We are officially in ‘triple lockdown’. Since cleft surgeries are considered elective and because I have taken the call to also shut my private practice for the duration of the restrictions (assuming no one is going to brave a cyclone, a pandemic AND the Kerala Police to come in for a Botox session), I am basically an unemployed surgeon at the moment. Of course that in no way means I have any free time on my hands. It only means I do not have the luxury of making the ‘it’s been a tough day at work’ excuse at home and postpone the baking, mopping, laundry, organising….
Ugh, I digress, dismally so.
For the old- timers here, Mondays used to be “Runday Monday’. I spoke of my love- hate relationship with running and all associated issues. Running is still part of my life, but without the obsessiveness.
I starting seriously lifting four months after I had Boss Man- aka Progeny No. 2. That was August 2017. I did loads of research into technique and nutrition, worked with a pro- bodybuilder as a trainer for a bit, trained with a bunch of powerlifters every Saturday and generally had a lot of days where I had to roll out of bed and cry out while getting up from the toilet. By November 2019, I realise now, I had come a long way. From body weight, to a ‘sissy bar’, to an olympic bar to squatting around 225 lbs (100 kg). I also managed to get past the ’50 kg barrier’, i.e. me weighing over 50 kilos whilst not being pregnant. The runner me averaged around 45- 47 kgs, the lifter me between 49 to 51 kgs. It may not seem like much of a difference, but it made a huge difference in terms of how I looked, felt and how my clothes fit.
I really, truly enjoyed the squat. The deadlift came a close second. Slowly re- introducing running into my regimen helped with the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) brought on by the weightlifting . The training regimen looks something like this- squat and deadlift focused sessions twice a week, bodybuilder-esque body part workouts for the upper- body, accessory work for the legs once a week, running 30-40 km per week. 30 km would be three 10km runs a week, sometimes slightly longer.
At the time, I could only squat once or twice a week. The second session of the week was mostly a technique and accessory focused one because I was always too sore to push myself. A good session, a maximal one would take a week to ten days to recover from.
Then I started to slip up. I tweaked my back and was in pain for about three months. The spine surgeon in my next- door OR told me to take it easy. I was a regular at our physiotherapy department for ultrasound pain relief.
And then COVID happened.
18 months since, and I feel I might be back to bar again. I have been working out off and on. But with none of the discipline of the old days. I am ashamed to say, that I did go long periods of time with no physical exercise to talk of. Physically, it didn’t take much of a toll, but mentally it’s been huge.
Moving to Trivandrum, has been unlike any other move before. It has been particularly jarring, for a lot of reasons. And I still don’t feel like I have gotten my bearings yet. I even signed up to a gym here, but it locked down a month after I did so- thanks again Messrs Corona. But we have finally managed to get a garage- gym sort of set- up sorted on the terrace. It is a work in progress and eventually we would like to have more structure and equipment. But at least we have a barbell, some plates and a rack. And most importantly, I can squat again.
For long, I have been tempted by those internet people who squat everyday. But I was always too sore to manage that. But this time, the challenge has been set. Squat everyday for 30 days. Not to the point of chasing maximal numbers everyday, the challenge is not that. The sets, reps, intensity, weight doesn’t matter- do whatever but with good technique and for 45 minutes. Warm up and work up to a working weight and reps and stop when tired or at 45 minutes. Today is day 5 and I’m really sore, therefore I’m not sure what I will be able to do today. I may walk on the treadmill for a bit and see if it eases some of the soreness, enough for me to atleast do the bar if possible, for a few sets.
Shall report on my progress here.
Till next time.
P.S. And hh yes, we are currently struggling with getting ten reps with 50 kgs on the bar.