I had refused to lift weights in any exercise regime. My patent line was, “That’s what the man in my life is supposed to do, why should I have to bother with that.” But I was left with no choice when part of my rehab entailed building more muscle mass around my scapula to support my shoulder joint. To be able to do any movement pain free I would have to build strength into my arms. The joke was now on me. I needed me to do more than what my muscled man could do for me.

Many of the women have that fear that weight training will bulk them up. But as we grow older, to combat osteoporosis or any other illness such as arthritis, spine and hip joint problem, lower back pain etc, our body has to prepare itself to withstand the effects of wear and tear.

Understanding my aversion to using weights, Swapneel smartly introduced me to the Thera band. “It’s a resistance band, you need to just learn how to use it correctly.” That was my starting point. Cohered into specific rehab exercises I couldn’t even argue with him. I progressed from low to the medium strength band so fast that even when we had a set back and I had to go for extensive therapy at the Ambani Hospital, I refused to use the one with lower strength. Six months into my therapy Swapneel said, “it’s about time we take it a notch higher, I think you are ready.”

But I was going to travel for my daughter’s graduation and I was skeptical for the first time about progress. “I don’t want to lift dumbbells,” I had argued, “I want exercises that I can do anywhere. I don’t want to have a relapse because I couldn’t go to the gym.” I guess he understood the quiver of pain in my voice as the very thought scared the daylights out of me. I was determined to come out of this stronger. Strength training can come in different forms and that’s how Swapneel introduced me to Pilates and Functional training. “These are exercises you can do anywhere but they will guarantee a lean muscle building process.” he said, “You just have to be extremely body conscious and make sure that your form is absolutely correct. It will be slower maybe than what you expect but results will be long lasting. Are you game?”

I had heard about Pilates from my friend, Farah Khan. But she had always been lean and strong, a sports person in school so I had actually never thought I could even attempt the things she tries. But now was the time to fight my fears.

I looked at Swapneel and nodded, “I will do it.” We began with basic exercise of Angel wings, Y’s and T’s on the swissball, plank, side planks and hiplifts. A lot of core strengthening exercises that stress on stability and endurance. I still lift only minimum weights, but I can plank with a number of intense variations, I use my own body weight to maximize my form, and I’m really aware of each twitch of any muscle in my body. I don’t do everything perfectly but my increased awareness helps me correct my form if I am going wrong. This certainly decreases my chances of hurting myself in the gym.

And yes! Most importantly I can take a holiday without fear, as I know I can get back really soon. Like Swapneel said, “Progress slowly and steadily but retain it indefinitely.”

Make new goals for the new year, share them here so you are commited to making them happen. And let us celebrate together when u demolish them for higher prospects.

7 thoughts on “NO MORE FEAR

  1. Chetna Reply

    Hi ma’am . Though I do yoga to boost up my physical and mental health … I feel I should hv a proportionate figure .. I.m blessed with a flat tummy… But my arms do not tone inspite of proper yoga and exercises.. Same problem I am facing for by heavy bust..
    Please suggest ..

  2. Chetna Reply

    U r an inspiration bhagyashree ji .. We always think celebrities have it easy… But off late i hv realized we all are women and we experience general complications of womanhood…
    I am a 45 year old lady hving two kids…got married 16 years ago .. Lost my 14 year old son in a road accident . Thankfully my spiritual side helped me understand the cosmos better
    . N today I wish my deceased son all the happiness.. Strangely after his death . My otherwise white complexion started turning patchy n black… My back, breasts, arms, parts of my face.. I received a new shock every morning .
    Another blow came my way when my husband lost his job…its been 9 years now . And i am working to earn bread.. My husband is still struggling to find a job… My skin is the same as I can’t afford an A list dermatologist… But i try to stay calm and happy.. I do yoga to keep myself fit… Life is moving.. With no regrets I must say.. Stay happy.. Stay blessed
    . Thats my mantra..

    • Bhagyashree Dassani Post authorReply

      Dear Chetna,
      I must commend you on your optimistic attitude in life. Each of us has our own struggles but learning how to overcome them is not something that everyone can do.
      God bless you.

  3. Ranjula Reply

    Hello , bleuplanete from instagram .. I can’t tell you how much I am grateful for you to share your pain. I totally understand what you went thru and it must have been horrifying expierience public figure or not. I am very much impressed and inspired by your grit determination and zeal for getting out of that situation . I had a similar situation few years ago and there is Australian Pilates & Physio institute (APPI) who are official injury care during Olympics game and also ballerinas from the Royal opera & ballet team . They are so great into Pilates they helped me recover out so well . I love Pilates and I can’t thank them enough for getting me back to living normal . About 5 years ago during one of my visit to Mumbai my AC cab from the airport on the way home got hit by another car from behind . The AC cab was thrown up in the air and a smash back to ground the jerk was bad and I immediately felt oddness in my ear. The ENT coudnt find anything wrong & I returned to London . I started having issues using the underground tube as I felt the pressure too much and I coudnt hold weight more than an iPhone on my arms . I went to play badminton and my neck got swollen and my colleagues got me to meet a Chiropractor who mentioned there is something wrong in my C4 C5 C6 . It’s a point we’re we bend our neck in the back of the neck was a slight slip disk issue and it was irritating nerves going to my ears and arms and also headaches made sense.After joining Pilates it’s helped me understand my issues my body and my muscles much better . Thanks a ton for your share hope you are completely recovered and in perfect health for eternity . Thankyou again !

    • Bhagyashree Dassani Post authorReply

      That is an crazy story and an amazing experience of recovery. You must share it with others. It is often difficult to make people understand and inspire them when they are in pain but stories like yours will definately do the needful. Belief in yourself helps you move one step forward each day and thats what really amtters. Cheers to good health and God bless

  4. SNEHADAS Reply

    wwwooowwww! it’s such a heartmelting blog. i loved it a lot! swapneel sir is very fond with you & he is your mentor also. it’s a new year resolution for all of us! thnxxx so much!

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