Monday, January 07, 2008

Belly Up

I cried.

For the first time in my training, I cried. In a sniveling heap of exhausted, frustrated, and defeated form. Even my reflection in the mirror leaning up against the basement wall said the same thing.

Balled like a sissy for about two minutes.


God damned knee ins. To be specific, the stability ball knee in exercise. Or my third ring of hell.

I've made a goal this year to increase my overall -- and especially my core -- strength. No chance of winning if I'm a squishy mess out there on the bike. If I don't get the chance to be small, I'm at least going to be strong.

So the Elf has added what's needed -- two big sessions a week of strength and ab/core work. And my session last Friday reduced me to tears.

Give me a weight and I'll lift it. Give me a count of crunches and I'll do 'em. Even give me a plank time and I'll grunt my way through it.

Give me a stability ball and I'll look like a monkey humping a greased football.


When you don't have a lot of upper body strength (yet), then it's hard to keep the top of your body up properly so you can focus on your legs. When your core strength is in the range of pathetic (so far), you can get easily distracted my your legs that continually come crashing down on the carpet, pointedly on your sore knees. Oh...and when you can barely find the "stable" button on your stability ball (yet) and you struggle to get through 5 of the assigned 20...

...well, that's when you find yourself on the floor, rug burned and crying.

Defeated. Deflated. Disappointed.

I was an instable ball of D's.

Mighty M heard me from upstairs and came down to help. He told me to get up and show him what I was trying that made me cry. So I did. And he helped me by spotting my legs so I could finish a few of the reps without crashing down. And he encouraged me by counting out loud and forcing his words through my disappointment.

I didn't get all 20. But I did get a set of 5, then a set of 8, and then 5 more.

You see, for the first time in a while, I wasn't very good at doing something. In the past years I've gained at least a passable proficiency of all three sports -- just hand me the gear and opportunity and I can swim, bike and run.

And I got a little complacent with that.

So when I was going through this strength session and encountered something that was so far outside of my comfort zone, I didn't know what to do. All of a sudden I couldn't, and I wasn't used to that. I wasn't comfortable being crappy at something.

So I pitched a fit, just like any 34 year old adult would do. (Right?)

It ended quickly, but it was a great lesson. I can't forget...

This is going to hurt.

Getting better isn't easy or everyone would do it.

New skills must be acquired through pain and effort.

It's been a while since this has been really driven home with me. Perhaps it's because I want it so much now. Perhaps it's because I'm getting better in all the other avenues that I'm becoming blase about my own abilities.

There is a silver lining, at least. Last night I returned to the carpet in the basement for another hour of lifting, crunching, grunting and balancing on the ball. And I still struggle with anything that requires me to be balanced. But I'm getting a little better. And I suspect that will continue, as long as I keep going back, regardless of rug burned elbows and bruised knees.

The Elf calls it eating the pain. And I guess that's what's on the menu for this winter. Time to belly up at the table and get some grub.


21stCenturyMom said...

I hate to admit this but eating the pain and getting stronger is probably much better than eating the cookies and getting fatter. It just isn't as much fun at first and then it is more fun. Way more fun.

Carry on!

Stef said...

This sounds really good to me, keep it up! I wasted so much energy last year focusing on how uncomfortable I felt being crappy at something (in my case the swim). No More!

This attitude and hard work is what is going to make you a winner this season! You will be so ready, maybe more ready than you even thought possible?!

LBTEPA said...

My tummy hurt just looking at that video

Anonymous said...

That is my goal too - a better core, a stronger body all round really, a more able athlete. I love reading your blog page, it is inspirational - you work so hard..... keep at it.

Mommymeepa said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. It really helped me think about some things in my own life. Thanks again and keep up the great work.

ShirleyPerly said...

Yup, those are tough but it sounds like you've hit the nail on the head. Just keep at it. You'll look back on this a year from now and laugh, I'm sure of it.

Tea said...

umm yea, hate those things. I got just as frustrated this morning doing that one arm balance've probably done it.

I think those exercises are more for the enjoyment of those watching. Thank goodness I can do them at home and NOT at the gym.

TxTriSkatemom said...

ugh. my trainer-bitch made me do those. Before she graduated, changed gyms and left me trainer-less. I miss her.

Note to self -- call gym and get replacements trainer-bitch (or trainer-bastard, I'm not particular).

I always SWEAR I'm going to crash onto my face doing those.