Val's blog entry #20, October 9th


Work out like a grown-up!

Today we wished a very happy birthday to Brian Byers, who is 51 years young today and, by any measure, in terrific physical shape. Molly set up a pretty intense “descending” workout, in which the rotation had fewer and fewer items as we finished each round. Of course she included the obligatory birthday burpees! They were, mercifully spread out over the workout.

To start, we were given 8 minutes to get in 13 burpees and a run to the telephone poll and the front of the Y as many times as we could. From there, we took to the mat with various ab exercises, including a single leg v-ups, “rainbows” (moving both legs together in an arc from a v-sit) and “Santana” pushups – pushups from which we were to go into a side plank.

I was pretty psyched, as I know how to pace myself for a run, and am pretty up to speed on ab stuff too. I really love how wrung out we feel after one of Molly’s workouts, and am pretty proud of how I’ve mostly been able to keep up.

But I noticed chest pain half-way through the rainbows. I’ve got some weird and only partially diagnosed heart stuff going on, and have been informed that I am to respect chest pain absolutely and to scale activity WAY down when I encounter it.

That’s a pretty straightforward directive, pretty easy to understand, but it’s much harder to implement than you’d think, because I am a human with certain impairments around denial and pride.

It didn’t hurt that much. I totally could have powered through it, and I really wanted to, because I was really looking forward to this workout. But I’m only 58, and I’d definitely like to have this body around for another 30 years or so, which these days apparently means I have to respect the signals it sends when it isn’t happy with what I’m doing. So, upsetting as it was to do so, (I mean, it’s wimpy to stop, and stopping attracts unwanted attention to me and to the infirmity I really don’t want to admit I have to deal with!) I swallowed my pride, stepped off the mat, let Molly know what was going on (My doctor’s note clearing me for the challenge mentions that I should participate “with caution” so Molly has been looking out for me all along) and sat out the rest of the session. Eventually my heart rate fell back to resting, and the pain subsided, and I was fine to drive myself home.

Sigh. I would definitely have liked to finish right along side all the young (I’m looking at YOU Brian!) folks today. But sometimes you have to go for the long game. Yes, I will be talking to my doctor.

Really hoping to be back at it with all of you on Wednesday!

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