Monday I started a resistance/cardio exercise class that I heard about through a classmate I reconnected with on Facebook. She mentioned it from time to time and recently my curiosity got the better of me. With nightmarish flashbacks of High School PE, I sent her a message, asking what the exercise class entailed. She reassured me that the class was designed to allow each person to do the exercises at their own pace.
The last time I took an exercise class was probably 5 years ago, maybe longer. Any exercise I've done in the recent past has been in the form of walking or hiking. With a recent lecture from the doctor still ringing in my ears, I decided that it was now or never with getting in shape. So Monday I showed up at the city park where the class was taking place.
To my relief the class was small and predominantly women. (There were 2 men) The instructor greeted me warmly and repeatedly told me to take the class at my own pace and to listen to my body. There were bench squats, body lunge walking, jogging and pushups. There was arm lifting and curling with weights, modified sit ups (plain ole' situps are too easy) and leg lifts. It was hard work but I did ok keeping up. I was a little sore when I finished, but it was manageable.
I got the first inkling of pain in the middle of the night. I woke up when I shifted in bed and every time thereafter and when morning finally broke, my thighs hurt so bad I had to roll out of bed. Roll out of bed.
All of Tuesday I hobbled around at a snail's pace. Sitting and standing were difficult to say the least. I had no idea how much you depend on your thigh muscles to sit and stand! When getting ready to sit, I would lean on objects and then arrange my body in such a position that relieved my thigh muscles of most of the work. I usually landed with a hard thud in a chair, or...ahem...on the toilet. (I will spare you the details of how much work it was to use the bathroom) And stairs...oh geez. Stairs were not in the cards on Tuesday. I could not walk down the basement stairs.
The class was a discouraging experience for me Wednesday evening. The instructor started out with cardio exercises and right off the bat I got tired and winded. We weren't into the class 15 minutes when I felt light-headed and maybe, if I pushed myself too hard, I would faint. I immediately stopped exercising. If I fell over, I wasn't sure I'd be able to get up because my legs were still so sore! I did what I could but took it easy. I worked out harder Monday night than I did Wednesday night. Again the instructor was supportive, telling me a lot of beginners take a period of adjusting to the class and also to exercising in the heat. But I was discouraged, very discouraged.
This morning I mistnetted at the Bird Sanctuary and talked with Bird Whisperer. She's an exercise fiend. Despite the teasing she gave me, she told me her husband had the same experience of sore leg muscles and the inability to walk up and down stairs (thank goodness!) when he started exercising with her. She offered advice that ranged from leg stretches to the suggestion of eating protein after a workout in the thoughts that it builds muscle and perhaps cuts down on the soreness.
I felt a bit better after our talk, but I'm still feeling, well, discouraged. I'm not giving up on the class, but I've got a lot of work ahead of me to get back into good shape.