I attended my weekly exercise session last night with Erin Long at the Kachmann Mind Body center on the Lutheran Hospital campus. After our session started, I thought Erin was going easy on us because our first set of exercises did not include pushups. That shows what happens when I think.
As it turned out, we didn’t do pushups all evening. But we did do some things that were just as strenuous and, I’m sure, just as strengthening. There were several exercises that I had trouble with. One involved grasping an exercise ball between my feet while on my back, picking the ball up with my feet and legs, and squeezing the ball 15 times. I struggled keeping the ball up above me. My legs shook and trembled the entire time, and it was all I could do to keep the ball off the mat. Erin saw me struggling and, mercifully, allowed me to keep the ball on the floor during the exercise. Even then, I could feel that the muscles in my legs were not up to the task. I’m not sure which muscles are used to squeeze an exercise ball, but they must be ones that aren’t used while riding a bike or working out on an elliptical trainer. Each subsequent repetition became harder to do, but I finally made it through three repetitions.
Another exercise I didn’t fully master was a reverse lunging stretch, where weights are held in the hands and a very long step is taken backward. Erin asked the exercisers to kick our feet up behind us after the lunge. I felt as if I were going to fall over when I kicked my foot up. It was extremely awkward. Erin saw my difficulty and told me to eliminate the kick. She said that men often have trouble with that exercise. I’m not sure why this would be, but I know it was difficult for me. I survived three repetitions without falling over.
My sore shoulder (with limited range of motion) caused me to struggle with another exercise involving a chair. With the chair behind me, my hands resting on the chair seat, I suspended myself in front of the chair with my feet extended in front of me and my heels on the floor. In this position, I pushed myself up and down, the object being to drop my rear close to the floor then lift it up to about seat level. My downward progress was severely limited by my shoulder’s refusal to give way and my effort to avoid pain. Again, I made it through three repetitions without a total collapse.
Now that I’ve shared all the difficulties I encountered last night, you should be gratified to know that I am sore today, particularly in the calves of my legs. I think it was the lunging exercise that caused that sensation.
I expect more discomfort tomorrow. All misery I experience is of my own choosing and is short lived. I am sensing each and every fiber of each and every muscle as I work through the multitude of exercises directed by Erin Long. I should be quite an awesome specimen eventually.
Do you wonder why I included that photo of the lady above? She’s performing eye exercises, something I might have to resort to tomorrow if I’m too discomforted to move any other muscles.