Friday, January 22, 2016

Friends Night Out

This past Wednesday, I was out with my bff. We had dinner at a pub in between where we live. By bf is a talented in vivo scientist. For my non-pharma audience, the “in vivo” trials she runs are in animal models that have been bred to have human illnesses. She makes sure potential compounds are safe and effective before pharma companies even consider trying it on a human. My point is when I have aches, pains and mysteries of the body; I turn to her knowledge of biology. Example, me pregnant: “Why am I so f-ing tired all time?” Her, your body is making a baby and its energies are re-directed to making a baby.

So in the midst of the two of us solving the mysteries of our lives, as women’s conversations can be so telling, I asked her why I was so f-ing hungry with weight training? (Note: I have also asked Google and my fabulous Trainer). I mean, it’s like age 14 starting junior varsity swimming and feeling like 30 laps in the pool was the end of me. Then going to McDonalds with my parents and eating multiple cheeseburgers. Yes I am that tired and that ravenously hungry.

My best friend, Google and Trainer have told me that I am destroying muscles as I work them. As my body rebuilds those muscles, I am going to need more food, hence my desire for the fatty and protein-licous. This week it was provolone and dark chocolate chips mixed with sunflower seed butter.

I am in week 3 of my UpLift training and I have noticed my body changing in addition to the appetite of a 14 year old pre-pubescent boy. I have been able to run again, not as a recovery but in addition to the weight training. This is a vast improvement over Week 1.

The plan has me working one set of muscle groups for example arms and chest. As the workout is destroying me, the sequence of events has the rest is built into it. I have to stress active rest, which happens right before total annihilation. So I could be dying with 3-way bicep curls then get to “rest” with pushups before I get into a set of burpees. Who doesn’t love a burpee?

As a result, I need to consume more calories to rebuild what I have just obliterated. By the way, I keep using words like destroy, annihilate and obliterate because I kid you not; these workouts are kicking my ass. I also have to add that instead of filling up on vegetables and small portions that I need to turn to more “nutrient” dense protein and fat, otherwise I am light headed (and f-ing hungry).

For the remainder of the night, long after we finished our meals we talked. She told me how her new project is work towards stroke. I have to describe the expression on her face. Its part teary and part I’ve put on my ass-kicking hat.  She is particularly passionate about this indication since stroke, well multiple strokes, has robbed her family of their father.  With this new role, she is now in the front lines in fighting an illness that can mean another family doesn’t have to endure what theirs did as long time caregivers.

I told her about Bob and his memorial service this past weekend. Despite my hatred of public speaking, I got up anyway and told a group how Bob and I ate our way through West Chester. Yes, I did read Eat Pray Love and yes, perhaps my voracious hunger extends beyond weight training. I told her that I started to view our lives as short and I didn’t want to waste it being timid anymore.

In my last post regarding the United We Dream teleconference, I found myself galvanized. The post was a step away from literary criticism and introspection. I told her I could see crossing the lines of writing about the state of undocumented-ness, nicey-nice probably won’t get me arrested writing, into something else (Note: I still don’t want to get arrested). I told I am getting more and more okay giving myself to this cause.  I can see her surrender to her work because it isn’t just “work” anymore as much as it is a purpose. Actually my words were something like; I just don’t give a sh*t anymore. If my job is to write out how someone’s immigration status makes them feel like the whole f-ing world is on fire then I give myself to it. I know I am not perfect, my upbringing not perfect and I am (finally) okay with it. I will write about this so some kid doesn’t have to go through this immigration quagmire alone. We concluded that to be at peace this way must be what it all means to be all grown up. This might have been that molten chocolate cake with chocolate ice cream talking but well, this is what happens when bffs go out. We noted that we use to have to go to our pizza place because it was cheap. Ten years later, it was nice to be able to not have to get beer and pizza on our nights out because it was kinder on the wallet.

I want to mention that my Trainer once posted a photo of herself in our social network. It was herself now and the self that she had to chisel away at before her current form. I ask myself what the kind of mountains she had to move for this kind of metamorphosis. I am sure it wasn’t easy. She told me this morning how happy she was in her heart hearing my feedback. I told her my body noticed the “destroy”, “active rest” and “more destroy” sequence.  Of course this was not an accident. There was a lot of thought, planning and experience that went into this training plan.    

As much as she is a trainer and it is her job to get people in shape, I have a sense it is more. Sort of like my bf’s life’s work is towards public health and my own writing turning into activism.  It is this passion in women, really humanity that has the power to move mountains.

Bathroom selfie.
Aren't you glad its not a before and after weight training? 

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