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How to Fall Gracefully in a Gym Full of Grunting Men

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

...that was the question on my mind during my stretches today. I tend to spend a good 10-15 minutes stretching after every workout. And, yes, I include it as part of my workout because I want to see it as progress and not think of it as something I don't need to do. (It IS something I need to do!) What's more, I tend to challenge myself even in my stretches by trying new Yoga moves, or trying to hold them longer or getting deeper into them, etc.

My stretching routine generally starts with a simple forward bend. Then it goes immediately into downward dog. From there I bring each knee in for about 15-20 seconds to further stretch out the calf of the straightened leg. Back to downward dog (my heels ALMOST touch the mat now!!) and then into upward dog. Once I get a get a good stretch in Cobra, I move to my butt and start stretching out my legs ...a lot! (Especially now because I've noticed how much it's needed after those tight few days.)

So after my workout today (Chest & Tris) I head right over to my mat in the corner to start my stretches. Recently I've added in a Standing Split...

Source: yogajournal.com

...and have been working on getting my head closer to my knee. This morning I decided I would challenge myself to bring my arms in a little more. (FYI - right now both arms are still on the floor supporting me and providing balance.) Little did I know how much I really did workout my back/bis/chest/tris and how that would affect me today.

I do my forward bend.
Much better, no longer so tight, but there's still a little tension.
And then I put my hands forward on the mat to go into downward dog...
and I nearly fall right on my face. *lmao* I did actually snort a laugh. My arms were screaming "NO MORE" but I had to do my stretches, so I took it as easy on them as I could (which, added bonus, I think worked my core a lot more as I tried to stabilize myself). I did get my arms closer to my toes in my split and the rest of the stretch wasn't so bad.

I did think one big thing though...I do a LOT of stretching of my legs/back (mostly because that's what needs it with the back issues I've had in the past, the hip misalignment and the PF, which is most likely caused by tightness in my calf) but I have very few moves to stretch out my arm muscles. I went through my memory of every arm stretch I'd ever seen someone do or had ever done or ever saw displayed online or in magazines or anywhere and...well, I couldn't think of very many at all. So that's my new hunt for the day...ARE there more arm stretches out there that I haven't considered? Certainly my biceps and triceps are going to be screaming for some of them very soon!

The good news: I did NOT fall on my face in a gym full of grunting men.

Other things of note: I managed to amaze myself yesterday. Got up at 4am, at the gym on time, hit the weights as hard as I could (even with the biceps issue), got to work a tad bit early, worked my butt off most of the day, had an awkward meeting with some higher ups (sorta), managed to stay on task food/calorie wise, even when lunch was provided, got scolded by my boss for no real reason (she told me she was just giving everyone the same speech), and by 5:30pm I was across the street getting things set up for our big event that was to start in 30 minutes. Acted as moderator of our group panel discussion, sounded less nervous than one of the panelists (I wanted to hug her and teach her breathing techniques!) and then managed to wiggle my way out of there finally around 8:05pm so I could head home to my boys. Was in bed by 10pm and up again this AM at 4:45am (rushed around to get ready and managed my workout this morning too). PLEASE remind me of this when I'm thinking it's too hard and I'm too busy. I just kept telling myself, "It has to be more important to you than anything else. Once it's done, something else can be more important, but not right now. This is #1."

Of course, today I'm exhausted. Getting off 2 hours early will certainly help. My arms are sore, but I feel alright really. Very, very tired. But alright. I had a bit of a freak out moment last night when I thought of trying to add cardio to that stint yesterday, but I just keep telling myself that I'll do what I can and let that be okay. If I can't follow exactly to a T the cardio intensity or time goal, then I'll do what I can of it and that will have to be good enough. I don't have the luxury Jamie has of spending whatever time she wants in the gym because that's who she is and what she does. I have kids, a Hubs (I can't quite remember what he looks like anymore, but I know he's there.), a serious job, people depending on me, and a whole future ahead of me to plan for. Tired is no excuse, but overtrained and overworked is. I will do what I can, trying to get everything in but not beating myself up if I miss a day of cardio because my job needs my attention or my kids are given an award and they want me to come see them receive it.

Last night my youngest son was honored by the county Board of Education.
Yesterday my oldest son was informed that he has two pieces of artwork being placed in the county Art Show.

