Friday, October 10, 2014

Strength: of Planks and Persistence

Last night, I got word that my Tuesday morning Spin and Strength class would be cancelled.  On the one hand, I'm sad.  It was my favorite exercise class, the one where time flew, and I was amazed that we were already at the end of class.

It was also the one where I was shocked to discover that my instructor thought of me as strong and fit.  In some ways, I am strong and fit--especially for a 49 year old woman when compared to others in my age group.

But in a gym, I'm always surrounded by people who seem more fit than I am.  Of course, I mean that they are thinner.  Can I really tell how long they can hold a plank position just by looking at them?  Of course not.  Do they take the stairs?  I doubt it.  Do I?  No, but I could.

I remember in one of our early sessions, my instructor said, "I hope you don't mind if I push you to go harder."

I said, "By all means, you should push me.  I tend to be a lazy exerciser."

She rolled her eyes and said, "You are hardly a lazy exerciser."  Wow.  That compliment made my day, the same way my day was made when the same instructor said, "That's a perfect plank position.  Hold it for 15 more seconds."

On Tuesday, which would be our last Tuesday, but I didn't know that then, my instructor said, "A perfect plank position, as usual."  Again, not words I thought I'd ever hear directed to me.

Some times, it's good to get a new instructor and a new perspective.  Now, most of the trainers and instructors at the gym think of me in good terms, I think.  But they've also seen me much heavier.  Perhaps my weight loss and exercise improvement has left them with a higher assessment of me.  But they've also seen me at times when I couldn't hold a plank position for 15 seconds at all, much less after holding it for 30 seconds.

It's also good to remember that I'm often harder on myself than anyone else can be.  Right now, I'm angry with myself for still not being done with my memoir project.  I forget to give myself credit for plugging along, for getting other projects done, for continuing to write at all.  I forget to give myself credit for persistence.

The good thing about the cancellation of the Tuesday Spin and Strength class is that I'll get some writing time back.  Time to finish the current draft of the memoir--I'm almost done--and then on to the final polishing.

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