Back in the saddlePosted: April 26, 2011 Filed under: breast cancer, cancer fatigue | Tags: back in the saddle, Christos anesti, exercise after mastectomy and reconstruction, Gene Autry, getting your life back, Greek Easter, Greek Easter bread, gym, happy day, post-cancer workout 1 Comment
Ladies & Gentlemen, I’ve just returned from the gym.
Oh, happy day.
I’m back in the saddle. Hooray.
Really and truly happy is what I am right now. No, it’s not tennis, and when the day comes that I step back on that court, I will be really and truly ecstatically happy, but this is a good start.
I saw my Greek friend Spyros, who said “Christos anesti,” to which I replied in kind. He’s always suspicious of my Greek-ness because I married a white guy and my kids don’t attend Greek school, so it was a smallish victory for me to be able to reply to him in the mother tongue. If I’d thought about it, I would have expected him to be there, because he’s always there and may well be the fittest Greek person on the planet, and I would have brought him a red hardboiled egg. See, Greeks dye all their Easter eggs red, to be symbolic of the blood of Christ. We nestle the red boiled eggs into the braided Greek Easter bread, then pass them around to everyone at the table and exclaim, “Christos anesti!” Then we play a little game: two people knock their eggs against each other, and who ever comes away from it with an unbroken egg is the winner. On Sunday at my cousin’s house, Thea Sophia was the undefeated egg holder until my other cousin Kim unseated her. Kinda mean to do to an 83-year-old, but that’s how we Greeks roll.
After greeting Spyros and once again wondering how the hell he stays so fit while loving Greek food, I found my good buddy and trainer LeRoy. Like Peaches & Herb, LeRoy and I were reunited, and it was pretty good. He usually pushes me to the point in which I think I will barf, and he always knows best. Some people in my household think he pushes me too hard and I’m all worn out & cranky from a LeRoy workout. Those people will be happy to know that today LeRoy was very cautious and treated me quite kindly. He also reminded me often to be patient (blech!) and that getting back to my previous level of fitness is do-able. I’m gonna hold him to that.
Walking on the treadmill is not my thing, ok? I’m looking for something a little more heart-pumping and sweat-inducing than that. Not saying you can’t get a nice workout from a brisk walk, but that I’m too impatient for that. But I walked 20 minutes at a nice clip with a bit of an incline (a bit more than LeRoy recommended, but don’t tell him), lunged down the gym and back, did some light–very light–arm weights (lateral, front, and full raises; hammer curls, tricep extension and high-pulls), step-ups on the tall step not the baby step, and walked another half mile on the treadmill.
Not a workout from days gone by, but a good start. I’m back in the saddle, and learning to be content with that. Yes, the learning curve is steep, but I’m getting there.