January 14th, 2012

running, shoes

Jackpot! Er, jackknife!

Had a great little victory at the gym last night. I’ve been doing the workout program from The New Rules of Lifting for Women, and one of the exercises it includes is called the prone jackknife. Basically, you get in a plank position with your shins balanced on a Swiss ball, and then you pull your feet in towards your chest and extend them back out.

At least in theory, that’s what you do. Before yesterday, what has always happened in practice is that I put my shins on the Swiss ball and then fall off. Sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly. Sometimes after managing one shaky rep. But basically, every workout, I’d spend a few minutes falling off the ball, and then give up and sub in a couple sets of mountain climbers.

So, yesterday, I got on the ball and fell off. And I thought really hard about just bailing – the gym was crowded, and I thought, “All of these people are going to be looking at me.” And then I thought, “Hey, look, there are all these people here in the second week of their New Year’s Resolution to get fit, and maybe what they really need to boost their confidence is the chance to laugh at a fat girl falling off a Swiss ball.” So, I got on the ball and...didn't fall off. I did 10 reps. They were not beautiful reps, but I did them. And then I did 10 more for my second set.

And then I fell off the ball, and clocked my left knee, hard. There may have been swearing.

And the incredibly fit-looking woman next to me, whose Bulgarian split squat form I had been envying earlier, turned to me and said, “Those are really hard. I can never do those!”

I had to ice my knee when I got home, but it was so worth it.