endurance

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Guess What I Did After Cirque Fit….

Published February 18, 2013 by Susan Woodward

Yeah, Cirque Fit was its usual killer class…complete with 51 pushups for my birthday, and an extra held down in place before pushing back up for good luck.  Thanks, Will!!  🙂

However, tonight was very, very different for me.  I don’t know if it was because I was pumped from red meat for dinner (Illy took me out for my birthday…thanks, Illy!!) or from the chocolate mousse dessert, but whatever it was, I wasn’t ready to settle down when I pulled into the parking lot at home.   I decided to…gasp…use the apartment complex’s fitness center!!!  AFTER Cirque Fit!!!

I have been at the Westview Commons Apartments for three years, and this is only the second time I have used it.

I ran my purse and bags up to my apartment where I discovered that my son, Joe, had forgotten to take out the garbage like I’d asked.    We usually drive back to the dumpsters in the back of the complex (about a quarter mile from our apartment) on our way out, but I decided to walk it back there tonight.

So I walked the quarter mile in the snapping cold air to take out the trash.  While I was walking, I looked up at the stars… the sky is pretty clear tonight.  I saw Orion with his bow and thought about the endurance of a hunter when stalking his prey.  I remembered when I had NO endurance whatsoever, and the thought of walking to the dumpster was unheard of.   I also thought about how clear my lungs felt in the cold air now that they aren’t saturated with smoke…and I felt even more pumped to stop at the fitness center.

I just happen to have one of those little key bob thingys on my key chain to get in!

fitness center

I started out on the elliptical, thinking that getting my heart rate back up was a good idea.  I was already pumping a bit from my walk across the complex, so why not keep going.  Guess who did one mile in 12:15??  ME!!!  That has to be a personal record for me!!!  Once I finished that, I thought to myself, “Well…why not keep going?  You’re here…”

fitness center 2

You see that machine in the back?  That’s what I did next.  First, I got up on my forearms to do leg tucks and lifts…to practice L-sits for tomorrow.  Will, I did 15 tucks and 15 lifts!!  I then went to the rear of the machine where you pull weights in with your forearms.  Since we’d been doing lots of upper body stuff in Cirque Fit, I thought 30 pounds might be a good place to put the metal peg.  I managed 10 reps before my arms said, “Ok, you fool…that’s enough!”  So then I moved on to the last part of the machine: pushing weights with the arms.  I also did 10 reps in the two different positions offered on the machine.  I couldn’t figure out how to do the leg lift part of it, so I figured I’d just wait till another day.

I was pooped by then.

A hot shower and hot cinnamon/honey water later, here I am to tell the tale!

Oh…and by the way… I purchased an Aerial Arts of Rochester sweatshirt today, and it’s TWO SIZES SMALLER than sweatshirts I have purchased in the past ten years (I had been purchasing men’s XL sweatshirts…can you say men’s MEDIUM, please??).

Just thought I’d throw that out there…

On the Other Side of That Half-Century Mark…

Published February 18, 2013 by Susan Woodward

Today I enter the realm of the “other side” of the half-century mark… I am 51.  While I did have my six months of “dark time” this past year, there were also some great things to celebrate:

– I went to California for the first time ever (and I even went TWICE!)

– I spent my 50th birthday on the beach of the Pacific Ocean in San Diego;

– I attended and presented at an international Symposium on Mythology in Santa Barbara;

– I helped to coordinate the Celebrating the Mythic Life Conference in memory of Joseph Campbell and his work;

– I survived the sinking of the Titanic as Charlotte Drake Cardoza;

– I took on the Cirque du Rochester 12 Week Challenge and am doing things I NEVER thought I would be able to do (even if they aren’t perfect);

– I QUIT SMOKING!!!

– I actually lived up to my Mayan Sized promises that I made to myself in an earlier post last year… maybe I didn’t have them completed by December 31, but I have done them before hitting 51!

And so I continue with the work I am doing to make a healthier, stronger me!

Even though the workouts are grueling, I do notice that I don’t take as long sit-out breaks that I had been.  I guess I am building some stamina!

stretch

Here I am getting a bit more flexible… I am able to grab and hold my feet during this exercise!  I couldn’t do that at the beginning, so I am feeling happier about that!

swimming

Also something I could not do earlier… get those feet and arms in the air!  It may look like my hands are on the ground, I am in the middle of a “swimming” stroke, kind of like the breast-stroke.  My intention after the Challenge is to join the YMCA around the corner from my house because they have two pools.  I like swimming because it’s easier on the joints.

pulling

Poor Jenn!  I was dragging her across the room, but even worse for her, SHE had to drag ME back!  One thing to point out, though… I could NOT put my arms behind me at the angle when I first started.  I have greater range of motion in my shoulders now, and the pain has gone away.  In December, I could not write on the chalkboard at school because it hurt too much to raise my arms long enough to write anything.  Thank God for LCD projectors and computers!  But if I was to go back to using the chalkboard, I could do it now!

L sit
The face says it all.  It’s really hard to hold that weight off the floor, let alone with legs extended.  This is my first truly successful L-sit… more than just millimeters off the floor this time!  I am able to now hold them up about 10 seconds.  When I first started, I could barely hang on let alone raise my feet at all.

Tonight I tackle Cirque Fit from the other side of 50!  I am determined to keep making changes in my life to make the second half full of health, stamina, and strength!!

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