I’ve never been much of a weightlifter. I don’t like the smells that accompany it (mostly from myself — I can get pretty smelly), and have never felt confident that I’m lifting correctly. It oddly makes me feel foreign in my own skin, and, frankly, I’m uncomfortable with the whole idea.
But, it’s 2014, and in honor of the B.Strong for Bryce 40-day Fitness Challenge and a colleague’s inspiring post about getting comfortable being uncomfortable, I found myself chatting with coworkers Jamie Martin and Maggie Fazeli Fard about weightlifting for 40 days — and how it was time to face my discomfort head on.
(Related: 5,000 Kettlebell Swings)
I normally take photos of food and wine, and I realized as I gathered the images below that cooking was once something I was highly uncomfortable with, too. When I finally began, I hid away in the kitchen when no one was there. I was clumsy. I burned things. I measured incorrectly. Even after I started enjoying it, it took me a good year to actually cook for someone else.
Now, I love cooking. I love experimenting. And I love sharing that passion with others. Food (and wine) does indeed heal broken pieces in us. (Disclaimer #1: I should be clear. I’m not trading my wine indulgences during these 40 days, just adding some weights to my repertoire.)
It was time to face the uncomfortable once again. In honor of Bryce — my coworker’s 8-month-old nephew who was recently diagnosed with Krabbe disease and has spent numerous hours in the hospital getting tests and fighting to live each day — I’m going to be brave and start picking up some weights.
On my first day at the gym, I warmed up on the bike and then found myself doing biofeedback with my new trainer — Maggie! (Disclaimer #2: Maggie is not a certified trainer. I use this term loosely, as she’s teaching me for fun.)
As we began biofeedback testing, I kept wishing I was in a room alone, away from people, but I stuck with it. Maggie was a fantastic teacher and spent a good 15 minutes explaining how to move my hips for kettlebell deadlifts. I felt awkward and uncoordinated, and caught myself saying there was something wrong with my hips.
She assured me there wasn’t. I tried again.
(Related: Show Me How: The Hip Hinge)
It turns out, kettlebell deadlifts, pushups, one-arm rows, and goblet squats tested well for me. By the end, I was feeling more comfortable and was amazed that my body was moving in ways I hadn’t felt it move before.
Below are some photos from Day 1, along with that log that Maggie took for me. Check back each week for more photos on my progress!
How to read the log:
- The set is listed first. Each set in this is made up of 2 exercises. Example: Set 1: Squats and Pushups.
- Total Time for the set means the length the set lasted.
- The weight and reps are listed next. Example: @ 20 pounds, 6, 8, 7 = 6 reps at 20 pounds, 8 reps at 20 pounds and 7 reps at 20 pound.
- Tested means between each rep set, biofeedback testing was used to gauge the body.
- Both exercise in each set are alternated throughout the set.
Log: Day 1
Lifting, it turns out, can be healing in its own way — just like food and wine.
Tell Us: Where are you pushing yourself out your comfort zone this year?
Casie Leigh Lukes is Experience Life’s digital content specialist.