I’m writing this late at night, a couple hours after coming home from a great night at the gym. It was great because I lifted weights for the first time since December 7th – almost exactly one month ago.
It was on December 8th that I went for a run around my neighborhood – a run that resulted in me tripping and taking a nasty spill on the sidewalk, resulting in a scrape on my elbow that still hasn’t fully healed, and a much more painful injury… a bruised rib. Perhaps I cracked a rib. I’m not really sure.
Whatever it was, it was excruciating painful for most of that week. The pain had mostly died down one week later, when I foolishly went to the gym and promptly aggravated the injury within seconds of laying down on a bench press. Dumb.
This time around, I played it safe. That aggravation happened on December 16th, and I haven’t even thought about lifting weights until the latter part of last week. I’ve kept busy doing cardio. Lots and lots of cardio. Miles and miles on the low-impact recumbent bike while the injury was still fresh. Then, as the pain went away, I started running (in Mexico!), and since coming back from my trip, I’ve been going berserk on ellipticals and ARC trainers, too.
On Thursday, I went and took one of Richard Simmons’ classes at Slimmons. I hadn’t seen Richard in almost a month, thanks to the holidays, his schedule, and my aforementioned rib injury. It was a really fun class, with lots of new people in attendance (thank you, new years resolutions), including one of the stars of Grey’s Anatomy, who was there in a big group with family and friends.
If you wanna know what one of Richard’s classes is like, check out this post. Near the end of class, there’s 5-10 minutes of toning with free weights. I grabbed lighter weights than I typically grab (10 pounds instead of 12), and promised myself I’d put them down the second I felt discomfort in my chest and rib area. But that never happened. I felt no pain or unpleasantness whatsoever.
It was because that went so well that I felt ready for a full-on weightlifting workout. I gave myself a couple days to mull it over (and did cardio on Friday and Saturday), had my first rest day of 2014 on Sunday, and, a few hours ago, headed to the weights section of my gym.
I laid a couple ground rules for myself, for safety’s sake:
- Very light weights, only.
- Stop immediately if there’s pain or discomfort around my rib.
- Stop after 30 minutes. No need to push myself too hard the first time out.
In those 30 minutes, I managed to work my chest, back, shoulders, and arms. I stuck to my rules and went nice and slow and easy. I kept reminding myself that when I initially crashed and fell on the sidewalk, the pain didn’t strike until the next day, so even if I felt fine in the moment, I should resist upping the weights or reps until I’m sure, 24 hours later, that I didn’t aggravate anything again.
Lifting weights felt good, and I was hyper-aware of my body, which is a good thing when you’re lifting weights. And then I augmented my workout with 20 minutes on the elliptical.
Later this week, I’m going to hit the weights again and focus on my lower body. Provided that goes well (and I’m hoping it does), I’m thinking that next week I can ramp back up to 3 weightlifting workouts a week (in addition to 4 cardio workouts), which is what I did for most of the summer and fall.
My next post will be about food… and will feature the return of a Keep It Up, David regular feature than I haven’t done in months. PLUS, stay tuned! I’m gearing up to make a couple big, exciting announcements – and I might be able to make of them later this week!
Keep it up, David!