Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Rebooting the brain... aka Carb Day, and mental update

So, as you saw by my earlier post, I managed to come up with a very, VERY tasty carb treat to munch on throughout the day to help me reach my carb goal without losing my mind. And it's awesome! Now that I've got some brain cells functioning again, and I've found a bit of zen, I thought it was time to give ya'll an update on my journey back to the stage.

After my rough weekend, and my chat with Coach Kayla, I'm feeling better. Still sore, tired, and worn out, but better mentally and emotionally. The bit more fat in my diet made a difference, too, and then of course, having tasty carbs today helps my mindset quite a bit. Instead of having to figure out how to force down 2 bananas, 6 cups of broccoli and so on, I can nibble on cookies. ;-) It's funny though, how I feel guilty when I'm eating them. Like I'm cheating somehow.

Today I was on my own in the gym, so I packed up my bag before I left to have my follow up (wrist) with my bone doc. I'm officially at 85% in the use of that wrist! Yay!!! I started at or below 25%, so it's really come a long way. I'm still in the brace for workouts - I even had to replace the brace since I wore out the last one. And we're switching out the Voltaren gel for a new product. I should have it in a few days, then I can tell you more about it.

Funny note on the braces...  So with the right knee throwing tantrums, I'm back to wearing a brace. I thought I'd start with the sleeve and if I need more support, I'll pull out one of the others. Well, when I dug into my brace box (doesn't every over 40 athlete have one? lol!), I found the sleeve, then another with a top support band... hmmmm, that might be handy. I threw them both in my bag and figured whichever felt right I'd wear. So, off to the doc, then the gym, changed, pulled out the braces and went to put the banded support one on and realized very quickly... this is NOT a knee sleeve! LOL! It was an elbow support! Whoops! Back to the regular sleeve and off I went. Seriously... who has so many braces and sleeves that they can mistake an elbow sleeve for a knee sleeve? Yeah, that would be me. Sigh.

My task today was to knock out biceps and triceps and some low core. I managed to score a bench, and got set up. Here was my series, repeated 4x:
Bicep Curls
Tricep kickbacks
Concentration Curls
Tricep Overhead Extensions (head and shoulders on the bench, body stretched out perpendicular to bench, dumbbell overhead then extended back with straight arms and returned to overhead).
Ab bench tap and press (laying on bench, butt at end, holding on to the bench you move legs to 90 degrees then slowly lower to tap the ground then raise them back up and lift your butt up off the bench)
Back Extensions

Whew! Got 'er done! Then finished up with 10 minutes on stairs then 20 on the elliptical. I was a sweaty mess, but felt good. I stopped to log in my HR monitor info and another Coach came up and let me know what a huge difference he's seeing in me! Woot!

I don't interact much with folks at the gym, mostly just the other trainers and coaches because they know I'm Kayla's and that I'm headed to stage. I'm not social, so when I'm there, my earbuds are in and I'm in the zone. Which leaves me with (as I stated earlier, lol) little interaction with the general population. But the trainers and coaches at LifeTime are amazing! So incredibly supportive! There's one who always makes a point of stopping and asking how I'm doing, and wishes me luck. Another gives me two thumbs up everytime we pass in the gym. And the one I mentioned above, he's a figure and bodybuilding coach, and so it is very validating to have his support and encouragement. I know Kayla appreciates it, too... it's always awesome to have your peers acknowledge and praise your "work". And let me tell you... Kayla does damn good work! :-)

I know there are changes. Kayla sees them and loves it. My family sees them. I see them, most of the time. But today I had an aha moment. I caught sight of myself in the gym mirror. And I liked it! ;-) Many of you know how I've battled body dysmorphia. It never really goes away. I wouldn't say I've been struggling with it lately, just that I might not be seeing everything that's actually there, if that makes sense. So today felt like a bright ray of sunshine breaking through the clouds. My arms look really good. My shoulders are broader. My waist is narrower (had to pull in another notch on the belt today!). My legs are bigger than they've EVER been! And... I have a butt!

All these are victories for me. You all know how fearful I was going into this prep. My asthma hasn't disappeared, my arthritis hasn't lessened, I haven't gotten any younger, and my injuries just keep on keeping on. But so have I. I found a box today in the back of my closet labeled "Chelle - lean out clothes". You know why it was in the back of my closet? Because I was afraid I wouldn't need it. Well I'm defeating that defeatism (lol) and ripping open that box tonight! Because I'm leaning out. I'm 8 1/2 weeks from show. And I'm going to show.

Kari Keenan
As hard as the journey is, as dark as the tunnel can be, there's still joy in the process and I had lost sight of that. I (right now) have a firm grasp on my joy again. One of the things that helped me with that was a video post from a competitor I follow... she's amazing and has just entered "peak week". Watching the video, I got to see her smile, giggle, laugh, as well as hear about the struggles. There's joy in the journey, and she reminded me of that. She and her coach/boyfriend said a couple things, too, that really stuck with me, the biggest was about sprinting past the finish line.

In prep, there's a fairly definitive timeline... you build, then you cut, then you peak-week, then you're on stage. Typically, there's a tapering down of heavy lifting, coordinating with an increase in cardio and a decrease in food. It can lead to a mindset of expecting an 'ease' in the difficulty, in the effort. That's not always the case, and J stated that it's better to expect that you'll have to sprint past the finish line, rather than to see it and ease off in anticipation of crossing it.

My years running track should have fixed that in my head... as a sprinter, when I saw the finish line I didn't ease off, I cranked it up! I gave it all I had, every last bit, all the way across that line. But somehow, I think the "slow down" is where my head's been... looking forward to an easing of the effort... but where I need to be is expecting to go full out, all the way, right up to walking on the stage. That's a little hard to face, lol, when it's already so hard, and there are moments when I wonder if it's really worth it. I know it is, and that's where my lost-joy was/is affecting me, but the moments happen. Add in injury, arthritic flares, and so on... it's a challenge.

But... I'm going to sprint past that line. And while, as J said, there's no crying in baseball... there IS in the gym (thank you, Kari), lol, but that's ok because the wind can dry my tears while I'm sprinting. ;-) And pull my skin back, make my hair crazy, you know...
Sexy, right? ;-)

1 comment:

  1. REally enjoying following your journey. Thanks for your honest sharing. How great is it to see a body you like and realize it is yours! Keep up the good work!