Stepping It Up

I’ve been working hard to mix in some weight lifting with all of the basketball I’ve been playing lately.  On a good week, I’ll play ball 4-5 times and lift weights 1-2 times (it’s a start, right?).

Last week was tough.  Thursday was the Thanksgiving holiday here in the US.  There was also a problem with one half of the basketball court on Monday, so that messed up my routine for the week.  With a lot of effort, I made it back to the gym on Friday (the day after Thanksgiving).

Basketball was just so-so, but I pushed myself into into the weight room afterward.  One of the exercises I’ve been doing regularly is the “Step-up”.   This is where you stand on the ground, put one leg up on a weight bench or platform, then “step-up” onto it.  I try to do 10 on each leg, and do three sets of them (usually holding some dumbbells too).

stepupThe YMCA where I play basketball has four “boxes” made just for step-ups, and each one is a different height.  There’s a small one, one of weight bench height, one that is just above knee height on me, then a really tall one that is just below my waist.

I usually use the box that is the same height as a standard weight bench,  but Friday I felt like I needed to push myself a little harder.  I used the next higher box.  It was scary-tall, but after a few steps I started to get my balance.  I felt pretty good about it.  Then the kid came up…

He was about 20 something, skinny as a rail, but strong – I saw him working the squats and deadlifts. He lined up in front of the super-tall box and started doing step-ups.  But at the end of the motion he would bring the knee of his off-leg up to his chest.  And he was also holding a 45-pound plate above his head.  Jerk.

I’m kidding, about the jerk part.  I’m sure he started just like I am, doing regular step-ups on a realistic sized box.  And I still felt good about what I was doing, because it’s all relative to my fitness level, not compared to others in the gym.  But holy smokes that kid was killing it!


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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, advocate, and Senior Community Manager at Blue Circle Health. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent my employer’s position. Read more…

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