Before I had my surgery, back in June, I was on a fairly regular workout routine. I was going to 9 Round 2-3 times a week and getting 10,000-13,000 steps in almost every day. I usually took a weekend day off. Or two. But was still giving a couple of my Fitbit friends a run for their money on that number one spot.
I could do a full push-up. And, depending on which Round said push-ups were on, I could even do multiples. And if you knew where I started in January, you’d know that that was a huge accomplishment for me. I had gotten to a point where I could feel myself getting stronger, and I have to tell you, there is NO better feeling!
I even made it my New Years resolution to go around twice at 9 Round for 18 rounds total back-to-back. And I did that. On two separate occasions. It wasn’t pretty, but I did it.
But then I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and with every passing day, exhaustion started to take over me like none I had ever felt before. And I started falling off the wagon. Slowly, but surely.
I still did well getting all my steps in each day because I couldn’t neglect Warren’s needs (the child needs his walks or he is extra hell on wheels) and that still gave me a sense of accomplishment each day. But by the time my surgery rolled around, I had only gotten in one good workout the week prior. I felt pretty guilty about it, although I’m not sure why because in the scheme of things it really wasn’t that big of a deal. I just knew that I’d been doing so well and I was about to fall off the wagon completely for a while and I knew how hard it would be to get back on it later when I was cleared to exercise again.
Anyway, I’ve gone back to 9 Round 3 times since my surgery, and I have to say… it truly sucks. I don’t have the stamina I used to have. I move at a glacial pace compared to the “before” and I have to stop often to try to catch a breath that evades me from the time I walk in the door to well after I leave.
I have to bargain with myself to even make myself go, and I’m a ball of nerves the entire way there.
And push-ups? You can forget about those. I get about two inches down before my arms feel like they’ll collapse underneath me. It’s not a whole lot better doing the “girl” push-ups, either. I’m worse now than when I started 9 Round to begin with. The best way I know how to describe the feeling is trying to do a push-up with your muscles wrapped around balled up plastic that is substituting for boobs. Which, I guess, is exactly what it is. Muscles that used to sit on my chest and get stronger have now been stretched out to hold my expanders in place. I’m basically starting from scratch.
And it’s really disheartening. Enough to make me cry sometimes.
I used to get such a rush when I was able to add a few pounds to my dumbbells with each round without it completely wearing me out, or to actually be able to hold my own with everyone else on the whiteboard for the CHOW. Challenge of the Week rounds are every Monday and usually consist of one exercise (think medicine ball jumping jacks, plank punches, etc.) that you have to do for an entire round and the coaches write down how many you’re able to do in those 3 minutes on a whiteboard. But now, I avoid Mondays because I’ve turned to mush, which really upsets me.
Even worse, it makes me want to give up. To stop going until I can get “in shape enough” to go back, but I also know that the only way that will happen is if I keep going.
So, now, I’m stuck in this vicious cycle of not wanting to go because I’m not as good as I was before but needing to go because that’s the only way I’ll get back there again.
It just looks like such a long, hard road ahead. And it all started because of something I didn’t ask for. Something I wasn’t prepared for. Something that took over my life without my permission like the plague that it was.
But, my Mama always told me (and still does on occasion) that “life isn’t fair.” So, instead of having the pity party I want to throw for myself, I’m going to keep pushing forward. I’m paying for this gym membership, and I still love the workouts and the coaches that work there. And, slowly but surely, I’ll get back to where I was again.
Maybe even better than I was before.
I have to. I’m not leaving the alternative as an option.