I’m sorry it took me so long to get back here. I was at the gym.
Just for you to know a little more about me and what I do on a daily basis: I really enjoy the gym. I don’t mean, like, cardio. I hate cardio. I mean dumbbells and barbells.
I’ve always been into fitness and working out but not really to this extent. I played softball in high school so, there’s that. But once high school was over, I wanted to make sure I didn’t gain the “freshman 15” so I started running. I hated it. But I did it until my high school closed the track off to people who didn’t go to school there. At that point I just kind of stopped. I didn’t really do any fitness stuff and I was too self conscious to go into a gym yet. I know a gym is where you go to better yourself but my thought process makes sense, I promise.
During my last 2 years of college, I got back into working out but I just used machines. I did 15 minutes on an elliptical and then did legs or arms on whatever day I had assigned them to. After I graduated, I got a gym membership at a gym close to my house and I did a thing where I woke up every morning...
That’s 5:30am and I was at the gym by 6. I did an hour on the stationary bike and did some machines for another hour. I did this for that summer (aka last summer) (aka the summer of 2017). My argument was that I had to ride a bike to class everyday and my legs had gotten smaller and I wanted to keep them that way. But since I didn’t HAVE to do that anymore, what was I to do??? Answer: stationary bike and watch an episode of something on Netflix.
Once The Barn was finished, it was harder to go to bed at 9pm because all of my music stuff was there and begging me to use it. So I started staying up until 3 or 4am and not going to the gym. For a second I was kind of disappointed in myself because I had grown to love waking up before the sun rose. It feels like the mountains that early in the morning. (I love the mountains). I missed feeling that but it was so hard to compromise my creativity at night just so I could wake up really really early. So I didn’t.
I kind of half way went to the gym starting in August and I was introduced to dumbbells and barbells. Deadlifts and squats and bench presses! Oh my! It was intimidating at first because I’m naturally a competitive person and I just wanted to be the strongest girl right off the bat but that’s not how it works. That’s not how anything works. But then I remembered “you’re not here for them, you’re here for you.” And that’s how I stopped comparing myself to other people in the gym.
It didn’t really click for me at first because I didn’t feel like I was really doing anything super impressive. But then I realized that I was. I was stepping out of my comfort zone and doing something I had never done before but had always wanted to do. Basically, I have now expanded my comfort zone.
It took me about a month or 2 to be super serious about fitness. So, I was KIND OF into it in August. And then September rolled around and I was like, “meh, I want to but... routine...” and then October became a different story.
I wasn’t so self conscious walking past the machines to go to the free weights anymore. I had kind of gotten into more of a routine and I knew what I was supposed to be doing and how to do it. Since then, I have worked out AT LEAST 4-5 days a week. But if I missed a day, it was okay because it’s always better to listen to your body and rest when needed than to run it to exhaustion.
My most recent PRs (Personal Record) include:
Deadlift: 220 lbs
Bench: 185 lbs
Squat: 200 lbs
I just recently hit my bench press PR and honestly, I had no idea I could do it until I did it. I prefer to not add up the weight I’m about to lift until after I have lifted it. That way I’m not psyching myself out. Of course, I always have a spotter when I’m PRing on bench.
All of this is cool until you pull a muscle. I just did that a couple of days ago. I was warming up for a deadlift PR and there wasn’t much weight on it at all. My back just kind of moved a way it wasn’t supposed to and it just started hurting. Immediately, I put it down and stopped doing back because I’m not trying to hurt myself. I continued on to biceps and I felt okay because I wasn’t using those muscles in my back too much by doing curls.
By the time I had gotten home, it was getting progressively worse. My whole back was tight and it was a struggle to stand up straight without looking like I was trying to puff out my chest. I knew there was no way I was going to the gym for a few days. Immediately, I started on anti-inflammatory meds (ibuprofen) to help out. I laid on the floor with an ice pack and my legs up in a chair for the majority of the remainder of the day. That night, I slept with a pillow under my knees and set an alarm for 3am to take more ibuprofen.
When I woke up, I felt absolutely nothing. No pain. But once I was walking around and using those muscles, it started hurting again but not as bad. Throughout the day, I continued taking ibuprofen every 4 hours. I laid on the ground and did what work I could do on the computer. The whole day I was wishing I could just be better and go to the gym.
That afternoon I got a message on FB saying I was needed to play a show that night. I was thinking, like, “what? How am I supposed to get through this show? I’m laying on the floor. How am I supposed to do this?” I’m not really one to turn down a show. So, me and my mom prayed about it because God doesn’t make you go through something you can’t handle.
While I was getting ready for the show, and silently still freaking out, my mom found something that had helped her in the past: a pregnancy belt.
Well. I call it a pregnancy belt. But it’s really just a 12” wide Velcro wrap. She had to use it when she was pregnant with me to keep her pelvis together because her pelvic bone became separated (ouch).
So I put that around my torso and it helped SO MUCH! It was a great form of support for my back and I could wear it under my shirt and nobody would notice! So I did. I performed a 3 hour show with a pregnancy belt on. And you know what? It wasn’t a bad show.
The breaks I had were greatly appreciated (when I got to take them) but I appreciate the people who came to see me even more. There was a good amount of people there and it wasn’t one of those crowds that just sat and talked to each other. They sang along and video recorded and engaged with me. It was awesome!
In the long run, even though I was running on ibuprofen, coffee, and a pregnancy belt, I’m so glad I played. So, thank you, God, for getting me through the show without me feeling like I was going to break in half.
I’ll be back soon. In the meantime, keep playing.
Post workout mirror pic
What the “pregnancy belt” looks like. You can kind of see where it Velcros together.