Let me start by saying that DOMS is real, and it’s not a joke. For the uninitiated, DOMS stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. A week ago, I was a stranger to this acronym, but today, it feels like DOMS and I are close companions—uncomfortably so.
After the euphoria of my first F45 class, I was on cloud nine. So, I took another class the next day. And another, after a day’s gap. Three classes within five days. I was flying high on the endorphins, reveling in the thrill of stepping out of my comfort zone and diving headlong into this new fitness journey.
Today, it feels like I’ve been hit by a truck. Or more aptly, as if I’ve been in a car crash. Every muscle in my body is screaming for mercy. Sitting down feels like a chore, standing up is a monumental task, and let’s not even talk about stairs.
DOMS: A Brutal Reality
DOMS is a phenomenon that occurs after a period of physical exertion far greater than what your body is accustomed to. It’s most commonly felt 24-72 hours after the workout, and boy, is it making its presence felt. DOMS has essentially turned my body into a wailing wall of aches and pains. The soreness has seeped into every crevice of my being, making even the simplest tasks feel like Herculean challenges.
The Toll of Ignoring Recovery
The pain I’m experiencing right now is partly my fault. I went all-in without considering the crucial role recovery plays, especially when you’re 53. Our bodies are not what they used to be. At this age, the ability to recover takes a hit. Muscles require more time to heal, and without proper rest, you run the risk of both physical and mental burnout.
Unproductive but Enlightened
I had grand plans for this week—work projects, social engagements, and more. But the reality? I’ve been largely unproductive. My body’s state of rebellion has forced me to slow down and reevaluate. Yet, in this slowdown, I’ve found a moment for reflection. A forced pause that’s making me respect my body’s boundaries and the critical role of pacing oneself in any new venture.
Tomorrow is Another Day
As I sit here, nursing my aching limbs, I’m reminded that fitness is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. It’s okay to take a day off, or even a week, if that’s what your body requires for adequate recovery. Tomorrow, or whenever I’m ready, I’ll return to the F45 Penrose studio. But this time, I’ll be armed with a newfound respect for my body’s limits and the knowledge that recovery is just as important as pushing through.
To anyone feeling the punishing embrace of DOMS, remember, it’s your body’s way of telling you to slow down and listen. Pay attention. And most importantly, give yourself the grace and time to recover. You’ve earned it.