FIT CHALLENGE: Wessels experiences symbolic week

Mar 13, 2012


This week was one that was chock full of symbolism.  Again, I worked out six days, including two days of circuit training with my personal trainer Patrick Carmean.  I had one other day of weight training on my own, as well as two days in which I did at least 15 miles on the bike.  I feel as though I worked hard, but I also feel as though I could have done more.

My two days with Patrick were full of new exercises and areas of concentration.  On Thursday, while we went through many of the same exercises that we’ve done in the past, Patrick did something that I don’t think had an ulterior motive, but it sure struck home with me.  One of the last exercises he had me do was stepping over the weight bar on the squat rack.  While it wasn’t terribly high, for someone who is vertically challenged like me, it was no easy feat.  I thought, “I can do this….no problem.”  Then he handed me a 35-pound plate from the rack and told me to carry that back and forth over the bar.

This really hit home with me.  I had just been on the scale the day before, and when I weighed myself, I found that I had passed the 35-pound mark.  In fact, I was one-half pound away from having lost 10 percent of my “former self.”  I don’t know if it was his plan, but what I was doing was carrying my starting weight up and over that bar.  While it was heavy, I quickly realized that I was going to get to set this weight down when I finished.  Two months earlier, that wouldn’t have been the case.  That was a really powerful moment in my journey.
On Sunday, Patrick and I met for our second session of the week, and while the workout seemed as though it was going to be a bit easier, I quickly realized how wrong I was.  The vast majority of the session incorporated dumbbells into the circuit, but rather than using both sides of my body, I was focusing only one side at a time.  This was rather challenging, as I had to work on maintaining my balance throughout the exercises.  You would think that my balance would be good, especially having the  “low center of gravity” that I have, but in all of the drills I’ve done with Patrick, this is an issue with which I’ve struggled.

Earlier in the week, I posted something on my Facebook page that I think was another early milestone in my journey.  For years, whenever my clothes “shrank,” I would put them into trash bags and put them into my basement.  Occasionally, over the years, I would drop them off at Goodwill.  It is great to help them out, even better to get the tax write-off.  But on March 6 night, I felt as though I had entered a parallel universe.  I was in my house, in my somewhat cluttered basement (Spring Break to do list), but I wasn’t stuffing old clothes into bags, I was digging through bags of clothes that hadn’t fit, finding things that I had “shrunk back into.”  I don’t think I’ve ever experienced that in my entire life.

I pulled out about 15 dress shirts, which I hadn’t been able to wear to work for several years, and they fit.  I’ve never experienced anything like this before.  I ran them through the wash, and they’ve all rediscovered their home in my closet.  Of course, I’m hoping that I don’t end up having to wear them for too long.  I’ve got other bags to dig through as well.   I also pulled out a couple pairs of jeans, but I’m not sure how much I’ll wear those, since my kids said they looked like they were Capri pants.  Are they maybe one-half inch too short?  Probably.  But I certainly don’t think they are Capris.  If you see me wearing them around town, please let me know what you think.
Again, those of you who have wished me well, whether via email, in person or even just in your thoughts, I cannot thank you enough for your support.  It has truly been an overwhelming experience knowing that you are rooting for me to succeed.  Carla, Derek…I hope you have had a successful week.



 Great Job !