Yesterday during my Cross fit session we did a lot of dumbbell weight training and since my strength is improving I grabbed some heavier weights than normal. I learned very quickly that my muscles are strong enough to endure the new weight but my hands don’t have the strength to grip a dumbbell that well and then to add the weight to it my grip was even less. I struggle with my hand strength and find it hard to make fists many days from stiffness and just the sheer volume of my hands and fingers with the added fluid.
I was talking to my trainer and when I’m using a weight machine I don’t have to grip so hard because the machine helps me so I can really increase my weight by a lot on those. Using the dumbbell, as I grip it I feel my hands stiffen and then in motion I feel them slip. We are going to work on my hand strength by having me carry dumbbells around and put them down when I slip and pick them back until I can start to gain the strength needed. This trainer is not an autoimmune expert even though I have had other trainers tell me they were experts in training people with autoimmune, but I think what this trainer has is an understanding of women in general. If an older woman walks in with arthritic hands she won’t be able to hold a dumbbell right away so I think she knows what women in general need.
I’m learning so much from her, and I’m learning so much about myself. I was once a “delicate flower” as my husband so lovingly likes to call me but not anymore. He has truly seen me change in front of his very eyes in the last 6 or 7 months. There was a time when he wouldn’t want to ask me to do certain things for fear that I couldn’t or wouldn’t or even shouldn’t. Now he has no problem asking me to go get a 50lbs bag of pellets for our wood stove. This is really liberating for both of us. The other day we lost electricity, which happens pretty regularly rural Maine so I’m used to it. In the past I would have gone upstairs and woken up my loving husband to ask him if he could manually open our garage door so I could head to the gym. This particular morning I went out to the garage popped the chain and lifted the garage door by myself and headed to the gym for my cross fit session. This might not seem like a big deal to most people but when you feel like you have limitations you are overcoming regardless of how big or small this is a huge accomplishment. My husband was shocked, but awed and realizes his once delicate wife that could barely walk out to the mailbox 9 years ago is lifting garage doors, doing 130 push-ups, walking 15k steps a day, putting on snowshoes to go snowshoeing by herself and truly enjoying life. There is real reward in that for both of us.