I moved into a third-floor apartment during a heat wave. I drank water. I took breaks. I felt as if each cell in my thighs had been replaced by a hyper-sensitive network of pop rocks. I limped to the clinic and a nurse guy told me: When someone goes from being sedentary to an intense full-body workout, they can break down muscle faster than their body flushes it. Drink water and come back for labs.
An email arrived before my lab results did.
“You are invited to join an exciting new program, Pathways to Wellness. Your health provider and the YMCA are partnering to create an 8-week class that provides medical appointments, exercise and tips for healthy eating …”
What? I checked my medical records and sure enough, the nurse guy made me obese. Right there! Presenting problem: Obesity.
I tell some friends, “I am officially obese. They want me to join a program at the Y. I know why I am fat. I eat ice cream for breakfast and like it.”
“The Y? That’s great! Do it.”
I join the program. There are men and women. Some are older, some younger. They don’t even weigh us! We are encouraged to take group classes. My coach suggests foam rolling for muscle stretching and rejuvenation.
Remember those thigh muscles? According to my wellness coach, everyone’s muscles meet up and “talk” to one another. Some call it “feedback.” She calls it “pain.” Some coaches use euphemisms. Others tell it like it is. But no coach tells you what to do. They seem to have one desire: for you to find your own thigh muscles (or abs, or pecs, etc.) on your own terms.
After a few classes, I rolled out of bed. Instead of pulling myself to my feet, I went from a prone position to standing in a single motion. I had done this twenty years earlier and couldn’t remember when I had stopped. I explained this to several people. One person said, “You mean a burpee?”
“You mean like this?” All 200-something pounds of me burpeed right in front of him. In my good pants!
I recently graduated from the program, but does anyone ever graduate from wellness? You probably keep learning and burpee-ing on unsuspecting colleagues. I do that and still eat ice cream because this wellness thing is on my terms. I am the boss of my pop-rocking thighs.