Comparing the old me at the gym

This morning Grace and I met for a workout and we were changing things up from a workout outside. We went back to the gym at Royal Roads and did our workout there like we used to. I was looking forward to the change but I was also nervous. I knew that getting myself back at the gym was something that I needed to do because it has been about eight months since I have been there. I also knew that the person to help me was Grace. She and I used to workout almost every day together when she was in Victoria and the gym was our old stomping ground.

After Grace left for Calgary I lost my workout partner which was Ok and I had worked out solo for years before her. But with the coracoid impingement bothering me in my shoulder I found going to the gym hard. I didn’t know how to modify my exercises so I could do something that didn’t hurt me and not feel discouraged. So, I left the gym and focused my workouts to running and stair repeats. Maybe not the best idea looking back now but I could still be active and outside enjoying the fresh air. You can play outside all year round which is one of the many perks of living in Victoria.

Today Grace set up a bootcamp style workout for us and it went like this:

  • Swiss Ball pass-overs (Or so I am calling them. The Swiss Ball goes over your head and you place it in between your feet and lower them to the floor and repeat.)
  • Swiss Ball pikes and knee tucks
  • Medicine ball push-ups alternating hands
  • Medicine ball twists
  • Pulsing plies squat with weight
  • Box jumps
  • Bicep curls on a bosu ball
  • Chest press on a bosu ball
  • Rows
  • Dead-lifts

We repeated each of these twice for 45 seconds each and on the last set we did them for one minute each once.

Our equipment for bootcamp
Our equipment for bootcamp

After my first set of Swiss Ball pass-overs and Swiss Ball pikes I could feel my core burning. It was a discomfort I hadn’t felt in some time. By the time the second set came I was really struggling and couldn’t do the exercises for the 45 seconds. That got me discouraged and by the time I stood up I had tears in my eyes. It was mentally discouraging for me because I used to do those exercises with Grace. I could hold my own and some days were harder than others but I could get myself through them.

Grace was supportive of me and kept encouraging me through the entire workout. I did the same to her because that is what she and I do and we all need encouragement in one way or another.

I did my push ups from my knees and I was ok with that. I just made sure that I focused on keeping my core tight and doing everything with proper form. When it came to the bicep curls I used the 12 pound weights and for the chest press I used 10 pound weights. The third set though for the one minute was so hard for me. Grace was counting down and said five more. I was giving it everything that I had but my arms were just so tired and didn’t want to raise. I looked at Grace and said “I can’t G.” She said “I will wait for you and we will finish these together.” I was happy she did that and it was just what I needed to hear. I was frustrated with myself though because I couldn’t do what I used to be able to do.

I know that I have been away from it for a while so I can’t just assume I can go back and be where I was. I do know that but I struggle with that realization because I am a Capricorn and stubborn. After our workout I ran home just so I could clear my head. I told Warren that I am going to ask Patti, the manager of the gym, to set me up with a “brand new to me ” workout. I have other workouts from before that I could use but I know where I built up to with weights and I need to now build myself again from a new workout. I don’t want to compare things from the old me like I did today.

So, next week I will go in and chat with Patti and see when she can help me  or see who can if she isn’t the person.

January 2014 brings a new me at the gym and I look forward to seeing the changes.

What changes does January bring for you?


4 thoughts on “Comparing the old me at the gym

  1. I know it’s hard but don’t be discouraged. I think as runners we all know we should be doing strength training as well, but it’s hard to do something you don’t particularly enjoy, especially when you have an injury. I’ve learnt from my own shoulder injury that if I get too stubborn and try to push and do what I used to be able to do I just end up hurting myself again. Those exercises you were doing were hard, and doing something for a set period of time is harder than doing a certain number of reps. I workout with a trainer once a week and she quite often gets me doing stuff for 1minute and sometimes I can’t keep going the whole time so I just stop and breathe for a few seconds and then do some more. Remember, you haven’t been to the gym in 8 months so you will need to build back up again. Imagine if you stopped running for 8 months – you wouldn’t go out and try to run 5 miles your first time back! 🙂


    1. Thanks so much for this comment. I never thought about it in the way of running. It is a good way for me to put it into perspective.

      Slowly but surely. Good for you for taking a few seconds and then going back at it. I will remember that too.

      Have a great NYE!


  2. Sounds like a good workout, and you’re lucky to have a workout partner! Especially a supportive one!
    January for me means the gym will be super crowded. I usually go on my lunch break to get a workout in. But each Jan, all the new years resolution people pack the place. They’re usually gone by mid feb though.


    1. Yes, the gym will be busy but thankfully where I go it isn’t too bad. It is a gym on campus where I work so it won’t be packed like a chain fitness center.
      It is too bad those people stop in February. I just wish they kept it up. It is a lifestyle change.Can’t make them though…I know.


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