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?"
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.