I have tendonitis in both elbows, have had it for the last year or so. The last six months were particularly bad as the tendonitis started to impede the use of my hands. So I quit a number of things, like shooting in my trap league, using the rowing machine at the Y, and weight training. I went to physical therapy, I monitored my ergonomics, and I did the stretches and exercises as proscribed.
Yesterday I resumed weight training!
(I say I have tendonitis rather than I had tendonitis because it’s the sort of thing that, once you get it, it lurks. Like a trick knee that you blew out playing volleyball at age nineteen, or a disc that slipped once five years ago and sends alarming twinges your way when you stoop to retrieve a shoe. I’m now at-risk for elbow and wrist pain, and will always have to be on guard.)
For those of you new to the blog, I love weight training. Or, weight lifting. I like hoisting massive hunks of iron around, and especially from the floor to above my head in one smooth motion. (The clean and press. I love it. The only weightlifting move I love more is the deadlift.) I also love the rowing machine, and I have come to love jogging. But weight training is my favorite.
Yesterday’s workout was very tentative, very cautious. I lifted for fifteen minutes only, lighter weights. No barbells. I think I have to give up barbells. My wrists and elbows just don’t approve of heavy barbell lifts. But that’s okay! I can do dumbbell and kettlebell lifts with proper wrist-elbow alignment. I can start over, basically, with lighter weights, and make sure my form is excellent.
I ran a bit yesterday, rowed for five minutes, did weights, and then did fifteen minutes of the bodyweight and mobility exercises I’ve been doing for the last three months. Watching my daughter’s summer gymnastics class (during the two months off from circus there’s a special gymanstics class for circus kids who want to stay in form) is especially inspiring on the bodyweight exercise front.
No, wait, not inspiring. The other thing. Soul-crushing.
Well, no, actually, I’m kidding about that. It is inspiring to watch them. As long as I firmly recall that I am thirty-nine years old and weight three hundred pounds, and I will never in my life be a twelve-year-old gymnast. Which is an easy thing to keep in mind.
So I do planks and supermans and hollows and leg lifts and my daughter times me and says encouraging remarks, and then she practices her contortion moves and works on her handstand push-ups while I time her and make encouraging remarks. We share the experience of working out together, while we have different goals.
But, ohhh, I am so happy to be medically cleared for weight training. I love the measurement of it all, the specificity of goals and accomplishments. I went back on Fitocracy for the first time in months, so pleased to have lifts to record. And, I just love being this fat no-longer-young woman who walks into the free weights and begins slinging a kettlebell around. It’s visible strength, visible power. I like having that.