Dreading Starting Over…AGAIN

Confession: This week was my first official workout back in the gym with weights since my 2nd surgery in October. And I was dreading it.

But let me tell you why.

I have been weight-lifting since I was in middle school. Obi-wan made sure I knew proper form and how to put a routine together so that when I was on my own, I wouldn’t be intimidated by my surroundings.

Kiana Tom, my first weight-lifting guru. Courtesy of Obi-wan, of course.

Kiana Tom, my first weight-lifting guru. Courtesy of Obi-wan, of course.

Ever since, I could be found pumping iron (snort) in the weight room at college, in Brooklyn, and now at NYU’s Palladium alongside the undergrads and jocks. I never shied away from lifting with the big boys, even the Broncos, and often found that I was the only gal in many weight rooms throughout my young life.

Wedding day Gun Show.

Wedding day Gun Show.

After this surgery, I dreaded getting back into the gym. I dreaded feeling weak AGAIN. Only being able to lift light weights AGAIN. Being so, so, SOOOOOOO sore AGAIN. Starting from Square One AGAIN.

I feel like I’ve started over so many times this year, I dreaded that feeling yet again in the weight room.

From walking with my drugs to running with my friends, starting over has been hard.

From walking with my drugs to running with my friends, starting over has been hard.

I know that there are many days of crazy soreness ahead as I attempt to build my muscles back up to where they were pre-op. I know that there is frustrating fatigue waiting for me, probably weekly, as I find my new limits.

But I also know that I gotta start somewhere and I gotta start NOW. Well, and I’m allowed to start now, according to my surgeon.

But if not now, when? It’s only going to get harder and harder to force myself back to the gym, so why not this week?

20lbs is what I can do? Then 20lbs it is.

20lbs is what I can do? Then 20lbs it is.

I’m already sore from the hamstring curls, static lunges, abductor raises, tricep pushdowns, straight bar curls, overhead presses, and seated rows I did on Tuesday. Here’s hoping it doesn’t take too long for me to start feeling like the animal I know I can be in the gym 🙂

Do you lift? Have you ever had to start all over again after a long absence? Do you dread the soreness the way that I do? Ugh. There’s sore and then there’s the soreness that only comes from being away for months at a time and having your muscles atrophy substantially to the point of being sore from carrying boxes up and down 4 flights of stairs.

I feel like such a wimp. Here’s to wimpyness!

Now go out and run!

20 thoughts on “Dreading Starting Over…AGAIN

  1. Like you, Abby, I learned my way around the weight room at a young age. The first time I completed a true strength training session was for 7th grade basketball–and I absolutely loved it! Since then, I lifted through my sophomore year of college for basketball and took a hiatus when I “retired.” 😉 It wasn’t until last year that I started strength training consistently again, and I noticed improvements right away. After the initial two-week long(ish) soreness went away, it was smooth sailing. 🙂

  2. I was in Washington with my parents for a month and still worked out, but not at my normal intensity. When I finally did a “normal” strength workout for 30 minutes, I was shocked by how weak I felt. And how sore I was for 5 days!! I can’t imagine how frustrated you must be feeling, but it’s amazing that you’re rededicating yourself.

  3. Abby, I injured my piriformus in a bad fall, so I had to stop working out. Then my hip labrum became irritated— no more tennis for this 7-10 hour a week player! Now I am back at the stationary bike and the pool and it is hard. But I am determined.

  4. I know how you feel. I love lifting and my progress gets interrupted by things – sick, work, injury, whatever. The first day back is always demoralizing for me, but the strength comes back more quickly than it took to get there in the first place.

    You’ll get stronger and get back to where you left off. Good luck.

  5. Abby- I am right where you were right now!!!!!!! Dreading getting back to cardio routine, then starting from scratch with my trainer and my weight training routine. I am so, so , so weak still it’s hard to get off the couch. Between December 9th until now I have been MIA at the gym and the park (It is a bit freezing these past couple of days so I wouldn’t have gone anyway) the guilt is actually eating me alive. I had my blood tested at the Dr last week because of the joint pain, sore muscles and fatigue I thought perhaps my thyroids off again or I’m low on B12. None of the above he told me I am viral and fighting a virus and that’s what’s keeping me down. Plus, I had to go to the ER last night because I started the new medication Linzess for chronic constipation, pseudo obstructions,etc……. I thought, finally the answer to my prayers. Well 2-4% of the people get massive diarrhea from the med and I was one of them. I couldn’t leave the house since I tried it because I was emptying literally all day long if taken in the morning. I ended up in the ER yesterday because I didn’t take the meds and I was dehydrated in severe abdominal pain and dry heaving. A typical blockage for me. They didn’t x-ray me because they just lookked at the stoma and saw zero. IV fluids and pain meds and time got it moving some again but nothing severe and they allowed me to go home. I woke up this morning to see what I had in the bag- NOTHING, I panicked but I looked up at the stoma and saw a golf ball sized stool sitting on top of my stoma (sorry about the graphics). YAY-the blockaged cleared. I feel much better just drained of energy from the stress of the whole hospital thing, it usually takes me 2 days to feel better from this. But back to you, I feel sooooooo afraid to start back up exercising again and starting from doing nothing for 2 months. Any answers on getting me back out there. For you, muscle has memory and you’ll be lifting like you were in like 1 or 2 weeks. Don’t worry.
    Love Kerriann

  6. Abby, you’ve certainly had your share of starting over (and over) recently. I haven’t lifted weights in a long time but I’m in a similar boat with starting over post injury and I’m miserable. I’ll get past it but right now I’m feeling lousy.

    I know that you will come back strong (hoping I will too). It will be slow but it will happen. If anyone can do it (with a great attitude as well), it will be you!


  7. I feel like such a wimp too right now! After marathon training (and then not running NYC) I had two surgeries and am just now getting back to running. Hopefully yoga and strength training are in my future!

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  10. I am tearing up right now reading your blog and remembering the years of sickness and struggle, and then “starting over” after bowel surgery. I was diagnosed with UC at age 14 and had a total colectomy at 15. I’ve been internally rocking a j-pouch now for 13 years! I had a stroke of bad luck when some symptoms returned at age 18 and, as it turns out, I actually have Crohns. I receive remicade now, which has been a great fit for me. I just wanted to say how Nice it is to have stumbled across your blog. I’ve never known another person with such a similar struggle and story to my own. Thank you for boldly sharing! I don’t feel like such a complete oddity in this world. 😊 I hope that your health (and your pouch) are doing well.

    • Thanks for the comment, Mallory! You are definitely not alone. We are a small but mighty group of people 🙂 Glad to hear that the Remicade is working!

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