Sometimes you have to take the time out to be a proud Momma too! ;)

Two more days this week.
Four and a half more days of eating on track.
Down another .8 pounds this AM.
I do NOT want to lose this streak. (This is what my weight is supposed to do when I'm losing steady - down a few ounces each day on a steady incline. I know my body. Even with the added stress, it's hangin' in there because I'm treating it well.)
Phase I is almost done.
Time to give it my all!

EDIT: As a reward for all my hard work, the Spark Bonus Wheel graced me with a $10 gift certificate to the Spark Store. Anyone have suggestions for how I should spend it? I already checked...there's no foam roller. *lol* (It's on my list of "needs" right now.) Recommendations...and GO!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • _SASX_
    I have a foam roller and a marble rolling pin. I need to use them both more often. but when it's your hammies it's a little harder to roll out. but it hurts so good!

    arm stretches:
    I do most of them in y P90X stretch, especially the second bicep one.
    3303 days ago
    Oh, the foam roller! Such sweet torture.
    3306 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6210994
    You can use your rolling pin or any other sturdy cylindrical item instead of a foam roller. The circumference of my rolling pin is a little small, but it does work. No need to go purchase another item, just make sure you wash it before you cook with it ;)
    3307 days ago
    LOL...I snorted. I HAVE fallen and not gracefully after doing the leg presses years ago. Was like a rubberband woman.

    WTG on the stretching. I could not do this without stretching. I stretch during rests. My hams need major stretching.
    3308 days ago
  • no profile photo CD12193827
    snorted my water about the head line then just had to sit back and read your blog. Fantastic pose btw. I am inspiried to try some yoga after my cardio. emoticon

    3308 days ago
    You are a Rock Star!
    Down dogs after working out with weights. woooo... I won't be running out to try that anytime soon. one of my least favorite yoga moves with my wrist tendinitis/tennis elbows
    You're so good to include stretching time... I am still working on being better with that. wishing I had made it a habit when the workouts were only 40 minutes.

    Keep it up! You're inspiring!
    3308 days ago
    Your title cracked me up- I am glad you didn't actually fall. I am in awe of all the stretches you can do.
    3308 days ago
  • BOB240

    also eat more tuna..
    3308 days ago
    I found this article on basic stretching and there are a good 4-5 arm/upper body stretches on here: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource

    3308 days ago
    Yay on not falling in the gym!!! I feel so clumsy all the time, and I have fallen in my kickboxing class once...luckily nobody saw because that was a long time ago when I used to stay in the back of the class. You are doing so great with time management with this program, that is so awesome! Hmm...I looked in the store, the water bottles are cool and the gym bag but I'm sure you have all that stuff already...so I guess I don't have a great suggestion for you on that one. Happy Wednesday!! =)
    3308 days ago
  • MAGPIE17
    WTG, E!

    Just a note on downward dog - you should be putting as much weight in your legs as your arms....the arms aren't supposed to do the brunt of the work. My yoga instructor gave me the following instructions when I had a private session with her, and we started with downward dog - when you get into the pose, make sure your ribcage is tucked in (as opposed to sticking out -you don't want to be doing an extra backbend), get up on your tippy-toes with your butt in the air to stretch out your back, then settle back onto your feet while keeping your butt up and back to keep the back stretch. You should still feel the stretch in your legs, but you'll have the weight more evenly balanced and hopefully your arms won't give out after a hard workout! ;)
    3308 days ago
    Nicely done on the workouts and stretching. I need to make stretching a bigger part of my workouts... Congrats to your kiddos, what an impressive group of little people you have!

    Keep it up!
    3308 days ago
    Going great, keep it up. I do agree with the adapting the program to fit your life. That is what it is all about after all. And FAMILY is important!

    I think I will do my cardio portion at another time of day also. Like you said just can't spend hours in the gym. and I can do cardio at home if I need too.

    3308 days ago
    Man I feel like I worked out just reading all that! You are a machine baby! You may have just nudged me to try yoga. Lucky you for the $10 at the store! WOOT! Hard work is rewarded in all kinds of ways!
    3308 days ago
  • no profile photo CD7009225
    Awesome! What a day, and you made it through! I am especially happy to see you so happy about that! Good for you on all accounts!
    3308 days ago
  • JEREMY723
    It makes me tired just reading! Glad that everything is going well for you and hoping the scale follows suit. If it doesn't just remember that will follow, just might not be at the same time.
    3308 days ago
    emoticon I too have to smack my brain sometime when I want to workout more and my body just won't let me because I have been burning the candle at both ends. Sounds like you are doing great and finding a way to start and balance it all!

    3308 days ago
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