A little perspective

I think I need some perspective, and sometimes perspective works better when I write it down.

I joined the gym on or around February 4.

At that time, I thought a good workout was walking on the treadmill for 20 minutes at about 2.8 mph, and maybe trying the bike for ten minutes. On a very low resistance. The first step class I did, I nearly died, using just the step with no risers, and I was the youngest in the class by at least two to three decades.

The first time I had a session with Shawn, it was half an hour long, I was winded the entire time, I could barely do any of the exercises that didn't involve a machine, and seriously thought I might die.

My first cardio program involved intervals running for one minute and walking for two minutes. I made it through five intervals before I was too tired to keep going.

This is where I was at around, give or take, the end of February.

It's now the first of May. A little over eight weeks later.

I'm now one of the more advanced students in our step class. I use two risers every week, even when my knee is bothering me, and add the extra difficulty to steps where possible (I'm not as good as amazing step-class girl who I always set up beside and try to copy because she is just OMG amazing, but I made friendly overtures to her last week, and I think she's going to show me some of her even more advanced steps). It's rare for me to get tired or have to take a break outside of the class breaks, and I'm more often pushing myself to get more out of it.

My *warm-up* now is a 3.8-4.0 mph walk on the treadmill. As in, this is how fast I have to be moving to get my resting heart rate up 100-110 bpm. If I'm looking for an exertional cardio workout, I start at 4.0 mph and start adding some pretty significant incline. For 30-40 minutes. Or hit one of the other machines - the elliptical is a good workout. Or the Stairmaster. Burned 300 calories in 20 minutes last night on that thing.

Given a choice on cardio, I'd rather run. My last set of intervals, I was running six minute intervals, with a one minute recovery. I got in five intervals before I decided to back off. And this was after a training session with Shawn.

Most of my training sessions with Shawn, I'm now telling him, "I'm not as tired as I usually am," or "I'm really not played out yet," instead of the "Good God, I'm going to die," I used to tell him. He's pushing to make sessions harder and add exercises rather than modifying them because I can't complete them.

The program I struggled with Monday night would have been absolutely out of my reach a month ago.

The numbers the scale has been so stubbornly dancing around all week are still the lowest I've seen in the past decade.

These are the things I need to keep in perspective.

Last night was a really good workout, and yet, I was still letting Monday's workout play in my head. That was, until Shawn got a full look at what my family has deemed "laser eyes" and had the predictable reaction.

I was born with congenital cataracts. It was thought they'd never cause a problem - it was thought incorrectly, apparently. Last fall, I had two surgeries to have the cataracts removed and have intraocular implants put in their place. Yes, my eyes are actually fake. Well, part of them anyway. Now, if I tilt my head at just the right angle to the light, the light will bounce across the front of the implant and make it appear, for a minute, as if I have no pupil. My father has deemed this phenomenon "laser eyes." And yes, it is as creepy as it sounds. And yes, it freaks people out.

And yes, it freaked Shawn out for a minute (who, as a responsible personal trainer, is well aware of my medical history with regards to the surgery, but was not aware of this phenomenon with the implants). And then we spent the next hour making X-Men jokes. It was great.

So, I'm trying really hard today to keep Monday, and everything, in perspective. I've decided I am going to be honest with Shawn and tell him why I was in such a foul mood yesterday (I did tell him I had just been on edge all day, which wasn't untrue). One, he is very good at being a external reminder not to be so hard on myself, and two, I pride myself on being honest and forthright. I think this whole thing just works better that way. And I have no problem admitting when I'm just being an asshat. And I was definitely being an asshat.

I'm playing with my training schedule a bit this week, and training tonight, then taking tomorrow off. And as a reward for enlightening myself to my asshattery, I'm totally going to do 30-40 minutes on the treadmill tonight. Because enlightenment like that deserves a reward.


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