Did I ever mention that I signed up for the Tough Mudder? Well, I did. It’s in September. It’s at 10,000 feet. Now, I live almost a mile up, so it’s not like a shore-dweller doing a ten-mile obstacle course at 10,000 feet, but it’s still going to be brutal. What was I thinking?
I actually wake up in a panic over this occasionally. Usually it’s after a weekend of slacking on my shoulder PT.
I did that this past weekend. I skipped the exercises on Saturday and on Monday. On Saturday we were busy, and it had been raining all week, so I hated the world/napped with every free minute. Monday was again very busy, and by the end of it I just wanted my bed.
I have four resistance band exercises that I do on each side, 3 sets of 15; I do two types every day. There are two other optional (but immensely helpful) ones that I have to do at the gym. They require the lat pull-down machine, a stability ball, and a platform.
I hate them because I’ve been doing them three times a week for two years.
I hate them because they are tedious.
I hate them because the nature of my shoulder issues means I will never actually progress in them; I will always and forever use the green resistance band, and 3 sets of 15 will always and forever be uncomfortable and hard.
I hate them because I know I have to do them all three times per week until I die or stop caring about being able to use my shoulders and arms at all.
Mostly, I hate them because they look like old lady exercises, and I feel kind of stupid doing them.
With the lat machine, it’s not even a full pull-down. I grip the bar above my head and then pull my shoulder blades down and together. It looks like I’m a really weak person who is in denial about the amount of weight she can pull down. This is because, given the chance, my shoulder blades would slide all the way around my body and become protective chest plates.
The stability ball push-ups are even more super fun. Fun in the extreme. Fun like getting punched in the face. I put a stability ball on the corner of a platform and then attempt push-ups while squeezing the sides of the ball with my hands. It’s incredibly difficult, but it looks wussy. I know this because there are mirrors everywhere in the room where I do these push-ups, mirrors of mockery. It makes me want to force everyone in there with me to try them with me while I laugh.
(Yes, I know none of you strong people notice me; a tiny yet vocal part of me knows even harder that you are all laughing at me).
So I skipped those all weekend. You’d think just a few days wouldn’t make a big difference, right? Nope. Everything is weaker. I’m at half strength for some of the weights I regularly lift. I accept this for the exercises that require shoulder stability. But even my grip is worse. If you look at your arm and grab something tightly, you will notice that all the gripping muscles are far removed from the shoulder muscles, so please explain that to me.
Anyway, all this to say that I am a little apprehensive about this Tough Mudder thing. This doesn't mean I don’t want to do it. I do. A LOT. But I definitely need more motivation with the shoulder exercises. It doesn't take long to catch back up, but I need to get strongER for this thing, not just stay where I am. So here are a few ideas for every day that I do them:
My children clean their room without complaining.
The dishes wash themselves.
My lawn dies so it never has to be mowed again.
Fairies give me a dollar.
Fairies give me wine.
I’m sure none of these will be counterproductive at all, so help me make it happen.