Reaching the Adrenaline Rush
That great feeling after a workout
I have never understood when people told me about that adrenaline rush they got after a workout. Whenever I thought of any type of exercise, I felt tired, exhausted, even before I started. Although I had a very active young(er) life, I was part of the interscholar basketball team, long-distance running, volleyball team, I excelled at gymnastics, even though I am standing 1,80 m tall, I loved swimming, horse-riding every day, I did jazz ballet and tap-dancing.. all until I was 20 years old. What happened then? Oh well, university happened and the universal sport was drinking and partying.. horses were sold, and I didn’t have time and interest to continue with all the sport, so it all fizzled out.
I did try to get back into some type of sport, I enjoyed tennis for a while, the gym.. uhm well, let’s say I paid numerous monthly memberships and after 1 day I gave up.. I did not enjoy the gym, spinning classes, boring, aerobics, yes I managed that for a couple of weeks, zumba, I did enjoy that until my joints starting protesting (remember osteoarthritis), salsa dancing, now THAT I did love, and did it for quite a few years, same with Argentinean Tango, probably my favourite dance.
However, again, work and life came in the way and I had to cancel more classes than I participated.. until last August 2016 when I got a wake-up call and my pains and aches were so severe together with the diagnosis of severe osteoarthritis that I decided I am way too young to just let life take over, I do not want to be wheelchair bound in 10 years or sooner for that matter. I knew it would be a long way to recovery, but I was mentally prepared. I decided to try Crossfit after doing some extensive research and a couple of friends who were doing it as well. Surprisingly, I loved my 1st class, yes, it was hard, and for the 1st time in years the sweat was dripping off me, that was a great feeling. I signed up for 2 classes a week for the remainder of August and September. Not jumping in as I normally do, but easy to get my body adjusted. I started making time for my exercise, I felt gutted on the odd occasion I had to cancel due to work commitments.
From 2 classes a week, I increased it to 3 classes a week and Saturday or Sunday activities, like mountain hikes, river walks etc.. I started to feel good. I think it took about 2 months to feel an adrenaline rush. I did feel better after a workout, but not that rush that people spoke about, that took a bit longer. After my 5 week trip to South Africa the beginning of the year and no workout, apart from 1 day in Cape Town and quite a bit of hiking, I decided to get serious and exercise 5 days a week plus a Sunday hike.
I was ready for withdrawal sympthoms after not exercising for a month, but I was pleasantly surprised to find I could keep up with the class, my body however started struggling after day 4, my lower back started hurting, we did a lot of thrusters that day, I still went on the Friday, and that night I could hardly walk anymore. My muscles were having a protest march. After 4 days rest, lots of ultra heat cream, hot water bottles and yoga back stretches I eased back into Crossfit, the guys were superb, changing weight exercises for core exercises, before I knew it I was back in the swing of things.
I coudn’t wait to be back, even though I couldn’t do all of the exercises, I loved everything. Even when I’m still tired when the alarm goes off at 5.30 AM, I only have to think at the adrenaline boost I receive after the workout and how good I feel the rest of the day, it’s enough to get me up and going. That’s the point of magic, nothing is holding me back now. It’s not always easy, but an hour of intense workout, even the all-dreaded burpees, won’t keep me away. Yes, I am an addict now, to sport, to muscle soreness, to the happy hormones roaring through my body. There is no better feeling.