I went to the gym on Tuesday and it felt like starting all over, like the first time I stepped into GoodLife Park Lane 12 months and 47 pounds ago. It shouldn’t feel that way. When I started my get-fit challenge, the goal was to lose 40 pounds by Canada Day. Working out (in team training and one-on-one with personal trainer Jon Ells) and following the Canada Food Guide, I hit my Canada Day goal and lost a few more pounds over the summer. I’m completely sold on the whole process—I look and feel years younger. But it’s been hard to maintain my enthusiasm since then.

I’ve continued going to the gym, but I’m no longer working with a trainer. My workouts haven’t been as frequent or intense as they were. I decided it was time to refocus, restart with a new goal. Now I want to lose 10 pounds by May, and run in some portion of the Blue Nose marathon. My knees and ankles need strengthening; I’m paying the price for years of lugging that extra bulk, so I’m not sure how far I’ll be able to run—it might be the 5K or 10K, or even the half marathon. I just want to do one of the runs.

With this new goal, I’m trying to bring intensity back to my workouts, so I’ve jumped into a new TRX team training class (led by Jon), at the same time. I did this suspension training last winter when I was trying to hit my goal, and I loved it. It’s a technique-heavy workout, relying on your body weight to turn routine sounding exercises into serious fat-burners and muscle-builders. (Here I am in the spring, demonstrating a couple things I learned.) It’s less complicated than it sounds, and highly addictive. I was excited to jump back into it, and enjoyed the novelty of being able to lead the class in intensity, difficulty and reps on many exercises. The first time I did it, my performance was more in the “most improved” category.

And just when things were clipping along nicely, four sessions in, I managed to give myself one hell of a strain in my left tricep. I’m still not entirely sure how I managed it, but for days that arm, and most of my upper left body, were pretty well useless. I took a gloomy week off from the gym, frustrated by my inaction, annoyed to be losing momentum. And that was my frame of mind on Tuesday when I came back. Everyone in the TRX class had progressed dramatically in my absence. I was no longer a leader in anything. Even worse, my arm still wasn’t 100 per cent. I couldn’t do some exercises at all, and had to take it very easy on others.

But I got through Tuesday’s workout. On Wednesday, my arm felt far better than I’d hoped for. Yesterday, I returned again. The arm still twinged, but I could do a lot more. Team training isn’t supposed to be competitive, but I’m the competitive sort, so I was happy to go rep for rep with my classmates. I’m anxious for my next workout. I feel like I’m back in the groove. Now, I just have to get serious about my eating habits again. More on that next week.

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