Week 11: Overly Optimistic

Monday: August 21, 2023

Slim Down Dad - Week 11 - Monday

Last week, while running, I encountered a searing pain in my left heel. I knew immediately what it was – Achilles Tendonitis. I’ve dealt with it several times and expected the next few days to be painful. They were as painful as anticipated but things have been improving slowly. I thought I would return to running again in about a week.

A week to recover was being overly optimistic. I went for a walk today, which wasn’t a pleasant experience. The pain wasn’t awful, but the discomfort as my tendon stretched and moved was a bit much. I covered a mile before I was back home. I think it will be at least a few more days before I’m brave enough to attempt jogging. A more realistic estimate may be another week.

I fear that I will begin losing my endurance. I realize that losing a little endurance now is much better than worsening the injury and taking longer to heal. Even though I know and understand this, it still nags in my mind, and I worry that I will fail the next running challenge.

Tuesday: August 22, 2023

Before my Middle Daughter was born (she is seven now), I joined a local Anytime Fitness. It was close to home and much better equipped than the local Planet Fitness. It was more expensive, but I felt I got my money’s worth with my membership.

When my daughter was born, my time at the gym decreased rapidly. Days between sessions turned into weeks. Before realizing it, I hadn’t stepped foot in the gym for months. Even though I wasn’t going, I maintained my membership and told myself I would one day start going again.

It has been years since I’ve been inside Anytime Fitness, despite paying my dues every month. This week I took a step in the right direction and contacted the gym. I inquired about their new Card Reader and asked if my ancient fob would work. I also asked if I could schedule a meeting with a trainer to discuss booking a few sessions.

I’m scheduled to meet with a trainer on Thursday to discuss my goals and formulate a plan.

Wednesday: August 23, 2023

Slim Down Dad - Week 11 - Wednesday

My Achilles Tendonitis is improving – slowly but surely. Today, I could walk virtually pain-free as long as I maintained a steady pace and kept my strides short. Long steps where I push off the balls of my feet still result in pain (as does going up and down stairs). It has been a week since I’ve gone for a run, but things are looking up. At this rate, I may be back in the park for a run early next week.

I’ve been reading up on Achilles Tendonitis, and one of the workarounds is to use a bicycle. It has virtually no impact on the heel and is a great way to keep active while minimizing discomfort. I decided to give it a shot and was pleasantly surprised.

I rode my mountain bike 7.68 Miles (3 Laps around the housing development) and felt like I got a good workout. There are several hills, which are challenging for a beginner, and they left my legs feeling like rubber when I finished.

Thursday: August 24, 2023

Today, I was scheduled to meet with Mike, a trainer at Anytime Fitness. The meeting was part consultation and part physical assessment. We spent a few minutes talking about my past gym experience and my goals. Mike took notes the entire time we talked and never tried to steer in a different direction.

“So, are you looking for a more functional style of fitness to play with your kids or do you want to get back to lifting heavy like you did before?”

Ideally, I want to do both. I want to start slow with functional workouts to get back into a groove, ensuring my form is clean to prevent injuries. At some point, I want to transition to big compound movements with a barbell and heavy weights. Now that I’m becoming more active, I miss being strong.

After the initial consultation, we headed into the large activity room, and Mike put me through some simple movements. He was looking for weaknesses and limitations in my range of motion. Everything seemed to go pretty well except for poor Interior and Exterior Shoulder Rotation.

We concluded our meeting, and Mike told me he would be in touch. He will put together a workout routine for me to start and offered to meet with me next week to walk through it. We briefly discussed purchasing training sessions, but I was shocked by the structure – it would seem that booking three sessions is a thing of the past for Anytime Fitness.

Friday: August 25, 2023

Slim Down Dad - Week 11 - Friday

Friday was a rather busy day between meetings at work and a pile of things on my to-do list. I didn’t feel motivated to exercise until later in the evening and decided to jump on the rower for thirty minutes. Up until now, my personal best has been 6,570 meters in 30 minutes.

When I started rowing, I was determined to match or beat my personal best. Ultimately, I came up short at 6,471 meters in 30 minutes. Despite not reaching my goal, I felt pretty good about the results. I was still rowing a little weird due to Achilles Tendonitis, but I came close and saw that as a win.

Saturday: August 26, 2023

Slim Down Dad - Week 11 - Saturday

Saturday started as a wonderful day. I slept until 6:30 a.m. and was delighted to find my two youngest daughters awake and ready to play. After several playful screams, we had breakfast and eased into the day.

I had a busy schedule with a lot of work ahead of me and thought it would be good to get in a little exercise before things got hectic. I headed out on my mountain bike, headed to the development, and began pedaling. I got roughly a mile into my ride when something felt off. A minute later, I knew exactly what the problem was. I picked up a large nail in my tire, which had gone completely flat. The walk home was painful, and I figured that would be about all the exercise I got in for one day.

Later that morning, I went to the local bike shop (Perkiomen Bicycles) and had them repair the tire with a new tube and banding. When I got back home, I decided to head out for another shot at a ride. I managed my new personal best at 8.47 miles in 47 minutes.

While the day had its low point, it all worked out. I suspect my legs will be very sore in the morning.


Hey, I'm Walt, the Dad behind SlimDownDad.com. Juggling life with three active children (All Girls 😳), I'm navigating the world of fitness and family. The main focus of this blog is to serve as a fitness journal - a place where I can share stories and look back on my progress. My ultimate goal is to create a space where I can inspire other fathers to get out and be more active while making memories with their kids. Let's take on this adventure together!

Recent Posts