While I was injured for a few months, I learned something: Just because I can do something, doesn’t mean I should.
What I mean is this: When I’m taking Refine classes, I get stronger. And when I get stronger, I’m able to lift heavier kettlebells, use heavier resistance on the pulley system and do the advanced version of any given exercise. And I go from two classes a week, to three, to four. But I don’t think it’s right for me and the way I am built to always do more more more. I already know I can get the benefits of the class without it – my problem is that the class is so much fun I WANT to do more. I crave it. I feel proud when I can use a heavier bell or add an extra resistance cord. But just because I can doesn’t always mean I should.
Don’t get me wrong – for many people, that is the entire point of exercise! You get strong, you move to the next level. But with my injury history I’m only now realizing that that isn’t right for my body. I have a very small frame – maybe that’s why, I don’t know. But I can tell you that I’m already noticing improvements in my strength from just going to Refine once a week (and not using much weight yet). Of course, everyone reaches a point where they have to do more – faster reps or heavier weight – to continue gaining benefits. But I can be more mindful about how I challenge myself.
For example, when I talked to Brynn (founder of Refine) about this, she suggested that when I am ready to pick up a kettlebell again, instead of racking them by my shoulders, I hold them with my hands, hanging down. Or I continuing to avoid exercises that just might not work for my body (like jumpbacks) and keep substituting them with ones that do, even if they’re not quite AS challenging (like med ball wall slams). I’m still boosting my heart rate and moving constantly and gaining strength – that is good in and of itself!
Plus, the benefit of a class like Refine is that I’ll always have an instructor ready to offer me a modification or alternative workout when an exercise doesn’t feel or look right. And one thing my Physical Therapist said that sticks with me – go with my gut. I’ll know when something doesn’t seem OK and that means I should stop right then and there. If I have any doubt about an exercise, don’t do it. Which makes me especially glad to have such great instructors at Refine to offer alternatives.
After the marathons, I’m sure I will go to class more – but I don’t think I will go more than three times a week again. I think I need to recognize my limits and remember that exercise is a personal thing. Just because my friend can take class five times a week and be awesome doesn’t mean I can, and that is OK. Just because I *could* do an overhead press after the last time I came back from my neck injury doesn’t mean I should have – clearly, since that brought on the recurrence of my injury. I need to recognize the limits of my body and remember I am still reaping the benefits of the class.
So much of exercise is learning what works for YOU – and that will always be different than what works for someone else.
I’m so far from type-A it’s laughable, but for some reason when it comes to classes I love, I get into this mindset where I plan my life around going X times a week. So many months off from my injury seem to have freed me from that, and I really value the extra free time to see my
dog husband and dog.
Speaking of husband, we were sitting outside on a pier eating my favorite breakfast from my favorite Jersey City cafe Sam A.M. when he came across a funny article about the Kanye + Kim wedding. He wanted to take a photo but neither of us had a pen with us for him to place a little mark (he does this so he can easily identify when other websites steal his photos). We tried to figure out how to get Larry in it, but couldn’t find a good way and so he just snapped the photo and tweeted it. And then went viral:
I like how the NY Post handled the Kanye West/Kim Kardashian wedding news. pic.twitter.com/4SsiWiW99Q
— Andy Gray (@si_vault) May 25, 2014
With over 10,000 retweets and being picked up by multiple other sites (most who credited him, we can identify those who didn’t because his version has that crinkle in the corner). There is no real point to this story other than to express my excitement that a tweet Andy sent while we ate breakfast went viral. The real question is: How can we get rich?
(2) Last night I went to the kickoff session for the American Cancer Society’s Team DetermiNation NYC Marathon team at the Hope Lodge. The Hope Lodge is a facility that offers lodging at no cost for cancer patients being treated in Manhattan. As part of our team efforts, we will be spending time there with patients, reminding us why we are all working so hard to raise money for ACS. My constant reminder every day is my Aunt Dale, who died almost two years ago from kidney cancer. I’m sharing my fundraising page here again because I appreciate any donation at any amount to help me reach my goal. Thank you! http://main.acsevents.org/goto/dorigray