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Just Call Me Heather Kent

February 5, 2010

The confessions continue [I’ve noticed a theme on the blog lately];
I like a routine.  I like to be sporadic as well, but I really love a plan.  Especially when it includes a list.  Even more especially if I am able to complete the list, crossing one item off after another.

A few hours before I leave for the gym each day, I make two specific post-its.  One is a 4×4 inch lined super sticky note.  The top of the post it says “cardio.”    The other is a 3×3 super sticky note.  The top of this post it says “strength.”  I make my lists.  My post-its for today, for example, said the following:

CARDIO:
Willpower & Grace class
15 min – elliptical, level 15-1; 1 min each
15 min – arc trainer
5K speed training intervals – 2% incline:
    4 mph warm up – 5 min
    7.5 mph – 2 min
    5 mph – 1 min
    4 mph – 2 min
    [repeat x 4]
    3.5 mph cool down– 5 min

STRENGTH:
3 sets – 12 reps: dumbells
alternating curls – 15lbs
chest press – 40 lbs
one-arm rows – 12.5 lbs
Triceps Extensions – 20 lbs
Lat Raises – 12.5 lbs
Shrugs – 50 lbs

I then take my post-its with me to the gym.  I especially love when I’m on the treadmill and I notice the person next to me trying to figure out all my abbreviations without falling off their track. Hilarity.

I love my post-it plans. Sometimes they are as full of cardio and strength wonderfulness as today’s plan was and sometimes they are a lot simpler.  [once, my cardio plan said: run.  my strength plan said: go to sleep.]  A lot of the days I am at the gym, I am pleased to cross off everything on the lists.  Some days, however, I have found myself walking to the locker room before I’ve completed every task.  The problem arises when I leave the gym feeling unaccomplished and disappointed.  You would think that this would happen when I fold out early, but oddly- that’s not exactly the case. 

The thing is, it doesn’t matter HOW much I set out to do, or how much is actually done- I RARELY leave the gym feeling like I had a successful workout.  Even when I do MORE than what I had planned for the day, I often find myself looking into the mirror after I get home and wondering what more I could do.  THIS IS A PROBLEM.  I know this. I recognize this. I understand this. I’m only slightly ashamed and embarrassed to admit this.

I’ve been trying to listen to my body.  When I know I need to rest, I rest.  This past Sunday, I knew my body needed recovery, and I stayed home skipping my gym trip.  This week, though, I feel like i need to “catch up”.  Thanks to last week’s busy schedule I only had two nights of workouts – one at the gym, and one in my living room.  Because of this, something in me continued to make me feel I needed to do more

I should have read this first.
Oh how I relate! As Ange points out in this informative post, I don’t need to be a superwoman, because I am a super woman.  I remember reading posts by Ange and Caitlin in the past few months which had discussed Superwoman Syndrome and after tonight’s experience at the gym, I knew I needed to look more into it. 

This morning at work, I started to feel ill. I couldn’t pinpoint pain or specific syndromes, I just didn’t feel myself.  I felt “gross”.  As the day went on, I didn’t feel better or worse, but at about 4:30 PM, I started to get really excited about my workout.  I took an accidental nap Wednesday night which led me to skip my gym trip and any kind of workout.  I was determined to make it up tonight and was looking forward to leaving the gym feeling satisfied.  I had been thinking about my lack of satisfaction with my workouts during the day and had decided that it was a mental battle and I would tackle that today. 

I got to the gym with my post-its ready.  I started with an awesome arm lifting session before my 6:15 Willpower & Grace class.  When Willpower & Grace started, I felt my stomach start to flip.  About half way through, I noticed that my heart was racing.  I stepped out of my lunges and took a few seconds to get a sip of water, refocus my breathing and went back to work.  A few minutes later, I started getting a bit dizzy and noticed my heart was still racing at an abnormal pace for the class.  I took another few seconds and started again.  Not much longer I walked to the back of the room and leaned up against the wall- I was so dizzy that I didn’t feel I could stand on my own. 

Apparently I couldn’t stand with the help of the wall, either: I blacked out.  When I came too I was on the floor, in a bit of a heap.  Yes, I fainted.  Fainting in fitness class may trump boarding the wrong airplane for most embarrassing moment I’ve brought onto myself.

When I was brought to the locker room, I noticed that my face was pale, which I found especially odd since I am usually more red than a tomato within 5 minutes of any kind of workout.  I ate some power bar gel bites, rested for a bit and talked myself out of running.  I really wanted to do the speed workout tonight, but I knew it would have been a bad idea.  Once I felt well enough, I left the gym and headed home for dinner and resting.

I want to do a better job of listening to what my body is telling me, before, during and after a work out. 
I want to learn how to appreciate each workout for what it is. 
I want to stop leaving the gym and feeling like I should do more. 
I want to keep enjoying fitness, but without fainting.  And without doubting that I am doing enough.  
I want to make healthy, intelligent decisions for my body.

Julie and I had a discussion tonight about learning how to read your body during workouts.  We both agree there is a fine line between pushing through and finishing strong and needing to take a step back.  What do you think? [all advice, greatly appreciated. I honestly know this is something that I NEED to change.  It’s not healthy for me to constantly think I need to do more. one part of my brain says “150 minutes is a long workout!” but the other part says “do more!” ]

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. abbynormally permalink
    February 5, 2010 10:42 am

    Miss Kent, I agree. Listening to your body is uber important. If I was good at this, I would not have run the half marathon and therefore spared myself a stress fracture.

    However, boarding the wrong plane still wins. 🙂

    • February 5, 2010 12:42 pm

      I think I have to agree with Abby on this one… boarding the wrong plane trumps fainting in class…

  2. February 5, 2010 1:39 pm

    I agree with Abby. Boarding the wrong plane is the best, because it was an intentional but simultaneously unintentional act. 🙂

  3. Sweet and Fit permalink
    February 7, 2010 4:31 pm

    learning to listen to your body can be sooo hard! its difficult when you want to push yourself but don’t want to overdue it. I always have a hard time telling when I am overtired and when I am just being lazy – gluck with this!

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