workouts that work for me

96ec185faf973c2cf1d317dda89d9792Being toned and fit and extremely hot is not strictly for people of the two-handed variety. But it does require tons of discipline and several hours of working out, the latter of which can be a bit of a challenge for those of us with a limb difference. Luckily, most exercises can be adapted to fit different levels of ability to yield the same results. And we all want flat abs and muscles, right?

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Yes, this is a bathroom selfie.

I’ve tried out many types of workouts, from trampoline gym classes (yes, that’s actually a thing) to kickboxing (don’t try to punch people with a prosthetic fist, seriously) to a Brazilian “bum bum” butt-lifting program. And while I’m not very athletic, I’m definitely adventurous when it comes to trying new things. So I’ve had plenty of opportunities to figure out which workouts are best for me and my body. And this might come as a surprise, but my three favorite workouts are pretty cliche and normal. Also, they’re really easy for anyone, one-handed or not, to do. 

1) Swimming

When I was on the local swim team as a kid, I was hitting the pool three nights a week after school. Swimming laps over and over for two hours at a time was not always exciting, but I did gain a lot of energy and muscle tone. Swimming is easy on the joints and gives you a full-body workout, so it’s my number-one exercise pick. It also doesn’t require me to wear my prosthetic, which is always a plus. And no, in case you were wondering, I don’t sink to one side when I swim. (And yes, someone actually asked me that once.)

2) Running

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I take gym selfies, too. Don’t judge me.

I NEVER ran as a kid. I didn’t think I was capable of running until very recently when I hired a trainer to help me get ready for a 5K. I’m awkward as it is when I walk, so I just assumed that awkwardness would be amplified if I tried to run. As it turns out, anyone can be a runner once they learn the proper techniques. So I started running and have been doing so almost five days a week for the past few months. With a good playlist and comfortable sneakers, I can run for hours. (Okay, maybe not hours. But definitely minutes. Lots of minutes.) And I still get my cardio in, with or without the fake arm.

3) Yoga

Confession: I’ve always wanted to be one of those cool yoga girls who eats a vegan diet and buys everything organic and leads a stress-free, super-zen life. But I’m way too anxious and fast-paced and New York to do that. So I think the second-best thing is making time for a yoga class every once in a while. (It’s also the only place in my life right now where it is culturally appropriate for me to wear yoga pants.) And aerial yoga’s my favorite because you get to hang from a trapeze and it almost feels like you’re doing ballet. The floor poses are a little more complicated because I like to do yoga without my prosthetic. I’ve struggled with a few of the poses that require you to balance on both hands. Jen from Born Just Right suggested I use yoga blocks to even out my body and make it easier. And that makes a world of difference. So if you find yourself at a new yoga studio, make sure you ask for extra blocks to use during the more challenging poses. Besides that, though, I’ve never run into any problems with yoga. It’s incredibly relaxing and stress-relieving, so I highly recommend it if you’re a nervous type like I am.

Be warned: this is what you'll find if you open my gym locker.

Be warned: this is what you’ll find if you open my gym locker.

I also feel the need to add a disclaimer here: I haven’t been working out as often as I should lately. Maybe this post will keep me honest and help me stay motivated? We’ll see about that. I’ve already promised myself a morning run tomorrow (if I remember not to press the snooze button eight times….)

Peace,

Caitlin Michelle

 

(Top image found on Pinterest.com)
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inspirational quotes

Dear lovely readers,

I’m sorry I haven’t written much lately, but it’s finals week and I need to be studying my butt off and writing a million papers right now. Know that I’ll get back to writing regularly as soon as I finish up the semester. In the meantime, enjoy this board of wonderfully inspirational quotes.

Peace,
Caitlin 🙂

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the coolest prosthetics ever

  Okay, so there’s something I need to confess: I have an obsession with Pinterest.com. It’s got such a wealth of cool ideas and a super simple organization system. What’s not to love?!
  So here I am with another board I put together specifically for this blog. As a one-handed girl, I’ve had my share of experiences with prosthetics (I got my first one when I was only a few months old.) My parents thought it would be a good idea for me to wear one to create a semblance of normality and to make me feel just like every other happy-go-lucky little kid. Back then (and this was twenty years ago),  prosthetics were all about function. In addition to grasping small objects (yes, I even had the awful harness arm with the over-the-shoulder strap that cut painfully into my skin), the artificial arms of the time were known for trying to look like flesh-and-blood limbs. Of course, most of them failed at this attempt. Despite the skin covers with the almost-lifelike hair follicles and the French manicures, the arms’ many screws and rubber texture betrayed what they really were. Honestly, I think I would have gotten fewer stares if I had just walked around without the artificial hand.
  Nowadays, fortunately, the paradigm for prosthetics has changed significantly. People are starting to view artificial limbs as both functional AND fashionable. Gone are the days when a limb deficient person had to try his or her best to hide the lack of an appendage. In this age of constantly advancing science and technology, prosthetics are considered cool. This means that prosthetists are taking liberties in how they design these artificial limbs. You can now find anything from tentacles (see picture on right) to mermaid tails to legs with detachable heels. Pretty awesome, huh?
  So in celebration and appreciation of how far prosthetics have come in the last few decades, check out this Pinterest board featuring some of the coolest artificial limbs available today. If you’re anything like me, you’re already planning outfits you can pair with each of the prosthetic arms….But then again, that might just be my Pinterest addiction talking.
Peace,
Caitlin 🙂
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the coolest people with limb differences

Good morning, everyone! I thought today might be a good day for some inspiration. Check out this Pinterest board I put together of people who’ve beaten the odds and accomplished incredible things. Read their stories here and tell me what you think!

Peace,
Caitlin 🙂

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cool things for one-handers

Check out my Pinterest board of my favorite products for one-handed folks!

Peace,
Caitlin 🙂

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