Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Barking Muscles Prove You're Alive

What a difference a few weeks make. And a few good core fitness classes.

On September 17, I could feel my heart fluttering as we tried to remain calm in our hurricane haven of choice, Richmond, the capital of Virginia, as it experienced an historic outbreak of multiple tornadoes stirred up by the very hurricane we had fled. Some of the twisters tracked very near us. The week before, I had the same kind of heart distress as we worried if Hurricane Florence's swipe at Myrtle Beach, SC, 325 miles south, would send some of our pine trees crashing down on our home. I had never had heart palpitations -- or "a-fib" before. Had all this stress been a trigger?

Back in my senior fitness class at the Core Fitness Club this first week of October, I feel reassurance along with the sensation of being pleasantly fatigued. The heart is perfectly calm. All is well. After my first class upon return from the hurricane break, instructor Sarah asked if my muscles were angry after our workout. She had broken out a new version of planking for us -- a squat plank, progressing through moves somewhat similar to burpees. They were challenging -- but I felt great the next morning.
Today, however, Sarah introduced us to a whole series of new moves to work on balance, with some new equipment for us to master -- and no planking!  And this afternoon, muscles -- ones I didn't know I had  -- are barking at me like my Junkyard Dawg does when she wants to remind me of my obligation to walk her once, or preferably twice, a day!

Now, the temptation is great just to settle into a recliner and watch playoff baseball virtually nonstop through October without angering any of those muscles further. And watch many of those games I most assuredly will. However, we know that while some rest and recovery are in order -- indeed are part of the fitness process -- it is important to keep bones and muscles active, lest they stiffen up and atrophy. So we will plan some stretching and planking between innings, and a few solo visits for workouts at the fitness club prior to next Monday's class. I also have the annual community Heart and Stroke Walk on October 20 for which to prepare, so there will be dawgwalking aplenty. "Heartwalking" for the American Heart Association has been one of my annual highlights since we moved here nearly 10 years ago. It is a tremendously happy community event, with so many heart-surgery survivors staying the course.

My mended heart heartedly approves.

                                         © Robert Gray Holland  (2018)


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