Two weeks ago I changed personal trainers because Ebony left Fitworks. Denise and I worked out on October 26th for the first time. The workout was great (intense, interesting, new, etc.). It consisted of various exercises I had never done before. Two of which were full sit-ups and V-crunches.
Full sit-ups: Lying flat on your back, legs apart (more than shoulder width). Hold a 15-pound medicine ball above your head (arms completely straight). Sit up completely and bring the ball to your left foot. Raise the ball back over your head and lie back again. Sit up completely and bring the ball to your right foot. Repeat (over and over and over and over again) alternating feet each time you sit up.
V-crunches: Only your tushie butt and hands should be touching the floor. Your hands are only for stability. Here’s a picture of what it (kinda) looked like when I did them…only I was *not* on a ball. You alternate (fairly quickly) straightening and bending your legs while leaning your upper body back when you straighten your legs. (I certainly hope I am making some sort of sense here – LOL)
Alright, so I did these two core workouts for approximately eight minutes (in 1-minute increments with short breaks in between). Maybe that does not seem like a lot, but these were seriously intense. The odd thing was my legs were burning (from the V crunches) but my abs felt fine.
The next day; however, my abs were *killing* me…and I do mean *killing*. I could not lie flat on my back without pain in my lower abs. I could not sit up without rolling out to the side and using my arm(s) to push me up because my lower abs felt like they would just give out. The only thing I can even begin to compare it to was having my two cesarean sections. It was awful. What I did not realize at the time was I really hurt myself.
I ignored the pain and continued working out on my regular schedule. Last night I went to Fitworks (two weeks later, mind you) to meet Denise. When I tried to do sit-ups guess what? I could not do them. Not “I didn’t want to” or “I am afraid.” I *literally* could. not. do. them. I could do a regular crunch, but not a full and complete sit-up. So, Denise starting asking questions because she knew I could do them two weeks ago. Once I explained what I felt like for a week (actually more) after our original workout this is what she said:
I tore my muscle.
How awful. Really awful. I wanted to do those sit-ups and I wanted to workout hardcore. After all, I want to be to 250 (or less) my Christmas. I want to be to 225 (or less) by my birthday in February. I have goals to meet and accomplishments to celebrate. I do not have time to be injured and “taking it easy” on myself. Right?
Apparently, she had another plan for me. We switched from sit-ups and crunches to planks. She said that I can still work the ab muscles, but in different ways that do not hurt them while they are healing (which evidently can take up to six whole stupid weeks, by the way). She had to start me on the highest platform/table they have available at Fitworks (which really bummed me out that I was starting at the bottom – boo!) because I tried the lowest and could not do it without pain in my lower abs. I started raised up on my hands and then lowered to my elbows. Back up to the hands (straight arms) and back down to the elbows. We did 45-second intervals with breaks (that seemed unnecessarily long to me) in between. Here is (kinda) what it looks like, only I was on a platform not directly on the floor:
I cried at the gym last night. Not because I was in pain, but because I am mad (really, pissed) at myself for not being able to do the sit-ups and the lower planks. I feel like I am failing myself…like I am failing in general. Then, of course, I was mad at myself for crying in public at the gym (tee hee).
This is when I got my first lecture from Denise. “Erica, you’re working so hard. You kicked butt tonight. Yes, you cannot do this…temporarily…but you will do it in the future. You *have* to allow your body to guide you on this journey. When your body hurts you have to listen to it and take it easy. That does not make you a failure. That does not mean you cannot work out in other ways. It does mean you should not continue do the moves that hurt you in the first place.” That is not verbatim, but you get the idea.
The only problem is…I do not do “can’t.” I do not handle “can’t” well – at all. It eats at me. It bothers me. It keeps me up at night. It gives me bad dreams. It haunts me. “Can’t” is not usually in my vocabulary. Does that make me obsessive and a little bizarre? Sure. But I am okay with that (it is “can’t” I am not okay with).
Have you ever injured yourself working out? How did you handle it? Did it bother you not to be able to continue your “regularly scheduled programming?” How long did it take for you to heal?