One thing I have to say to all you back-aching nurses out there, you with plantar fasciitis and aching necks and the whole nine yards:
Hire a trainer, do.
I've had thirty-six sessions with Carol, the Cheerful Drill Sergeant, and I've signed up for seventy-two more. In thirty-six sessions, I have:
*gone from lifting five pounds on latissimus dorsii flyes to lifting ten;
*gone from lifting eight pounds for fifteen reps on bicep curls to lifting fifteen pounds for fifteen reps, or twenty pounds for twelve;
*put on ten pounds;
*lost a dress size;
*and have developed the sort of muscles in my back and legs that make me grin and hug myself.
Carol is about five-four and weighs a hundred and twenty pounds. You would think somebody like me could break her in half until you notice that you can see the muscles move under her clothes the way a jaguar's muscles move under its fur. She tells me happily, three times a week, that I only have to do fifteen more reps of whatever Evil Multi-Muscle Exercise she's brought with her from the depths of the torture chamber.
She reminds me to kick the punching bag higher and not to cheat on form with various weightlifting exercises. She looks grim when I complain about having to get on the stair-climbing machine. She asks me every week if I've stopped eating cheese yet. Occasionally, she tells me, "Good workout" in a sort of offhanded way that is better than trumpets and flags flying.
She doesn't laugh at me when, in an attempt to get a high lateral kick to land on the bag, I miss it completely and go stumbling across the weight room.
More than that, she's helped me get to the point where two things have happened: first, I haven't been sore after a day's lifting patients in weeks. Second, another coworker said something when she thought I couldn't hear her: "Get Jo to help lift this person. We'll need a lot of muscle."
My plantar fasciitis flared up yesterday for the first time in three months. It's better today. The GERD I suffered with is gone. I no longer hurt when I wake up on the third day of working. And I can lift patients safely, catch people when they fall without fear of injuring myself, and beat my boyfriend at arm-wrestling.
It's amazing. I used to be a pizza-and-beer girl. Now I eat lean protein and veggies or fruit five times a day. I used to think, as I was showering on a day off, "Gosh, I wonder what the bar has in the way of tapas tonight?" Now I think, "Y'know, I really need to work on my shoulders more."
I walk with the springy step of a weightlifter. My posture has improved to the point that other people notice. Thanks to weeks of pushups, my boobs now start at my nose: *that's* perky. And I look like I've lost fifteen pounds, even though I'm on track to be the first two-hundred-pound size eight in the history of women's clothing.
Hire a trainer, all you nurses. You'll no longer feel like strangling the nearest resident, much. You'll wake up refreshed at the time you normally wake up grumpy. You'll find a new appreciation for Boca Burgers and salad, though the whole turkey thing might take a little time. Even if you don't give up cheese, you'll feel so much better.
It's about time we recognized, as a group, that our profession demands muscle as well as brains.
I'm going to go off now and...maybe do a few pushups. I've gotten up to fifteen military-style (straight-legged) and would like to work on form.