So if you read my last post, you’ll know I’m on a mission to lose the chub, that I discovered Mel Bomba’s Motion Fitness and that I’m hooked!
I awoke the morning after that first class, frozen in pain. My muscles hurt so badly. The next day they were even worse. By day three, I was feeling totally despondent that my new fitness regime was over before it’d even started! And I’d only used the very lightest weights and no weights at all for half the exercises! I felt like a total lost cause and was worried I’d actually damaged my muscles, so I googled muscle ache.
I discovered that increasing muscle pain that occurs 24-48 hours after exercise is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) and it’s totally normal, even athletes get it sometimes. Basically, all those squats and bicep curls had caused microscopic tears in my muscles and that, plus the accompanying inflammation, was causing the pain. The good news is that apparently as the muscles heal they actually get stronger and better able to perform the exercises next time. So in fact this is a healthy start, rather than an abrupt end to my fitness career. Yay!
So, rather than gliding straight into three classes a week, due the the muscle pain, I managed only one class the first week, two the second week, and then settled into three a week (which felt GREAT!) right up until we headed by to the UK two months later, to catch up with friends and family over the summer. I purposely did not try dieting or anything else during this time, but I still saw a difference and I just ‘felt’ so much better! The sense of achievement I got from getting to a place where I could actually follow the whole routine AND use the hand & leg weights (albeit the dinky ones) AND not feel sore the next day, was immense!
This fitness challenge has made me realise, if you want to improve at anything, put yourself amongst people who are already where you want to be. Just being around them will pull you up to their level. Its the opposite of don’t compare yourself to others, in a way. If you avoid situations or people because they make you feel anxious, you will never get over that anxiety and you have to remember we ARE all equal. So get over it. Push through the fear, because honestly, no-one else gives a toss what you’re doing, they’re too busy worrying about their own thunder thighs / crazy hair / strangely shaped toes / sticky out ears / whatever their own insecurities are to notice yours.
I did feel ridiculous that first class, in amongst all these models and gym bunnies, but I quickly got over it. The repetition of just having a go, again and again, guarantees that over time, it WILL get easier and ends up being no biggie and now I feel like I have every right to be in that class…at least I did, until I went home for the summer, did zero exercise for eight weeks and consumed my own body weight in cream teas, fish suppers, Sunday roasts, smelly cheeses and fine wines! But that’s another blog post.
I’d love to hear if you’ve ever had this stop / start experience with getting fit (or any new activity) and what helped you get over those early hurdles and turn it into a regular habit.
Thanks so much for reading.
(for further info on DOMS see http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=52151 )