By: Revanche

My version of the 30-day Shred Challenge

January 10, 2010


Well-Heeled’s sort of convinced me to join her small army of Jillianators. Almost.  There’s something creepy about the name “Shredders.”  Oh, right, Shredder a la hunter of Ninja Turtles!  No no, I can’t be part of that.

I don’t have any interest in losing weight, or getting toned ’cause I’m happy with the shape of my body.  I am interested, however, in regaining some of my lost stamina.  Y’see, I just realized that I’ve been saying, “when I was in shape, I could ….” for ten years.  That’s right, this year is my ten-year reunion. Not that I’m going ….

My physical activity’s just fallen off a cliff since high school.  I did martial arts, I rode horseback, I ran track, and I remember being 17 years old, swearing that my workout routines would not change one iota once I started college.

I meant well, and hung on for a few more years.  Then life got in the way. Between my joints, which had been steadily deteriorating, and 80-hour work and school weeks, I couldn’t keep up the active lifestyle. After graduating, work consumed my life, and the constant joint pain meant high impact was off the table. All I knew was high impact, I was the fishy not allowed to swim anymore! [Ironically, I can’t swim.]  I blinked, and my ability to exercise for three hours at a time was just … gone!

It felt like it happened overnight, but that’s not the case.  It’s taken this long to accept that getting back to exercise means starting at the very beginning like I’m a freshman in high school but with the joints and fatigue of an 75-year-old and finding a new level of fitness.  Not acting like I can do everything just like when I was 18.  That was the key to my failure every other time I worked out.  Haunted by ghosts of What I Used To Do, I’d push myself far beyond my abilities and end up flat on my back. 

Older and wiser, I’m going to join the periphery of the group by taking up my own challenge of working from 20 up to 30 minutes of free form cardio activity each day.  It’s nice to have a sense of solidarity, even if it’s virtual.

As a tester, I did 20 mins of wind sprints with a dash of free weights yesterday.  I’m going to hang at 20 minutes for a while because my knees were like jelly afterward.  But I didn’t reach the point of severe bedridden pain. 

As hard as it is to start over, I can’t wait to experience the joy of exercise again.  The endorphins, the hard-earned sweat that clears out your pores, the yellow cake I’d bake from a 99 cent mix and eat afterward.  Awesome.

If anyone is interested in the Shred, head on over to Well-Heeled’s and join the group!  If you just want to hang out and chuckle at my geriatric efforts, you’re more than welcome.  Chime in at any time if you have low-impact activity suggestions to add to the mix. 

Oh, and don’t be surprised if my daily updates all start with “I almost died.”  I’ll mean it, every time. 

7 Responses to “My version of the 30-day Shred Challenge”

  1. eemusings says:

    Went for my first run of the year yesterday. Felt like I was going to die. Tell me it gets better!

    It felt perversely good, though. Looking forward to building up some fitness and stamina. Go us!!

  2. Woo! This year is my 10-year reunion as well (I’m also not going)! I am doing the “shred” because I get winded if I have to go up more than one flight of stairs…I’m not even a big girl, just out of shape 🙁 So here’s to building up that stamina! RAWR!

  3. There are some exercises that are easier on your joints! I did the elliptical trainer at the gym, and it was still a pretty good workout without all the ankle (my bad joints) pain. There’s also biking or simply walking. I hate to hear of your knees hurting that badly!

    Then again, my workout strategy is “No pain, no pain.” So maybe I’m not the best judge.

  4. I’m like you sort of — I am happy with my body weight, but still benefit from being in shape. I’m more into cardio — it makes me feel so much better. But I’m also a bit of a bandwagon person, so I joined! 30 days isn’t too long!

  5. Good luck!! I’m a better athlete at 40 than I was as a teenager. The first few weeks won’t be fun, but it gets better after that.

  6. Sense says:

    ha ha ha, Shredder!! I can’t believe I got that right away. It’s been eons since I thought of TMNT!

    Ok, now to actually read your post…

  7. Revanche says:

    @eemusings: I’m still in that phase, but I think it must get better after this! Also haven’t gotten the it hurts in a good way part yet, either.

    @MGS Fotographie: Go us for stamina!

    @paranoidasteroid: Hah, that’s been my mantra lately, but since I don’t get even minimal exercise anymore I’ve got to get moving. I’ll have access to a friend’s gym for a little while so I’m going to try the elliptical idea.

    It’s all the joints, now, really, so I have to extra careful.

    @stackingpennies: Yeah, there’s something nice about knowing that if you’re suddenly being chased by awful people, you won’t poop out after a block.

    Or is that just me?

    @frugal zeitgeist: You have no idea how much I admire you for that. Thanks for the encouragement!

    @Sense: Hehe, thanks for getting it. 😀

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