Monday, November 16, 2009

It's In Your Head

This morning I went back to the gym. Remembering my current goals. Get and stay strong.

I warmed up and did a few intro exercises, the whole while thinking about those pull-ups. There was a voice in my head that was questioning whether or not I'd be able to repeat the 5 in a row I did last week. Maybe that was a fluke and I wouldn't be able to do it again. Maybe I shouldn't even try because if It was a fluke that would make me sad. Maybe better to just rest on the fact that I did 5 and not push it again.

Screw that voice.

The other voice in my head told me that I could do more than 5. Shoot, last week was the first time you even tried real pull-ups in forever. Who says you can't do SIX?

I walked over to the pull-up bar and tried to forget that I weigh more this week than I did last week. I grabbed the bar, and pulled myself up. By the time I got to 3 I knew I was going to be able to do 6. I did 6. Then 7. Holy cow.

You know, that was all in my head. I put my own limitations on myself, thinking that 5 was as many as I could do. Now my new norm is 7.

I went about my workout but kept thinking about those pull-ups. I wanted to do another set but there was a guy in a tank top and dark sunglasses (yes, wearing dark sunglasses inside the gym) who was hanging out right under the bar next to a tricep pull-down machine. He wasn't really using the machine. He was talking to another guy. Talking at the other guy might be a more appropriate way to put it. I kept waiting for him to finish up... went and did some squats, bench press, rows, abs... he was still there. Talking.

Eventually I gave up on the idea that this guy was ever going to move away from the bar so I stood nearby, waiting for him to take a breath and stop talking so I could ask to work in, which didn't happen (him taking a breath) so I just interrupted him mid-sentence and said, "Hey, while you're chatting, can I use this pull-up bar?"

Another guy nearby heard me and gave me an approving smile as I gripped the bar. I was going for 7 again, but maxed out at 6 this time. Apparently pull-ups are easier in the beginning of the workout instead of at the end. Still though, I was happy with my 6. Because I very easily could have limited myself to 5.

Walking away from the bar, a fit-looking woman was sitting on a rowing machine and smiled at me and said, "Good for you. I can't even do one of those." To which I replied, yes you could. It's in your head. You have to believe that you can. I pointed to the assisted pull-up machine and told her to start there. Part of me wanted to be her personal trainer. Give me two weeks with that woman and she would be doing pull-ups.

I didn't tell her that I am 7 weeks pregnant.


DR said...

love it. that made me smile!

you know i think that pull-ups and push-ups (and squats) are the ultimate strength exercise.
and it's a use it or lose it kinda strength...i once could do 8 unassisted (if i worked out with someone i would do a few more with a little help). after i came off crutches (6 weeks to let foot surgery heal) i walked in and did 17 (i did lose a bit of weight though,sorry!). keep it up...i want to see that video at the end!

trifitmom said...

i tried doing a pull up at hte playground and i was quite upset at how hard it was - even with all the working out i have been doing I could not do one ???

Clare said...

good for you....i wish i could be a fly on the wall when you're cranking out 10 of those with an obviously pregnant belly!! i'm proud of you just thinking about it!!

Beth said...

I love your pull-up goals!! Pull ups are seriously so hard. They will certainly keep you strong like you want! And now I'm curious...can I even do one? I'll have to try next time I'm lifting. :) Keep up the great pull-ups!!

DC Running Mama said...

Maybe you should start practicing pull up holding a dumbell between your legs in preparation for baby belly! Good for you for finding your own goals.

kerrie said...

i would love you to meet my training partner brandy...she says the same thing "it's all in your head" and i'm like "no, it's all in my feeble little hands and fingers and arms...".
fwiw, she likes to do 10 sets of 10(really, it's truly sick)...but she's not pregnant and likes to keep this talent on reserve to use it as a good party trick/contest.

The Chapples said...

TWO WEEKS? How about 2 months? My buddy and I are doing a pull-up challenge twice a week and the best I've done yet is the assisted with 50 pounds on it (I weigh 132), and I can only do one. Can you say skinny runner arms? I am puny. My friend was able to do one full pull-up yesterday (she's a swimmer too - coincidence? Doubt it...) and I was stoked to get there too. Want to be my trainer?

IronMatron said...

You're amazing.
13 total???
I tried at the gym yesterday. Didn't make it. I did make it with a 20 lb assist, though, for six. I can't believe you can do 13.

Nitsirk said...

I am so impressed. I wish I had time to fit in a gym workout sometime. I miss weights and how strong I feel when I lift. There isn't a convenient time/location for me these days though so I am grateful I just get to swim and run for now. Maybe I can put a pull up bar in my basement :)
In high school I was one of only 2 girls that could do any pull ups. We were both on the swim team.

Regina said...

Now I feel so inadequate. I can't even do one pull up...sigh...

Only creepy guys where sunglasses indoors and think it looks cool. My guess is that it keeps the ladies from being able to see who he is gawking at.

Way to rock the pull up bar!

Angela and David Kidd said...

That is seriously hard core. Please take a picture when you are 9 months pregnant and knocking those out. Back in my gymnastics days we would knock out 4x20 with different grips everyday after practice. Those days were a long time ago. I shudder to think what I could do now. Luckily, I am in day 3 of the off season and not even the least bit tempted to try a pull up.

Lizzie said...

Remember that post you had pre-IM where you talked about gears? Well, I actually remembered that in a track workout afterwards and managed to get through 4x800's and stay consistent in my time. So I reckon you might be onto something again with the head post!!

X-Country2 said...

Can you come be MY personal trainer? :o)