Thursday, August 19, 2010

Slow, Not So Steady...

Each week at physical therapy, they're reintroducing me to new exercises. The last couple of times they had me riding the bike; today they had me do the treadmill.

Now I've belonged to several gyms in my lifetime so I've logged plenty of hours on the treadmill. It's not my favorite piece of equipment; I'd much rather walk outdoors where I'm actually GOING somewhere, but I'd always use it as a warm-up exercise. Generally, I'd walk on it for about 20 minutes at a speed of 3.0 -- a nice, easy walk. I'd then adjust the incline a bit to get in some hills. Once I was done, I'd move on to the elliptical or weights and really amp up my exercise.

However, when I got on the treadmill today, I could barely do five minutes. Five minutes at .9 miles per hour! Yeesh! I've been trying to push myself with my walking, but when I was forced to do it a steady rate, I was huffing and puffing and my leg and hips felt like jelly. When I was finished, I collapsed into a nearby chair and the therapist quickly got me some water. I seriously think she was afraid I'd pass out.

I know I'm not 100 percent yet; I know that I'm recovering from a broken leg and torn ligaments and that I still have to rebuild my muscles. But it was embarrassing that what used to be my "relaxing" warmup exercise has become so difficult for me. The therapist even asked me if I've ever used a treadmill before and I wanted to scream, "OK, so I know I'm a fat blob, but I completed a 20 mile walk and a 10K not that long ago!"

The goal is for me to be able to walk for 10 minutes on the machine. The idea is for me to correct my gait so that I stop limping, but for me, this has turned into my personal vendetta: Mrs. Thighs vs. the treadmill. On Tuesday, I will do seven minutes and by next Thursday, I will be up to 10. And then that speed is going to come up, as well. I may be obese, but the former gym rat in me refuses to be showed up by a lame machine. I mean, the last time I belonged to a gym and was training for the 20-miler -- my beloved basement gym that was shut down so that they could build freakin' condos -- I could leg press 125 lbs. I used to enjoy showing up the men at the gym with my strength and they didn't know what to say. Fat girl had game!

Treadmill, I have called you out. It is ON.

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