In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been through a lot in terms of fitness. Not only have I been boxing it up, but I also participated in a wheelchair rugby fundraiser, picked strawberries (yes, that’s fitness!), and participated in hot yoga, a first. All of this occurred while my back continued to recover and revolt (wash and repeat).
Wheelchair rugby was awesome, but it was not flattering. We were all attached to $5000 wheelchairs with big elastic straps that made any fat on our bodies squish either up, down, or both. Then, we made fools out of ourselves trying to turn the chairs right but inadvertently going left, moving backwards, and clanging against others as we tried to make ourselves available for throw-ins and passes. Ah, but we were great passers!
Lauren, her husband Adam, their friend Allison, and I played two twenty-minute games back-to-back, and, while we lost both, it was a lot of fun, especially when we played with one of the actual quad rugby players! Basically, the fundraiser was for a quad rugby team (people who are quadriplegic or paraplegic). I highly recommend the experience, as I wanted to just get up and run to where the ball was being tossed so many times! After a while, though, we agreed that we were learning to become one with the chairs.
This past weekend, after Saturday boxing, Lauren, Diana, and I went strawberry picking! It was a gorgeous 60-degree day. This was my first time, and I was surprised to find that we weren’t hitting the wilderness but rather attacking cultivated rows of strawberry plants. We picked adjacent rows and went for it, learning that, like much in life, the best results were yielded with patients and looking underneath the leaves for what was just waiting to be picked. My back ached a bit from the bending over and squatting, but it was nothing crazy. We left feeling satisfied that we’d picked our own snacks for the next couple of days.
Last came hot yoga, on Sunday morning. I’d practiced yoga before, for about six years, actually, until I was about 23. Yoga had a big impact on my life in that time when I had gone through a break-up and was living by bouncing home-to-home as a house-sitter for the summer. When the studio changed locations, for some reason I quit, and that’s when I very seriously took up Spinning. I’ve done it off and on, usually on my own, since then.
Well, hot yoga involved many of the same moves, just in quicker succession and with less repetition in a 95-degree room with I’d guess about 60 people. Wow! I couldn’t look behind me because I get so claustrophobic. I did well for about half the class, or at least as well as could be expected for someone who’s out of practice and dripping sweat. But then chair pose twisted to the right and bam! my back was done.
I was not thrilled. I sought solace in child’s pose but then thought I’d pass out. I cried. I actually cried in yoga, but I don’t think that anyone could tell–even if they were paying attention–because of the sweat. Perhaps the sweat made me more prone to crying, such as in those sweat tents where people bond and tell the stories about all the horrible things that have happened to them. Lauren saw me and offered sympathy, telling me to relax. I breathed. I told the instructor, eventually, and she was very compassionate. I sat there, and my right ankle tingled with pain, in addition to the searing pain in my lower back.
In the end, I would try hot yoga again, but only after bringing my practice up first the traditional, cold-air way. I also now know I need to seek the professional help of a doctor and a massage therapist. Don’t worry, there will be more to come, even if I need to step out and observe for a while! I really hope I can keep up with boxing, though, even if it’s a light version.
And that’s it for the past two weeks! Please send happy muscle fiber thoughts my way, and stay safe while you work out! Protect yourself, and always lift heavy objects with your legs, not your back.