Working Out Sucks
Five weeks into working out and I’ve learned a number of things. Actually… I’ve reinforced on big perception that I had all along.
Working out sucks.
It’s painful, miserable, and everything I thought would happen didn’t happen. But, the bottom line is that I am in better shape to climb Granite Peak now than when I first started.
If you’re wondering what to expect with a workout regimen that will condition you to climb a mountain, here’s what I have learned in just over a month.
I didn’t Look up Any Workout Plans
Planning to climb a big mountain, such as Denali, that would take many weeks of preparation and many weeks of actual climbing would inspire me to look up some workout plans and stay on course.
Granite Peak, while considered by some to be the hardest peak besides Denali, does not require such strenuous preparation. It can be done in a day, many have done it in three, and we plan to climb in two. It will be a lot of work, but I had two areas of focus: endurance and leg muscles.
Recently I did look up workout plans, and despite my best efforts, I have been doing essentially what is recommended.
What I Expected to Happen and Didn’t
Getting started I hear all sorts of things from my friends that workout often. They claim they feel better, they have more energy, they sleep better at night. While that may be true if you’re going from a largely sedentary lifestyle, or even worse an overweight and unhealthy one, it’s not quite as true when you’re going from a semi-active lifestyle to a more active lifestyle.
Getting started with my workouts, I expected:
- More energy throughout the day
- Better sleep and an easier time falling asleep
- Better overall feeling
- Pain at first, and eventually less pain.
There’s more, coming up. As far as these four expectations are involved, here’s what I actually experienced.
- Less energy throughout the day. I’m tired all the time.
- The same sleep patterns. Difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, overall hatred of sleep.
- Overall feel largely the same. No better, no worse.
- Pain at first. Eventually pain that persists (although the blisters and sore feet did get better).
All in all, from what I had heard from others about working out, was complete rubbish. There’s no elation, no overall feelings of good, and no bottomless energy. Much is the opposite.
And don’t get me started on the phony “runner’s high.” After a workout I just want to curl up and cry.
What I Expected to Happen and Did
There were a few expectations that did come true. I can’t say that everything I expected was completely proven to be false.
- I expected better endurance
- I expected stronger legs
- I expected workouts to get progressively “easier”
All of these did happen over the course of just a few weeks. Perhaps with the exception of the easier workouts, but that is simply because I increased the difficulty as the weeks went on by either going faster, farther, or carrying more weight.
One result that I wasn’t really expecting was muscle bulk. Apparently running with a pack on works your shin muscles significantly. I have larger lower leg muscles than I thought I ever would.
Four Weeks Until Granite Peak
Four more weeks until it’s time to climb. While I feel I am in sufficient shape to climb now, I should only get better as the time approaches. I’m excited to get back in the mountains.