 30 and get to work by 6. It’s a close call…my 6 o’clock mornings start at 5 am and are pretty much a carefully timed routine that gets me reasonably presentable and on the 5:39 Max to the airport. I call them my 6 o’clock mornings, but I get there at 6:10.
The amazing part of this isn’t that I managed to cram some barely competent sandwich making into the 39 minutes between my alarm going off and hearing “The doors are closing” on the Max…it’s that the 5 minutes that took had reduced my normally fast paced 9 block morning walk that I allow ten minutes for to a frantic and awkward 6 minute jog.
Which, of course I bragged about to my Needle Man that evening.
So, here I am…telling him that I’m working out, eating slightly better and experiencing much less pain. Actually able to jog, FFS. I think he was proud of one of us.
Wednesday begins much the same, but my sandwich making game is much improved. A moot matter of pride given that my boss declared he was taking his assistants out to lunch that day.
Fat, old Xtopher can knuckle down when the going gets tough. I managed to keep it to a respectfully packed two plates. Plus, I could eat my sandwiches on Thursday.
Speaking of Thursday…not to brag, but I had a kombucha.
I don’t know what’s come over me.
Kombucha is a pretty tough sell for this E.O.G. guy. After trying it and absolutely hating it ten years ago and then watching Rib make it in our kitchen when we lived together…well, I come by my lack of enthusiasm pretty honestly. Despite the olfactory flashbacks to smelling the fermentation happening in our kitchen and seeing the floating “mother” in our fridge and assorted kitchen cabinets as Rib moved his concoction from place to place, I suspect just to catch me off guard, I graciously forced myself to try another ‘buch last summer…and liked it.
When I showed up on Thursday to one of our vendors bringing in samples from the same brand that I had tried last summer, I figured it was a safe endeavor. It was a different blend, but still drinkable.
And did I die?
Not all week.
Only 50 to go…I guess that makes this T-minus 50 to 50, eh?