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Muscle Memory.

All I need is a handlebar moustache.Exercise professionals say that muscle has memory, and that even when you are away from exercise for a long stretch of time, your muscles "remember" the level of fitness they once laid claim to, and rebuilding that muscle becomes easier.

To this, I say a hearty HA! 

HA HA HA!!

Because my muscles, which were in decent shape before my pregnancy, have developed wicked amnesia.  As evidenced by the fact that when Chris and I attempted to bike the hills of Block Island this past weekend, I was a disaster.  

"Can ... we ... aah ... hang on a minute ... can you slow ... down?  For like ... a sec?"  I panted, trying like hell to keep up as we navigated our bikes up a 90 degree (okay fine, maybe like 40 degree) incline. 

"Sure.  You okay back there?"  Chris called back to me.

"My legs?  Hate me.  And ... my stomach?  Agrees with my legs."  I caught my breath and tried to peddle up the hill towards where Chris was waiting patiently.  

"These hills are tough, Kerri.  I'm feeling it, too.  You're doing great.  Don't forget where you were eight weeks ago."

He had a point.  Eight weeks ago, I was in the hospital, recovering from BSparl's escape.  Eight weeks ago, my feet didn't fit into my sneakers, thanks to the extreme swelling, courtesy of preeclampsia.  But now, it's been almost two months since BSparl's birthday, and I'm itching to feel more like myself.  

"I know, but I want to be able to do all this crap again.  It's going to take me a while to do this ride, but next time, it will be easier, right?"

"Right."

My lower abdominal muscles were pissed off, and rightly so, after the bike ride.  They haven't been bothered too much lately (especially after I tried to do sit ups last week and almost died of shame), but the strain in play during the bike ride reawakened them. And even though I felt like I was going to keel over and I definitely almost burst into tears on one of the major hills, the next morning, the aches in my torso and legs actually felt good.  The kind of good I felt whenever I'd start a new workout. That sick, sadistic kind of good that makes you contemplate doing the workout again.

I haven't done much exercising since the seven month mark of my pregnancy, so my body is a bit rusty.  (Rusty = lazy and kind of squishy.)  I feel like I'm learning to workout all over again.  And it's awkward and clumsy.  And hard.

Slowly but surely, my muscles will remember what they should be doing and how they should be responding. That muscle memory I've heard so much about will eventually kick in.   

Until then, I'll feed them a gingko biloba cocktail.

Comments

GOOD FOR YOU for even trying!! I'm impressed. I'm scared I'll be that woman who uses pregnancy & post pregnancy as an excuse for doing NADA and loving it. :)

Oh, that adrenaline rush of being active again. Finally got it yesterday on the elliptical (albeit, a slow workout).

What a feeling.

I love Chris' encouraging words! What a great workout buddy :)

GREAT JOB, KERRI! Keep up the great work and enjoy your sweet baby :)

After my c section with my daughter, I was anxious to resume exercise too. After I had the doctor's permission, I lay don on the floor and tucked my feet under a chair. I attempted to do a sit-up. Nothing happened. Apparently they cut some ab muscles. It took a long time and hard work to exercise like I used to.

I'm still trying to get in shape from my first baby -- she's 33!

So, where was BSparl during this workout?? Did she have a babysitter?? Or was she slung on your back?
;-)

Hang in there and keep at it! Before you know it, you will be back to exactly where you were. I've been fairly serious athlete for years and have had to come back from a few injuries here and there. I know how tough it is to try and do something that you were once able to do with ease. But the cool thing about exercise is that if you stick with it, you'll always improve!! Just keep pushing yourself and don't give up.

I'm just now trying to get into shape. I still haven't gotten that hard core start on it yet, but I'm trying to get my body used to it.
Keep at it. Hopefully we'll both get where we want to be soon. :)

Go you!!!! I know it's tough, but each time it will get a little easier. You absolutely will work your way back to where you used to be. But remember, it took months for you to get here . . . . so you won't get back over-night. You are well on your way though!!! Go you!! And hurrah for achy muscles! Wear them with pride!

Take it slow and you will actually feel that memory in the muscles. And I mean literally - take it slow. When you do each exercise slowly, you can feel what the range of motion felt like rather than just assaulting it with overexertion. That is sure to put a smile on your face because you are doing the work, watching the growth and recovery, and feeling good about not killing yourself.

You're awesome! I can't believe your out there biking hills so soon! Way to go! :D

Keep it up, Kerri!

I worry about muscle memory too because I'm taking a big big break from powerlifting so an injury can heal...but the term muscle memory really doesn't mean we'll get it back instantly! It's more like it'll come back more quickly and easily than it took to get there in the first place.

Keep it up! :)

I remember when I used to be so active, and then I stopped exercising for a couple years. And it is so difficult for me to get back in shape, because I seem to feel tired after 5 minutes and can't continue. But kudos to you to keep going! Wish I had more willpower to!

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