Saturday, December 29, 2007

A short update on my recovery: It's going well, slow but well. I doing 10 slow pushups a day...that's big! I still have a good amount of pain and tightness which keeps me up at night. Over the last week I started to do some very light TGU's with my left arm. Everyday for about 30 mins I do stretching and modified yoga. It's been emotional for me. Realizing how long this is going to take to recover from. So I'm glad to have these guest here to not only encourage you be me as well. Keep moving and eating as well as you can!

The next guest at Jen's Gym is Pamela MacElree. Pamela is one of the owners and coaches of Crossfit Philly. You'll find her blog in my links.Although I have not met her I feel like when we do meet we will fast be friends! Welcome Pamela!

Training To Be Strong Because We Can!

When girls are growing up, most of us are encouraged to believe in skirts and makeup, giggling and marriage, and we learn all the qualities that are considered lady-like as well as those that aren’t. Last I recall, no one ever taught me that I should be training to be strong, not my parents, not my coaches, not my teachers, and certainly not my friends. But I’m not mad, I just didn’t listen to them.

In high school, we played in the weight room, no real strength training came from our time spent there. We challenged each other on who could leg press and bench press the most. Sounds safe doesn’t it? We had no strength and conditioning program, we had no strength and conditioning coach, we just had 2-3 hours a week in the spring to use the weight room. If I only knew then what I know now, I’m sure we could have had some of the best female athletes and girl’s teams in the state. That time is gone, but my desire to prove my strength in training to myself and to anyone that will listen is still going equally as strong.

I believe that women can be strong so they should train to be that way. It ceases to amaze me that women are comfortable with the fact that it’s an effort to get a 40lb bag of dog food off the shelf, into a cart, through the checkout, into the car, out of the car, and finally into the closet at home. The irony is that most purses weigh 20lbs if not more, but as soon as you hand most women a 20lb dumbbell to press overhead they cry that it’s too heavy before they even make an attempt. I’m not saying the female gender needs to become masculine, in fact that’s the farthest idea I’m striving for, but rather develop the strength and conditioning that improves every day living and still cause heads to turn.

There’s a point in strength training when all of a sudden she realizes she can do it. It’s at that point, usually during a heavy press, her first pull up, or 25 plus consecutive push-ups where her nose touches the ground, that she gets that look in her eye and her entire expression changes. She knows she can do it, and I don’t have to tell her anymore. It’s similar to watching a child open the one gift they wanted all year on Christmas morning. The realization that she can do anything she puts her mind to, physical and beyond. At that same exact point, I know I’ve done my job, and know I’m the kid on Christmas morning.

Strength doesn’t happen overnight, and there are of course more benefits to strength training other than being able to move 40lbs of dog food, but being strong is an accomplishment, one to never stop working toward, but most of all one to be proud of. I know I am.
Pamela MacElree


Shari Baby said...

I musta missed something....what happend that you are recovering from ? Thanks for asking me to be a guest blogger. I'd love to! Take care.....

Tom Brose said...

Jen, think carefully before you answer what yu are recovering from, there are a lot of possibilities!

Pam, my only complaint is that you didn't hang out with us last time in DC. Keep up the great work!

Pamela MacElree said...

I know Tom, I really wanted to workout with you guys too, apparently I wasn't that close. I'll make sure I stop in the next time I'm in town, or maybe I'll just make it a road trip with a few of the Philly folk.

Jen, thanks for having me.

aileen said...

pam, great to hear your story. i love these guest blogs!

jen. pushups. are they full or modified...just be careful....that one's actually an "intense" exercise for 2 months out.
have you tried arm bars with the left arm up to the ceiling...will work your scap stability and get some anterior stretch to your shoulder. i'd do it with 6-10 pound dumbell and work from there, before using the smalled KB (if you have one)don't forget to roll out that lat, alll the way down to your low back where it inserts and get in front of the mirror and watch yourself if you are hyper extending with shoulder elevation. :o) good luck

Jen said...

Aileen, I'm about two months out now and yes they are full. But only 5 a day and very slow. I do more of the wall pushups in PT.
I'm really scared of the arm bar. Maybe if you come to CFDC next week you can spot me? It freaks me out thinking about it!!! I see how it would be good for me and help with that tight lat...very tight! Aaaah the foam's my friend....but painful!

Kim Dowse said...

Jen - great the guest blogger entries - a very nice touch. Good luck on your recovery!

theresa said...

The guest bloggers is a great idea. Keep 'em coming!