Friday, February 3, 2012

Oh my aching. . .

EVERYTHING!  Seriously people - there is not a part of my body that is NOT hurting now, or has hurt over the past almost three weeks!  Who knew there were so many muscles in this body of mine?  Pretty sure most of them haven't been used in a very long time!

I was prepared to work hard, to sweat and to "feel the burn".  What I wasn't prepared for was that the "burn" was actually a raging inferno of molten lava that continues to flow even after you have stopped working out.  In fact - it burns more the next day!  I vaguely remember this from exercising in my former life, but honestly, it's like childbirth - you forget after a while and get tricked into doing it again!

My kids think it is hilarious that I come home and moan when I go up and down the stairs ( thanks Christina - the 100 squats we did today feel just great!), or that passing the dinner plate is an Olympic event with forearms that ache hours after my training (my forearms, for goodness sake - who has a pain the forearm???!!!)  I even got a few emails and messages from friends concerned about my general level of health and the fact that all this pain couldn't possibly be good for me ( plus the spin pictures convinced a few members of my family that I was about to have a heart attack at my next class!)

So, in the interests of science ( and too much time spent on the computer ), I did a little research and found that there is even a scientific explanation for this post workout lava flow of fire - Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. DOMS describes a phenomenon of muscle pain, muscle soreness or muscle stiffness that occurs in the day or two after exercise. This muscle soreness is most frequently felt when you begin a new exercise program, change your exercise routine, or dramatically increase the duration or intensity of your exercise routine. ( do I sound like I know what I am talking about yet? )

Although it can be alarming for new exercisers ( and apparently their friends and family!!!), delayed onset muscle soreness is a normal response to unusual exertion and is part of an adaptation process that leads to greater stamina and strength as the muscles recover and build hypertrophy).  So, all this misery is a normal part of becoming fit - I can see why they don't tell you THAT when you begin!

But really, despite all my complaining, I feel really, really good.  Yes, it hurts.  Yes, there are days when I am so happy to see the bath full of lavender epsom salts that I literally cry with relief when I step in.  But I am so happy to be feeling every muscle from doing something positive for myself, instead of being stiff and sore because I sat on the couch for four hours watching crap and eating other crap.  I actually - wait for it - feel like an athlete - and I take pride in complaining to other people at the gym about what hurts today!! ( Misery really does love company!)

So when you hear my complaining, or whining, or looking like a 90 year old with severe arthritis, please know that my body, and my mind, are just adjusting to this crazy new road of fitness that I am on.  I am really ok, and I am really proud of how I am improving each day.

But still give me sympathy - I really like sympathy.  After all, I did a hundred squats today, and my butt is really, really sore.


Annet said...

I can sympathise. This is actually hard to type because my arms are so sore this afternoon! who knew, huh? And yet we keep going back for more!!

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