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!

Ankylosing Spondylitis or Fibro is making it excruciating to tie my shoelace and lift a laptop today :)

Despite my health ailments, I try very hard to stay fit (I can’t take too much credit for it, it is just wired in me to want to move my body like some people are wired to climb mountains or paint pictures or collect stamps).  And currently at 5’11” I weigh 157 pounds dripping wet and can do 4 or 5 slow/easy/disciplined reps of 185 pounds bench pressing, 125 pounds bicep curling, 285 pounds leg pressing and 200 pounds lat pull downs, which isn’t too shabby all things considered and for a guy who doesn’t care too much about being strong or muscular (I just want to stay fit).

Yet today my Ankylosing Spondylitis and/or Fibro is especially active, and I could barely lift my laptop out of my laptop bag, and it was just excruciatingly painful to bend over (from a sitting positon) to tie my shoelace. How fascinating the body and health and illness are, where you can lift more than your bodyweight without straining or breaking a sweat,  yet lifting a laptop feels like trying to lift a truck, and trying to tie my shoelace feels like I was hit by that same truck.  Go figure.

Wife M wants me to see the Doc to make sure all is well.  I scheduled something on Monday morning.  I’m sure everything is fine – just another day in the life of chronic illness 🙂 

Ankylosing Spondylitis or Fibro is making it excruciating to tie my shoelace and lift a laptop today :)