No pain, no gain. Pain is just weakness leaving the body. Beauty is pain. If it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t work. Feel the burn. OUCH.
These are just a few of the phrases that have been running through my head over the past two weeks, as I ease into my new training schedule with the 38 Degrees North team at Revival Wellness Club in Santa Eulalia. Well, I say easing myself in, but I have to admit, it’s been kind of a pretty painful process… like crash landing into a strange planet where I don’t speak the language. I’m struggling to keep up and I’m hurting!
[Main image by Maria Simon]
I’m not actually surprised. Reality check: it’s been about six years since I last PROPERLY exercised (and even back then it was a half-hearted effort). Sure, I’ve done the odd Hot Yoga class here and there (well, twice), I’ve gone for a run (oh, ok, stroll) once or twice on a sunny day and I’ve attempted the occasional yoga DVD (yes, with Geri Halliwell – and yes, I mostly just watched), but aside from dancing in the famous Ibiza clubs in summer, I generally don’t like to exert myself at all.
Of course, I didn’t really expect it to be easy (although I had hoped!). But whoa – I didn’t expect it to hurt so much either! Let me point out here that it’s not the kind of pain that is dangerous to me, or I wouldn’t be persevering – after all, I am training under expert supervision. It’s just that MY own personal training mantra is no complain, no gain’! (Follow my progress on Facebook and Twitter, for plenty more updates like that!) I’m PROUD to be pushing myself to this point, and determined to keep pushing a little further. Summer is a mere eight weeks away!
And so I slug it out. Interval training on the cardio machines followed by Fat Burn Circuit classes twice a week. Personal training sessions using the TRX, using muscles I didn’t even know existed (I was chuffed to learn how to do the Pike and Modified Atomic Press Up – sounds impressive, right?) plus one-hour kickboxing sessions with UK Gold Medalist Faye Maloney, where I am fulfilling my teenage dream of becoming Buffy the Vampire Slayer (more on that later).
I’d like to add running to my regime on the days between training, but for now I’m just an achey, shakey, groaning grump on those alternate days. Getting up and down the stairs at home feels like a full workout and lifting a cup of tea to my mouth is quite the effort! As for raising my arms to wash my hair – jeez! I thank the gods of beauty for inventing dry shampoo.
According to my new fitness guru Kelly Morgan (who, by the way, makes training look a lot easier than it feels in her demos!), the aches and pains that I’m feeling are normal for a first-timer like myself. They stem from waking up my poor neglected muscles after a really long slumber. She suggests taking Magnesium to help in the recovery process, telling me it will help my muscles relax and repair. While I’m tempted to reach for the Ibuprofen, I follow her advice and I’m in the health food shop stocking up faster than you can say DOMS (well, the unabbreviated version, anyway).
They tell me that in addition to the obvious goal of losing weight and toning my muscles, exercising will ultimately give me more energy, increase my motivation, relieve my stress, improve my moods and help me sleep, although I am so tired every night since starting at the gym I don’t think I need any help in that final department!
Of course, I believe them… I have to, or I wouldn’t keep going. But when does the pain stop and the Ibiza bikini body benefits begin? Fingers crossed it’s soon!