At some point last winter, I noticed a pain in my left bicep during certain normal movements. Raising my arms in certain ways hurt, lifting certain things in certain ways hurt, and even certain light Zumba arm moves hurt. It eventually became painful to sleep on my left side, which is my usual position. The only thing I could conclude was that I had somehow torn a muscle. Although I didn’t have any kind of scan done, my (new and less wonderful) doctor confirmed it when I saw her for the first time in May for a physical.
I’ve been doing independent weight training on my arms since I started this weight-loss party back in March 2015. I have always been careful with controlling the motion of anything I lifted, taking it slow, and making sure the weight isn’t too much. I somehow still managed to hurt myself pretty severely. The best I can figure is that when I started doing arms again after enough of a hiatus to decrease my strength, I worked out as if I had never stopped and over-exerted my muscles when I should have ratcheted down the amount of weight I was lifting. Muscles are built by a process of tearing and rebuilding, but when a tear comes from an injury, it’s not magically healed by a protein bar. It needs to rest until it’s ready to work again. You can’t rush it.
The doctor told me in May to stop with arms weights until my bicep was healed. Foolishly, I gave it a week and then resumed my normal circuits in spite of the persistent pain. The only reason I ended up stopping is because I abandoned health altogether when things got rough in the fall.
A year later, I’m finally healed. I hit my arms circuit last night for the first time in several months. I was a little tentative and ginger at the beginning of my workout, especially when it came to the exercises that really used to hurt when my muscle was damaged. But you know what? I feel good today. I have the satisfying soreness from a good burn, but no pain. Soreness is fine, but there should never be pain. Got it. No more being stupid. But also… I forgive you, past self.
On Tuesday, I was chatting with a friend as we were leaving work together. She asked, “Are you dieting?” I said, “I’m eating right.” She said, “Your face looks good.”
And that’s where it starts.
Hello, saddle. It’s good to be back.