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Monday, May 30, 2011

How quickly the calluses tear, slough off, reform.

The skin on my hands seems destined to be forever in a state of change. One moment toughened by persistence; another, torn clean through -- exposed. Hours spent each week attacking an immovable wall, sequencing new climbs until muscles develop memory, become capable of new holds, gain strength.

I watch as my body reforms. The weeks turn my shell unfamiliar – my body becoming unexplored territory.

Layers of lazy blubber burned off: left in sweat upon ropes, rock walls. Alien muscles poke out, jut angularly from my arms. I watch them ripple even now as I type these lines. My forearms are new to me – more structured. Their definition sharpens.

Each pedal revolution chisels my legs. The miles becoming strong quads, cut calves, lungs that refuse to quit. I push harder, pass riders on road bikes… going uphill.

I run. Not from anything, but for the sake of feeling the calm attenuation to my breathing, my footfalls. Each stride a step closer to surpassing a former distance record; an attempt at regaining the pacing of my youth.

The miles remake me. Not a slow transformation.

Rounding out seemed to have occurred at a glacial pace. Unnoticed, until finally a photograph made me recoil from my own image. Induced a desire for change.

Each day now the juts and angles of me appear through gasping lungs, strained muscles, and sweat. Always sweat. This salty sheen of me indication of progress, of regaining the body I’d lost to neglect.


A new milestone

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Last week was my recovery week. It was a welcome respite before what will be for me a newer, higher and sustained level of activity.

I decided earlier this spring that I would begin commuting to work almost exclusively by bicycle beginning in May. This will mean roughly two hours of biking every day to get to/from work. And this will be in addition to what has become a very active schedule of rock climbing two to three times a week, running a couple times a week, going on weekend bike rides with my friends and otherwise training for an adventure/obstacle race my husband and I will be doing together in July.

Yesterday, a typical Saturday, my husband and some friends met up at our local climbing gym and spent five hours taking turns climbing, belaying one another and just generally having a great time. I tried climbs that were pretty advanced for me, and while not making it to the top on any of the climbs I tried yesterday, I worked really hard and made some great progress. My muscles were pretty wrecked by the end of the night. And, in typical Saturday fashion, I was unconscious within an hour of getting home and slept one of those groggy and not-so-restorative sleeps when each movement or muscle twitch brought me back to near consciousness.

I work up this morning utterly exhausted and wondering how I could possibly make it through today feeling anything but sluggish and unproductive. Rather than dwell on that, however, I decided to go out for a run this morning... And I ran five miles - the farthest distance I have run in one jaunt, and I ran this distance at a faster-than-usual pace for me.

I'm looking forward to the new possibilities this higher level of activity will open up for me. If the rain lets up, the mountain bike trails will be open soon and I'll add trail riding in to the mix on weekends. A few more weeks and it should be nice enough and warm enough to climb outdoors - something I have never done before - which makes me anxious and excited in new ways. And my first 5k of the season - my second one ever - is only a month away.

Today I feel alive and hopeful and just generally tougher than I've ever felt before.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITKITTYMAMA 5/1/2011 12:20PM

    It sounds like you are in a wonderful place right now, growing and expanding your horizons and opening up to everything that your body is willing and capable to do!

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