Monday, November 12, 2012

More and faster

A staple of the movie news is "star beefs up workouts for movie role." In this story, for example, one actor worked out eight hours a day for ten weeks. The "easiest" part of those eight hours was two hours of choreography.

I have no idea how people do things like that. Not that working eight hours a day is impossible; it's just … going from working out an hour or two a day to eight? I mean, I know movie stars stay in shape as part of their job, but I assume they don't spend their whole day doing it.

Whenever I ramp up my workouts, my body feels it and takes a while to adjust. (Like, you know, 99% of people.) When I started capoeira, for example, I blogged about how I went to yoga and was unable to do a single chaturanga. When I joined Quintal, I started going to three classes a week. Previously, I had been doing two, and while the new classes were shorter, they were much more intense. I remember drinking what felt like gallons of water in my first few classes. A couple of months ago, I switched to an unlimited plan, and now I go to five-six classes a week. My body is still adjusting.

Friday night I went to our roda, although I didn't play much at all. I told Tarugo that I might come to his Saturday class, although it would depend how physical my volunteer morning at Van Cortlandt was. Turned out it wasn't very, so I went to his class, but as I told him, "I'm tired and sore and probably shouldn't be here." Luckily, we spent the class working our backs and arms, and it was my legs that were already shot. Sunday, I found I couldn't do side plank on the left in yoga. (Monday is my rest day … thank goodness.)

I know one struggle for me is getting enough protein, and maybe that makes a difference in recovery time, but really, I don't think what I am experiencing is that different from most people. (Perhaps, like a movie star, I should have a personal chef.) But I have this impatience - I want to get better faster! and my body is putting the reality check on it. If worked out eight hours a day, I'd get stronger at first - then I'd get injured. No thanks!

Yet, progress happens. I remember the first time I was able to get from a wide-legged forward fold to tripod headstand in yoga. It happened a few months before leaving Nashville, so let's say almost two years ago. I was super-excited. Just yesterday I realized I was able to control my descent enough to set my feet down silently when coming back out. It's not the dramatic part of the move, but it's just as important, and it means I have a kind of core control I didn't have before. That control has been coming along slowly and incrementally, but that moment of breakthrough is always something.

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