Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Not 16 Anymore

I came to a startling and humbling conclusion yesterday: I'm not as young as I used to be. Before you roll your eyes and tell me to, "Be quiet, young lady!", let me explain.

I may have mentioned before that I was a cheerleader in high school and college (that's actually how I began weight lifting, but that's another story for another day). One of our conditioning drills in college was doing sets of jumps: toe touches, pikes, front hurdlers, etc. Not only does it help with cardio conditioning, it helps with jump form. (Plus I think our coach just liked to make us work hard for the heck of it.)

I've maintained my flexibility since my cheerleading days, and after stretching out, I can still sit in the splits. So I didn't think anything of throwing a few cheer jumps on Monday during my workout. I was doing a plyo workout that included step-ups, lunges, squats, and star jumps, among other things. On the third set of [my least favorite exercise EVER] star jumps, I decided to switch things up a bit. Since star jumps are almost kind of like toe touches, why not substitute a series of toe touches instead?

Why oh why did I think that was a good idea?

This is NOT me. My jumps are nowhere this good!
I got to about 7 toe touches in a row and then nearly collapsed. I gave myself a stern lecture about not being a wuss and finished 3 more jumps before staggering over to the bench to sit down. About 5 minutes later, my breathing and pulse were almost back to normal.

When I woke up yesterday morning, I discovered that not only were my legs stiff and sore, but my entire upper back was screaming at me! My right trap is so sore, it hurts to even touch the skin. About midway through the day, I realized exactly why I was in such pain.

My body is no longer used to doing toe touch jumps, and the arm motions of the jumps really worked my whole upper back and traps. I can't remember ever being this sore in high school or college! Does that mean that I might be getting older?!

I remember when I was 16, and 30 seemed practically ancient. Heck, I thought 25 was old! Amazing how perspective changes with age, huh?

While I still like I'm relatively young, I'm beginning to realize I'm not as young as I used to be. My body is sure letting me know that! No more toe touch sequences for me for awhile. Maybe the star jumps aren't as bad as I thought they were ... on second thought, nope, they're still awful. But I'll deal with them.


  1. Haha I can totally relate to this! I grew up as a dancer, and stopped when I was 20. Now at 22 (hardly ancient!), I only do a class every couple of months at the Sydney Dance Company, where most of the other people in the class are still pros!

    I ALWAYS push myself too hard so I don't look pathetic next to the others and convince myself that if I've done something before I can do it again. Usually the next two days are spent lying down... I will never learn!

  2. heehee! umm yeah,can totally relate to this post!
    i can relate to tara as well...
    some days i overestimate my athletic capabilities and have to lie on my couch in soreness for a few!
    OH,and when i was in college,i tried out for cheerleading on a DARE because honestly,i didnt think it was a "sport". my roommate (cheerleader who dared me)would come in with bruises on her and complaining of being so sore,and i was like,whatever,cheerleading isnt THAT hard....
    well,i found out the hard way that YES cheer is a sport and even though i made the team,i was sore for an entire week after try outs!!!!
    those friggin drills you mentioned,ARE hard!!!!

  3. I feel old today. I can DEF realte to that! Does this post make anyone else miss Cheer??

  4. Ahhh...cheer! Yes, Lacey, indeed! Kari, so funny that you would write this post today. Just yesterday I was thinking that it would be nice to wake up and have NOTHING hurting me. But at my ripe ol' age of 45 it seems like every morning something hurts. And while I'm still very capable physically I have to admit there are things I just CAN'T do that I could do 10, 20 or 30 (gasp!!!) years ago!!!!

  5. Try throwing in some CrossFit workouts every once in a while, you will be amazed at the things you can do at 30! I am almost 33 and am doing things I couldn't physically do at 20, thanks to CrossFit. If you train it, your body remembers how to do it and is in condition for it. If you do it once a year, your body will let you know, as yours did:)

  6. I love it. We always think we can handle more. And we usually can, until the next day. Trust me, I'M the old one. But damn it I will keep up with those college kids at the gym if it kills me =)

  7. Your focus may have changed - from toe-touches to leg presses and bicep curl - but your commitment to fitness has obviously not changed.

    Good on you!

  8. If I tried to do the splits, my body was bust out laughing and call me a "damn fool" :)


  9. Oh to be 16 again! hahah! I suppose I could try some star jumps and then try the pudding at the hospital after my ambulance ride. haha.