A friend of mine who is blogging about training to run a marathon posted about the pain she experienced the first time she and a friend tried Pilates. I experienced similar pain when I first tried to do decline sit ups. Those are the ones where you lie back on a bench tilted so that your head is down near the floor and your knees are at the top, and then you do sit ups. They hurt like hell, but not until the next day. No one warned me, so I did several dozen. I went to bed that night feeling very pleased with myself.
The next day I tried to get out of bed and nearly blacked out from the pain. I couldn’t move until later in the day, and only after I’d taken a handful of over the counter painkillers and stood under a hot shower for half an hour. That evening, someone made me laugh and I punched them out. Well, not really, but I wanted to.
Since then I’ve been careful to warm up before exercising, patiently stretching and making sure I don’t push myself beyond what I should just because I’m not currently falling down. I get a fair amount of exercise, though I wouldn’t run a marathon if you promised me a garden of daffodils and a pony at the end of it, and I feel sympathetic but gently superior when people complain about how much pain they’re in because they didn’t warm up properly or they had an overly bruising work out.
I did some spring cleaning this weekend. I climbed on ladders to reach high places, I stood on kitchen counters to get to the tops of the cabinets, I got on my hands and knees to clean under the refrigerator, I moved furniture to clean under and around it, and I scrubbed the floor on my hands and knees. It took the entire weekend. I was exhausted at the end of it and was really, really grateful that it was done and I could go on about my normal life.
The next morning, I went to get out of bed and couldn’t move. It was like I had done a hundred decline sit ups, run five miles, climbed a mountain, and carried a small buffalo, all without warming up. I looked around my sparkling apartment and thought, you know, I’m legally blind. It’s all a big blur to me anyway. How clean do I really need it to be?
Sorry, Mom. The dirt and I have decided to make it official. To be honest, I’m surprised this hasn’t happened earlier. I still don’t have full range of motion in my arms, and every time I sneeze (thanks for the cold, by the way, Unknown Waiter With Hacking Cough. I want my tip back), I see stars. And, would you believe it, after all that, I got my trash bags all lined up for a trip to the trash chute–and it’s backed up! It’s just as well, really. I don’t think I could have lifted the bags that high up, anyway. So here’s to dirt and me: from now on, my name is Mud.