Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lat

One of my goals for 2011 is to be able to do a pull-up. This was also one of my goals for 2009, so back then I bought a pull-up bar and installed it in a basement doorway. I thought that would do the trick, but nothing happened and nothing happened, and I slowly came to the conclusion that I needed to actually do some strength exercises on the bar in order to make progress. Whatever. The package the bar came in conveniently omitted mentioning that actual effort was required.

I did make progress towards doing a pull-up in 2009, but then I got pregnant, and my upper body strength gain was exponentially outpaced by my lower body weight gain. I gain a lot of weight when I am pregnant -- my hormones take a look at the 25-30 lb weight gain recommended for most women and fall over laughing. As my ob/gyn said to me when I was pregnant with Stella -- "Excellent job gaining weight; stop any time." But I think the weight gain was justified, particularly since I give birth to newborns that are nearly 6 ft tall and rival BJ Raji in girth. (Sorry! Even I can't completely block the Packers out of my consciousness.)

Since having a baby in 2010, I have largely ignored the pull-up bar. I've encouraged David to use it to strengthen his upper body, but instead he's chosen to use it to leave bar-shaped bruises on his forehead when he walks through the doorway and forgets the bar is there. What can I say, he's kind of a fitness nut.

Actually, David has dropped 30 lbs over the last three years and has gone from a 36 inch waist in his jeans to 34 inch, so he is kind of turning into a fitness nut. He also changed his diet so that he actually eats vegetables occasionally. I still can't get him to eat wheat berries, but I haven't given up yet. (Or quinoa. I my book, if you eat either one voluntarily, then you ought to get a free pass on your metabolic profile. Either that or you can stop flossing.) I've warned him that getting all svelte is going to cause more and more women in bars to hit on him, but strangely that doesn't seem to be acting as a significant disincentive.

Anyway, I'm revisiting the pull-up bar, although it's hard to see progress. So far I've improved from doing 0.0000001% of a pull-up to being able to do 0.0000002% of one (if I kick my legs). Meanwhile my lats are extremely sore and unhappy, so much so that they are considering seceding from my actual body. I'm not going to let them go without a fight. The rest of my body will be like the North, the pull-up bar is like Ft. Sumter, and 150 years from now my lats can fly their flag on the back of their pickup truck and claim that the flag represents "lat pride" and is not any reference to their anti-bicep past.

So hopefully 2011 will be the year of the pull-up. I know it's going to take some work, but I'm ready for a new fitness goal. I'm looking forward to a stronger upper body, more defined back muscles, and these sense of accomplishment that comes with achieving something difficult. Also, I'm looking forward to getting hit on by more and more women in bars.

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