We seem to think that we are the only ones in the world that feel the way we feel. Well, I am here to tell you that it is not true. In fact with so many people on this planet, I would feel pretty confident to say that there are at least 100 other people feeling the way you feel right now. Actually, I am quite sure that it is more like thousands, but let’s leave it at 100 because you really are that unique after all.
How is it that after going to the gym fairly consistently I am still sore fairly regularly?
Actually, the answer is pretty simple, I continue to push myself, that’s why.
Today I am sore. Actually, I am sore most days. My joints ache. My muscles hurt when I move and again when I don’t move. I groan when I get up and again when I sit down. But, I know that I am not alone, and I am ok with that. I remember showing up to the gym a while back and I was really sore from a workout a few days earlier. One of the other people in our class came to me and asked if my butt was sore. I looked at her and almost yelled at her “ yes, I thought it was just me!” she thought it was just her. We laughed and proceeded to ask the others that were there if they were sore too. Yup, everyone who had taken that last class was sore.
I actually felt some kind of relief. I am close to the oldest person at our gym and I tend to use that as a reason for most of my discomfort. It is usually the truth, but if I am pushing myself hard then it is true that the others are too. We may not do the same number of reps or use the same weight, but the effort is probably just as intense.
When Doug and I first started going to the gym there was a part of us that just assumed that eventually, we wouldn’t hurt quite so much after a while. That is what I call naive. As long as we are pushing, we will be improving and therefore we will never stop striving for better.
I think that is a common misconception. Once we achieve our goal, we can stop doing whatever it was that we did to get there. The problem is that if we stop, we stop. When we are on a weight loss journey, we need to remember that if we stop eating healthy, we won’t be that healthy anymore. If we stop working out, our muscles will stop performing as if they get to work out. The lie we have told ourselves is that when this…then that.
The truth is that once you start on a journey toward better health through diet and or exercise, you will never be the same again and won’t ever be able to go back to your old behavior. If you stop the healthy behavior, your body will begin to go back to where it was before.
This is probably one of the hardest truths to deal with and accept. But it is one of the most important things to understand and accept. The journey to better health actually never has a destination. It is a journey that never ends.
I am actually ok with that. Just like any other journey, there will be detours, flat tires, snacks, missed flights, lost luggage, amazing surprises, lots of laughs, some tears, and so many unexpected events. The end of this journey is when you are on the wrong side of the grass.
In the meantime, I would rather;
- use Epsom salts,
- hurt from inactivity,
- become sedentary,
- wonder what if, or
- just watch life happen to other people, not me.
So, yes, I am sore. But it is a good sore. It is a sore from living life rather than from watching life. Step out of your comfort zone, find something new to do or place to go, food to eat, friend to make. You never know where your next adventure will take you but it will be just that, an adventure.
Exercise to stimulate, not to annihilate. The world wasn't formed in a day, and neither were we. Set small goals and build upon them. – Lee Haney