Tag Archives: conditioning

New muscle in the house

So a week and a half ago I wrote this post expressing my fears surrounding the 2 hour exercise block I have involved myself in on Mondays at our local City of Chicago gym. The second hour is my beloved yoga class from last year, but the preceding hour was the dreaded cross training/conditioning class (aerobic exercise, conditioning, and weights).

I promised an update . . . so here it is: I love it. And it hurts. And I love it. And it hurts. It’s Wednesday, and I can still barely walk up and down the steps to the train platform.

The class setting helps so much. When I’ve tried to make myself do aerobic exercise on my own (jogging, the elliptical, etc.), I spend half the time fighting against my own desire to stop. It’s the most gigantic mental battle for me. “You can stop in just 5 minutes! C’mon, just 5 minutes and you can totally be done with this ridiculous business!” I promise myself slyly, knowing in my secret inner being that I will have to keep going for at least another 20 minutes. Self-deception is the only way I can trick myself into going longer and harder. And it’s a hard game to play, turning yourself against yourself. However, when there’s a teacher involved, I don’t even toy with the idea of stopping. I’m a teacher-pleaser and I always have been, so instead of fighting a battle of the wills with myself, I can just focus on doing what she tells us and taking myself to the limit. During the yoga class afterwards, my legs were shaking so badly I could barely hold a warrior pose.

And now for the big announcement: after week #2 of this dynamic combo, I have just discovered a new muscle.

For real. After my class this past Monday I was at home, looking in our hallway mirror and wondering whether I was going to get some hot musculature at some point. And lo and behold, I suddenly saw a new muscle about a finger’s length above my left knee! I flexed my leg a few times just to make sure it wasn’t a trick of the light, and there it remained. The rounded shadow of a small bulge.

At first I wrote it off as some kind of swelling produced by the intensity of the exercise. But as I did my devotional last night with my legs stretched out in front of me, there it was again! I bookmarked my place in Colossians and set my Bible down in order to inspect this new anatomical wonder with the care and attention it deserved. Right there in front of me was a little curve that has never been there before. And yes, it’s only on one leg. “Baby!” I called to my husband. “C’mere and look at this muscle on my left leg!” He came, he observed. “I think it’s new!” I exclaimed. I think he thought I was joking. “No seriously, this is my new muscle from my cross training class!” I explained enthusiastically, flexing my leg back and forth for maximum effect and pointing vigorously. “Dontcha see it? Dontcha see it?”

I put the question forth–what is this mysterious new muscle? And why has it shown up so quickly? Does it have a name, and is this name ‘Fred’?

I have done this small drawing because I know for a fact there are some doctor type people in my lovely assembly of readers. Could you please identify this body part and get back to me as quickly as possible? Should I be worried? Elated? Or is it all just a figment of my overheated brain? Will new muscles continue to crop forth week after week? And more importantly, when will my right leg also have a Fred on it?

OK, that sounded kind of weird. But you get my meaning–symmetry is important in this whole legs business.