This weekend I made a conscious effort to get back to the gym. Running may do wonders for my sanity, but it does absolutely zip for my waistline and so there is a dire need for interval training and the lifting of weights.
Of course, when you haven’t actually lifted anything for a while you’re a bit rusty and, considering I already have a pretty weak upper body at the best of times, I realised that the heaviest weight I could manage on today’s set of bicep curls was the second weight on the stack.
At this point, the evil gremlin that would much rather I were in the pub/going shopping/lying in bed reading a book emerged muttering ‘Two weights. You’ve schlepped yourself all the way into town to lift two weights – why bother?’ I was agreeing with it and embellishing with my own numerical dialogue – two weights, a measly nine kilos, what’s the point? – when the maths part of my brain kicked in….erm, nine kilos is 20lb. Twenty pounds is a stone and half. You’re lifting a stone and a half with that little bulgy muscle on the top of your arm. At this point I decided I was a bloody super hero.
After all if you asked me to go out and lift something that weighed a stone and a half up and down 36 times I’d tell you I couldn’t do it, it sounds so heavy – yet those weights just look so small.
At this point I realised there’s no such thing as a light weight on a gym machine. This has inspired me no end. I damaged my shoulder a few years back and find it really hard to lift it over my head without it hurting – and so if I do the shoulder machine I can literally only manage one weight – 4.5 kilos. Because that looks so pathetic, I don’t work one part of my body that probably really needs building back up – but now I’ve realised, even that one weight is over half a stone. I’m lifting half a stone with a shoulder that had a tear in it!
And yes I know that some of you reading this can probably lift two, five, ten – or more – times those amounts but that’s okay, I’m only interested in the fact that I’ve learned how re-framing how you think about something in the gym can make all the difference in inspiring you to do it. Next stop is lifting two stone.