Rehab diaries: The bounce-back kid, part 2

Another corner turned, to be sure.

I’m lucky enough to have a gym at work. And luckier still to have some fitness-minded coworkers, one in particular, keen to see my fitness comeback. So, I’ve been hitting the gym often again, just like in the old days (And by “the old days” I mean, not that long ago.), usually with a coworker who knows far more about weight training that yours truly.

At first, while trying to run again on the treadmill felt exciting and relieving, returning to weights felt discouraging in that I realized just how far I’d fallen having to stay out of the gym all this time. So, the first cycle of workouts were awful: light weights, low reps, even straining to do what was quite simple months ago. But, after the the first cycle of workouts, I started to feel my muscles start to slowly begin to shift from sore and horribly untrained (as if every shred of athletic conditioning had simply never happened) to yesterday’s joy: Yesterday I felt tighter muscles working with me, not against me.

It’s been a ridiculous time getting back to this point. I’ll admit that I felt completely disconnected from my runner friends. For months, even while in physical therapy and seeing a bit of progress, I didn’t feel like an athlete anymore. And, I built a lot more of my life on that mindset that I was perhaps able to admit before the injury. I largely ignored the blogs and websites I read daily before because they didn’t feel as the same to me as they did in earlier, fitter, uninjured times.

But, to hell with all that. As much as it has felt very one step forward, two steps back for months, I think (hope) the corner is finally turned.


The rehab diaries: part bajillion

I’m heading to physical therapy tonight. Again. And, I’m dreading it. Again. There is something in the athletic mindset that fight physical therapy’s gentler approach. We push ourselves, we want results. Physical therapy, at least my experience of it, is an exercise in patience and trusting that things are improving, even wen absolutely nothing feels different or better at all.


Granted, I’m rehabbin’ my hip/lower back still, but I spent this past weekend in Bozeman, MT and Yellowstone National Park walking around, breathing good clean mountain air, and hanging out with my brother.

I really must get back there to do some serious hiking sometime soon.

Feel free to check out my Flickr set from the weekend.

Medal Worthy: CW-X for Breast Acknowledgement

I would just like to take a moment and thank CW-X for their print advertisement which states: While the rest of the world focuses on big breasts, most sports bras refuse to acknowledge them.

Rock on with your excellent sports suspension system bra, bonkfighter.

Fitness and Weight Print Ads

You know me, cultural critic of advertising’s messages and tools. Meh, I accept this.

What are your thoughts on Men’s Fitness’ photo list of highlights from fitness print ads? I like the Powerhouse Gym’s use of cranes, and The Fitness Company’s depiction of a gym lifting on a subway train. Both are about positive additions to one’s life and health and strength.

But the others, the Slim Fast disappearing act and the Weight Watcher’s wide door ads seem a little unsettling and, well, dangerous and mean-spirited, respectively. Where the gym ads are constructive and about strength, the weight-based ads seem to work off linking comfort/embarrassment and size. And, the Slim Fast ad was too close to the controversy several years ago around the ProForm collapsible treadmill ad which declared “Soon, you’ll both be taking up less space“… which I’ve always thought was in bad taste.

Anyway, the things to consider is that while Men’s Fitness lumped all of these ads together as “fitness ads”, a distinction should be made that there are weight loss ads and conditioning ads. Often linked, but still not the same topic.

Let us discuss.

Race Profile: The Military Marathons

I’m not going to lie: I think the military races are badass. And, I can’t imagine I won’t feel badass after completing them all, which is a goal on the ol’ lifetime to do list. Here’s the scoop:

US Air Force Marathon, Sept. 19th: Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton OH
Race info and course map here.
Super-bonkfighting power: Aircraft flyovers during the race and deployed-location simultaneous races.

Army Ten-Miler, Oct. 4th, Arlington, VA/Washington, DC
Race info and course map here.
Super-bonkfighting power: Finisher coin in lieu of medal, course is a great tour of Washington, DC; it begins and ends at the Pentagon.

US Marine Corps Marathon, Oct. 25th: Arlington, VA/Washington, DC
Race info and course map here.
Super-bonkfighting power: Hills are ugly but early, course is a total tour of Washington DC and finish is at US Marine Corps War Memorial.

Become A Runner This Month

I know, I can hear you now: Say what? GTFO! Think again! Easy for you to say! But, hear me out because you can go from a conditioned walker to a runner in about four weeks.

If you can walk a mile in about fifteen minutes, and sustain the pace for a few miles, you’re more ready to run than you might think. It goes something like this:

Week One: Warm up with a brisk walk for about five minutes. Run for two or three minutes, at a pace slow enough that you feel a little goofy, then walk for one minute. Now, do that again three times so you run two or three minutes, walk for one minute, run two or three minutes, walk for one minute, run two or three minutes, walk for one minute. Cool down with a walk for about five minutes. Super simple. Do that three times in week one. Don’t worry about your speed. Speed for a new runner is like buying a Porsche without  any savings but with a pile of debt. Build a solid foundation, then enjoy the big payoffs, mmmkay? That’s super important.

Week Two: Warm up with brisk walk for about a five minutes. Run for three of four minutes, at a pace slow enough to feel a little goofy, then walk for one minute. Same as above, do that three times, and cool down with a walk for about five minutes. Again, super simple. Do this three times in week two.

Week Three: Warm up with your BFF, the brisk walk, for about five minutes. Run for five or six minutes, walk for one minute. Repeat three times and cool down with another five minute walk, same as you’ve been doing. Do that three times in week three.

Week Four: You know the drill. Warm up with your five minute walk, run one mile, walk for one minute. Repeat three times, then cool down with a five minute walk, and repeat process three times in week four.

This is how walkers turn themselves into runners when they feel ready, and this same gradual build is how people train for even the longest of races, one minute at a time. Remember, too, that it’s okay to tweak this a tiny bit to suit you and work for you because remember, it’s your running practice. Make it work how you work.