What’s the difference between being involved and being committed? The business fable uses bacon and eggs to explain: the pig is committed, while the hen is involved.
When we talk about fitness, it’s a bit of both. This week, I made the leap from involved to committed. I bought a pair of knee sleeves.
For the last three years, my fitness clothing has been nothing fancy. I originally started with a pair of ratty yoga pants and a tee shirt. Then I graduated to a pair of capris found on the sale rack.
Occasionally when it gets superwarm in the gym during the summer, I rescue one of my old rowing tanks. And while I’ve always invested in good footwear, when a friend offered a pair of deadlift shoes at a discount, I bought them to save her the hassle of returning them. Luckily they turned out to be a good fit, and if I ever decided to stop lifting, they could probably work for something else.
So my approach to workout gear has been minimal at best; involved if you like.
But these knee sleeves are the first thing I have thought about, tried out, and decided to expend the funds necessary for me to have my very own pair so I can lift well and with the proper support.
That’s because these sleeves are simply miraculous, and I don’t use that word lightly.
This winter, my trainer and I have been working on developing greater depth for my squats. I have a regimen of exercises to strengthen my hips, and over time, I have been able to drop lower and lower.
It’s been all good. Except when I watched videos of fabulous women lifters getting their “ass to grass” in squats, I admit I felt a wee bit jealous.
During a cold spell last month, my knees became cranky. My trainer suggested I try the sleeves when we reached higher weights on the bar. I borrowed a pair for the session, and I did not want to give them back. As I worked my way through the sets, I began scheming how these sleeves would be mine.
Since I like the owner, I decided they should stay where they belonged. I did borrow them again a couple of times to be sure they were as good as they felt the first time, and this week, I went online and committed.
The sleeves provide a level of support I did not think was possible, and yet, when I wear them during squat sessions, I have no hesitation standing up after dropping down. Though they are working on the knees, the sleeves send a message to my hips that the knees are in charge and stability is the goal. And while I’m not as close to the level as I see on the training videos, I am achieving very creditable squats that pass the form test quite well for depth and control.
I see you grass and I am coming for you.
— Martha lifts and writes in St. John’s, Newfoundland.