Friday, August 7, 2009

Hey Abbott!

I know you are all wondering about my third aquatic session. It took three tries but I finally have a winner in the bathing suit division. I will no longer wear the Oompa Loompa Syndrome bathing suit wherein my skirt kept filling up like a balloon no matter what exercise I did. No appearances in the two piece tank top styled suit with the dreaded Droopy Drawer Syndrome. The suit that I tried last and thought would be horrible was by all accounts, the best!

That morning, I easily donned my flimsy one piece that had absolutely no support for the womanly figure. It was the cheapest of all my bathing suits and had the least amount of Spandex. Bulges were free to bulge. Fat was free to flow. Breasts were free to sag. After the last two experiences, I felt that I had to give it a shot so off to the YMCA I went.

I was the first to go into the water and as I did, I wondered what would happen today. For the first time in three weeks, nothing seemed to be happening and I was thrilled. We started running, doing underwater dips along the ropes and kicking with kick boards. The Styrofoam noodles came out and we did leg crunches and all kinds of stretches. As I was doing the exercises, I realized that this suit was working out great. It seemed that I had my own personal flotation devices so the lack of support in the breast area was not an issue. It was a winner. I finished class feeling secure. Yes, my thighs were exposed but I didn’t care. I finally realized that no one was staring at my trunk thighs. No one was looking at my log arms. This day exuded success!

During this session of Boot Camp, I am seeing more changes for the good. My balance is improving. Before I just could not control my balance and it really bothered me. During one of last week’s classes, we were made to partner up with someone and lift our foot up into their hands that were at chest height and balance. Oshun paired me up with a young man in the class, Jose Blandon. I thought to myself, “Oh great. This young guy is probably going to be upset that he is paired up with the old lady.” I explained to Jose that I really did not think I could do this exercise. He calmly told me not to worry and that he didn’t know if he could do it as his balance was terrible as well. He told me, “Come on.” and held his hands low so I could get my foot into his grip. I was impressed with how supportive this young man was and how he immediately put me at ease and made me feel confident that he could support my weight and would not drop me. I did the exercise and I felt comfortable doing it. I was proud of that moment.

Also improving is my ability to hold my own weight. I stated before that I have gone from not being able to lift my body up into a plank position for a push up to being able to hold my body up. Now I am able to bend my arms, albeit slightly, toward doing a full push up. Sometimes I feel that I could do it but I know I would never make it back up and they would have to call for a crane to raise me up! Last week we ran a circuit and one of the exercises was to get on the mat with our elbows and forearms down, pushing our body up into a plank supported by our toes. From our elbows we had to move one arm at a time into a push up position and then back down one arm at a time. I did it and I did it many times.

Earlier, I was finally able to grasp both of my hands behind my back. This past week, I realized that I can now grasp them behind my back and raise them ever so slightly so they are not resting on my butt. You would have thought that I had won the lottery with that inch or so.

I know you may laugh at these simple moves and changes that most of you can do at any moment without thinking. I cannot do that. My body has been entombed for years in layers of fat that have suffocated my movement. My fitness life reminds me of that classic skit on Abbott and Costello or The Three Stooges. Slowly I turn. Step by step. Inch by inch. Many weeks I feel discouraged and depressed because I just am not losing weight or feeling any progress. Then out of the blue, my body will allow me to complete one of those simple moves.

Hey Abbott! Step by step. Inch by inch. I am a recruit in the YMCA Boot Camp and I know for a fact that I NEED TO BE THERE!

NOTE - Healthy Eating Seminar by Oshun that is open to the public at the YMCA on August 20th at 7 p.m. Cost is $15 to non-YMCA members and $10 to members. See you there!

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