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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Three Months, and Climbing

Last night was the start of the third month of going to the gym.  It has been wonderful!  My youth was an endless cycle of wretched, self-destructive behavior that often manifests itself in unexpected and painful ways.  Yesterday while loading my "gym bag"* I felt a twinge in my lower back, on the left side.  A twinge that turned, quickly, into a pang, and slid right into a debilitating ache of unbelievable agony**

After an internal debate that lasted most of the day I decided to go ahead and hit the gym. Reasoning that I could, at least, do my aerobic workout and then see how I felt. Oddly enough, the treadmill loosened up my sore back. And I managed to get my heart rate up and maintain the level for quite a while. In fact, things were going so well I had to stop and find a pod cast. Honestly, I thought it would be over so quickly that something new was unnecessary. But, soon things felt so good, I was on to "Sparta" from the "In Our Time" podcast series.

I am researching Sparta, and Athens (and the animosity and competition for supremacy that led to the awful excesses of the Peloponnesian war) for my new blog My New History Blog. I really like the "In Our Time" series, it is British, and the accent adds authority, but, the guests always have titles like "Ancient History Chair, at Oxford." So, it is not only the accent that gives the show credibility. Plus, they provide a lot of detail, in a way that keeps moving, and adds life to societies long gone. 

After spending a good deal of time, and a great deal of effort, on the treadmill, I was feeling pretty loose, and ready for some resistance training. Since my back was still a little sore I decided to use the free weights. I have been meaning to branch out a little anyway, and the resistance machines really seem to require a whole body effort. Plus, I read that varying your workout provides increased benefits, so this was the ideal time.

After asking the attendant about the best way to start I jumped right in. Dang, it is a completely different workout! They have no barbells, only dumbbells, but it is crazy how difficult it can be to move those heavy, little units from one place (down by your body, laying on the bench) to the top of a path described by the full extension of your arms. Not only do you have to lift them, you have to control them, they wobble, and twist, and almost seem animated. It is less lifting weights, and more wrestling weights. It is a constant struggle to keep them from taking off and going wherever they want. It was an eye opening experience, and I loved it. This morning, it is still with me, in my shoulders, my sides, and my arms. 


I have decided to make free weights part of my weekly routine. And, I have decided to start my history blog with Greece, it was going to start with Egypt, and Thutmose, but since I am in the middle of this podcast, and have a book about the subject, and it is my blog, after all, it will not be chronological, and proceed in a random order. Don't worry, when they publish the book, and make the movie we can arrange it in a more orderly fashion. 

Since I am a "lifter" now I may go to the Arnold Fitness Festival this weekend, so keep your eye open for that post, it will be great, or at least different.



*Technically, it is a back pack, that pulls duty as my "writers bag" my "travel bag" and occasionally my "photographers bag," though almost all of my photos are taken on my iPhone™ so normally my "photographers bag" is just a pocket.


**Well, maybe it wasn't that bad, but it hurt, a lot.