It snowed last night when I was driving home. I think it kept snowing at least part of the night.
When I was leaving for work this morning and went to scrape off my car in the beautiful snowy winter morning, my pecs hurt when it was time to scrape ice off of my windshield.
Yesterday’s workout was P90X Chest & Back – alternating chest and back moves, mostly various push-ups and pull-ups with a few free-weight exercises thrown in. I just started the last phase of P90X, where you alternate patterns every week for a month. Last week was a recovery week with a bit of a different workout flow, and the first “regular” week after a recovery week can be a little rough. But even though I’m sore today, and although you’d think I should be feeling sorry for myself because even scraping my windshield hurt, I’m glad I’m sore. Soreness means my muscles are growing stronger.
This is my fifth round of P90X. I now know from experience that soreness preceeds results. I have been much, much more sore, when I first started doing P90X. As is often the case, I saw fantastic improvements (and much soreness) the first two times I did P90X. I shrunk two dress sizes in 90 days - twice. I also got a lot stronger. I ran a 5K PR a week after moving to altitude. It felt like a miracle was occurring!
But of course it wasn’t really a miracle. It was (for me) different as well as much more intense training and a directed, comprehensive nutrition plan. Diet and exercise. Exactly what I had simultaneously already lost 20 lbs (but only one dress size) doing, but also didn’t believe could radically change my body or my lifestyle or energy level. I had read so many things that more or less said no one can realistically become very slim. Simply not gaining weight as one aged seemed like the best one could do, and even losing 10% of one’s body weight seemed near impossible.
P90X showed me what I was capable of. It showed me it wasn’t at all impossible for someone who was size 16 to become a size 2. It wasn’t at all impossible for women to do lots of push-ups from their toes or to do pull-ups. It wasn’t at all impossible to work full-time, commute, and eat healthy home-cooked food and work out for an hour six days a week. After I realized that I actually can do all this that people say is impossible, I found myself a half-marathon training program, combined it with P90X, and ran my first half-marathon. On trails.
A huge part of this journey has been muscle soreness. And today, being sore again just reminds me of that I am still on that journey, and that I am moving toward new goals and sources of pride and joy. So despite how strange it may seem, having sore pec muscles makes me smile.