After my workout with Billy on Sunday, the pain and soreness continued to get worse. I thought that the quick cardio bout on Monday would help to loosen up my muscles, but I was dead wrong. Come Tuesday, I had to walk down the stairs at work sideways (again). I felt pretty far from a young, healthy thirty-one year old. And all I kept thinking about was how-only a few days ago-I reflected on the need to listen to my instincts and not overdo it in the gym. What's going on here?
I know I'm feeling all gung-ho because of the New Year, so that explains why I would go into the gym with full intentions of blazing through a tough workout. And having Billy there to encourage me was awesome, but maybe I did feel a little bit competitive and tried too hard to keep up with him (his conditioning is unbelievable!). So next time, regardless of whether he is with me or not, I'm just going to have to pace myself and not push too far past my limits. I know I have to push hard, but I have to feel motivated to get back to the gym.
Tuesday night, despite the nasty pain still going on, I went to Tai Chi class. I nearly didn't. But I called down to a place deep within me and mustered up the strength to pull on the stretchy pants and go. And I'm so glad I did. There was a new member in the class so our instructor, Carrie, went back to the basics so she could get familiar with the foundations of Tai Chi. We did a lot of Qi Gong (pronounced "chee gong"), which is sort of a prerequisite to Tai Chi forms and is a method of cultivating energy. It involves static and dynamic movement, and meditation. After about forty minutes of this, Carrie began to tell us about the fundamental symbol of Tai Chi; the yin yang.
The yin yang is the foundation of all Tai Chi movement. It is push and pull, night and day, summer and winter, etc. It is polar opposites, but Carrie explained that one cannot exist without the other, in Tai Chi and in life. Knowing how sore I was, she then used my situation as an example to further explain this principle to my new classmate. She said that in order to make progress with physical health, you have to push yourself but also known when to pull back. Not every "resolutioner" will experience this at the gym, but every single person experiences this at some point in life. So I guess it's true. No matter how much others (and myself) encourage me to go past my limits, it's just going to have to be ok to say no sometimes.
Happily, I woke up this morning and almost sprung out of bed, most of the pain vanished. I took the stairs like a champ at work and went straight to the gym afterwards for a very good workout. Another Peak Eight, followed by three rounds of moderate body weight work, abs, and stretching. I'm convinced that the Tai Chi really helped to ease all that pain, and the icing on the cake was that it helped to relax my mind as well. Looking forward to my first night of yoga tomorrow!
Published On: January 06, 2011