Am I Getting Stronger? (My Fitness Journey – Vertex Fitness Diary 12)
Getting stronger is, in truth, only part of my goal for performing strength training at Vertex Fitness every week. Getting stronger is the reason for the exercises we perform, but I actually sought out strength training for the host of side benefits that it brings with it.
I first started working out with Vertex Fitness by chance. I attended a networking function where I met Dwayne Wimmer, the owner and proprietor of Vertex Fitness, and I won a raffle that entitled me to three free sessions of personal training. I didn’t know what to expect from personal training, as I had never been an athlete or spent any serious time in the gym in my life. I found the personal attention to be helpful, and the experience after my first workout could be described as “rewarding”. It really does feel good to work up a sweat, sometimes.
If You’re Slowly Getting Stronger, Do You Notice?
Day in and day out, the honest answer is no. The changes happening to my body are gradual, week-after-week gains, and I don’t “feel” stronger right after a workout. In fact, most of what I feel is hungry, with “motivated” coming in at a close second. I do know for a fact that I have gotten measurably and demonstrably stronger since I started working out, because my chart reveals that I do more reps on heavier weights than I was capable of when I first started attending sessions.
Instead of feeling stronger, I notice fewer moments of feeling “weak”. For example, I notice that I do not get as winded or tired when walking up a flight of stairs. I can walk up a flight at a normal walking speed without feeling the same slight burn in my quads and hamstrings that I did before. The other place I notice it is when I do gardening–I feel that I can move heavy pots and bags of dirt around more easily, and I move a heavy watering can around with one hand instead of two now. This is probably the most my strength has noticeably improved, at least to me.
Dare I Say It… But I Have Abs Now??
Although, I must share, I caught the briefest glimpse of some ab action in the mirror the other day. No one was more surprised than me–like I said, I’ve never had an athlete’s body, and though I’ve been lucky to more or less maintain a healthy weight with little (but increasing) trouble, I would never have described myself as toned or cut in any way. Seeing the beginnings of some muscle definition is changing the way I think about myself and my body, for the better. Even as I struggle with a stubborn fifteen pounds that I’d rather do without, it was good to see some positive changes that I could feel proud of. We too often have a strictly antagonistic relationship with our bodies. I’d never experienced this before entering my late twenties, as I was always happy with my weight and never needed to do much to keep it where I wanted it. Now that my metabolism has been slowing down as I near my thirties, I’ve been surprised by just how much these extra fifteen pounds have affected me. That’s one reason that it’s so important to me to continue my work at Vertex Fitness. It’s not enough just to feel constantly disappointed with my body, but I need to be reminded of all of the amazing (and slowly increasing) things that it can do. I’ve slowly been learning that the number on the scale isn’t the be-all-end-all, but rather my ability to live a full life with increased strength and stamina is important. I’m looking forward to getting even stronger.