Hit a happy milestone yesterday!

Before my lung-disease diagnosis, I could do 140-pound bicep curls.  Six months later, after treatment for lung disease, I was so weak I had to literally use two hands to shave.  Yesterday, after 5 years of self-physical-therapy and very slow progress, I did 140 pound bicep curls again (without straining).  It felt great to return to my old gym strength (although my every-day strength is far weaker than 5 years ago.  There is no chance of me getting into a street fight  🙂 ).  

I also was able to do 5 *slow, easy* reps of 4 sets of 405 pound (the entire stack) of leg presses.  For some reason, my legs – which have always been strong for my weight/size — are suddenly freakishly strong, and I’ve gone from sets of 4 300 pound to 5 400 pound presses (with no straining) in just a couple of months.  Anyway, strength isn’t that important to me, but it is nice to reach my pre-illness strength and it is fun to watch the numbers climb a little.   I do have to be careful though – I need to keep my heart rate at a reasonable level and not get too into the additional reps and heavier weights.

Current numbers for my future reference:

  • Honest assessment of appearance: thin, fit or trim.  Up from borderline gaunt/skinny 3 years ago.
  • Age: 48
  • Weight: 159 pounds
  • Bicep Curl (4 reps): 140 pounds.
  • Leg Presses (5 reps, but need to go down to 4 to keep my heart rate low): 405 pounds.
  • Bench Press (2 reps): 200 pounds.
  • Shoulder Pull Down (or whatever it is called) (4 reps) 200 pounds or 220 pounds (3 reps). 
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Hit a happy milestone yesterday!

I can’t get over how much I suddenly enjoy going to the gym

My entire adult life, I’ve exercised.  For years, I did so in my basement (weights) or outdoors (walking/sprinting), but after we rented out our basement (mother-in-law apartment) a few years ago my wife enrolled me in a gym, so in the mornings I walk to the gym (30 minute walk), hit the weights (originally was 15 minute power thing, but since my illness and heart-rate restriction it is 30 minutes).  So I’ve always been disciplined – for me, exercising in the morning is like showering/brushing-the-teeth: I don’t like it, but it’s something I need to do.  But inexplicably, a few weeks ago I started actually enjoying the gym.  I walk down, spend a joyful 30 minutes lifting moderate weights, then walk back, and enjoy the entire process.  Why, after 20+ years of misery, do I suddenly enjoy the gym?  I have no clue, but I love the enjoyment!!!!  It is like actually enjoying the taste of vegetables (I don’t) or disliking the taste of sugar (I love sugar) – it is doing something that is good for you while enjoying it.  I hope it lasts!!  But I do have to be careful though – as someone with fibro and lung disease, I am under fairly strict orders to “not overdo it” and keep my heart rate at a reasonable level (usually 120-140 max, although sometimes they lower that to 100 during my annual tests); this is harder than it seems, as I really want to push myself to keep myself fit. 🙂

I can’t get over how much I suddenly enjoy going to the gym