Monday, July 6, 2009

When Hard Work Pays Off

I will be the first to admit that strength training does not come easily to me. Maybe it's not that it doesn't come easy, but that I have never really enjoyed it. I have to actually give myself pep talks when I go to the gym to lift, something I've never had to do with running.

With my recent knee injury, I've gotten into the routine of doing 3 days a week of strength training. This is probably the first time in my life I've ever been consistent with strength training. Sure, I used to try and lift once or twice a week, but if I skipped it? No biggie.

WELL, let me just tell you - and please sit down - I'm actually starting to enjoy it. I don't know if it's the whole act of it that I enjoy, but I can't tell you how great it feels when I'm finished. Kind of like a long run. Except for the FIRST time in my life, I feel strong.

I've always been the girl with string bean arms who gets teased (lovingly?) for being weak. I've also always envied women who have real strength. In fact, as I watched Serena and Venus Williams battle it out on the court this weekend, I thought - they could seriously kick most guys' asses. That's awesome!

I've slowly increased my weights and the pounds I'm lifting over the past couple of months, and can definitely tell a difference physically. But this weekend, I also had solid proof of my hard work!

Long story short, I bought a TV stand off of Craig's list. I went to get it and the guy wasn't there.! It was at a storage place, and I tried the door and it actually opened. I only had my parent's van for an hour, so I knew I had to buck it up and do the damn thang.

Well, it took about 15 minutes, but I managed to lift the stand into the back of the van. All by myself! (Look, mom - no hands!) The guy pulled up just as I was leaving (of course) and said, "hmmm, you lifted that in there yourself?" I told him yes, and he said, "well, I'm impressed!" It made me feel so good to know that I'm not that weak girl with string bean arms anymore!

(Yes, I am a wee tad bit obsessed with "Twilight".)
I hope that doesn't come off braggy, but it just goes to show you that you can really surprise yourself in terms of what you can accomplish. I hear runners ALL the time say, "I couldn't even run a mile __ years ago!" Or I hear people say things like, "I was forced to swim when I was injured, now I love it!" (Sadly, I wish that was me.) Me? I was the girl who thought she'd never be strong.

What about you? How have you surprised yourself with your achievements?

Today I am thankful for:

- red, seedless grapes

- flats being in style

- driving with the car windows rolled down


Fitzalan said...

I am surprised I am a runner. I never would have thought that I would become a long distance runner and someone who has competed in triathlons. And I have won some and have placed in my age group in probably a dozen.

I never would have imagined this would be me.

(oh yeah and I'm obsessed with the Twilight Series too)

Happiness Awaits

Amy said...

I LOVE this post. Seriously. Nothing wrong with starting to like strength training and "bragging" a bit about becoming strong! Heck, I do it all the time. I have those "string bean" arms, too, and it takes me forever to see results or "feel strong." So the fact that you are accomplishing these things is GREAT and so powerful! :)

kristen said...

I've been developing my love for weight training too. I definitely see a difference in my muscle tone the more I do it. I used to not want to "bulk up," but have since wised up and realized I don't have to be big to be strong. :)

Keep lifting! Don't you love feeling sore the next day (or two), knowing you're doing something right??

Peanut Butter Swirl said...

aww i am glad to hear that your enjoying strength training. I really need to increase how I strength train.

Fitnut said...

That's awesome! Way to go. I love feeling strong and toned. It really does help with the self-esteem and confidence. And you can see the improvements.

Can't wait till the next Twilight movie comes out :)

homecookedem said...

Way to go not needing a man to help you!!!!! Seriously, if you can't brag on your own blog, there's something not right! ;) Keep on bragging away! You have a lot to be proud of!! I definitely get surprised when I improve in yoga or get a PR in running. In March of 2008 I ran a 1/2 marathon and went to work the next day and didn't feel a thing! It was amazing.

I too am very thankful for seedless red grapes!! YUM! :)

Summer Slim said...

i am the same way with strength training. i really need to start being consistent with it this summer!

inmytummy said...

That's awesome.

I'm surprised that I've run a marathon. I was always the last one in the mile in gym class.

Missy said...

I know exactly how you feel! As soon as I started a Total Body Conditioning class twice a week, I felt so much stronger. Once I stopped for a few months, I got all depressed when I felt weak again! Congrats on sticking with it! Love the TV stand and the TV!!

Nicole said...

I love that TV stand! Its so nice! :) Sounds like your getting to be quite buff! I need to work on that-- I have tiny arms lol!

I'm thankful for

~flats being in style too ** i LOVE FLATS **
~nice people
~my own bed

insideiamdancing said...

It's so great when you notice the effects of hard work paying off! I have never really done strength training but am looking for some non-impact exercise- how did you start? (I danced, but that's my only 'formal' exercise!)

(also loving that flats are in style!)

triathlonvirgin said...

Nice work Holly. Just be careful shaking hands with people. You might break some fingers with your new found strength! :)

kilax said...

What an inspiring story! It is inspiring me to do some weight training for once!

livinghealthyintherealworld said...

That's awesome, good for you! Whenever I start doing something for long enough, it generally starts growing on me.

- Sagan

RunToFinish said...

amen on flats being in style!!

i can't believe you picked up that stand by yourself, I lift weights but usually have issues with bulky things.

i was surprised to start loving yoga when i got injured, funny how the mind works