Great athletes get born in the weight room. I was clearly not. I am not weak, but I never spent enough time in a gym to actually become strong enough.
My gym visits were very infrequent in the time after I stopped playing volleyball. I am certain that my body got weaker, but I am also sure that my body needed the time off after being injured or beaten for so many consecutive years. I still have several small worries (shoulder, knees, ankle), but the time has come to start improving. Building a body that can withstand more hours of endurance training is my first priority.
I constantly look at how my body moves during exercises, and I have lots to do before I can start increasing the amount of endurances hours per week. I know several weaknesses in my body, and most of them stem from a weak hip. My biggest problem the last years have been a bad ankle, a result of the bad hip (according to the physio). I usually had about 3 painfree kilometers in me last winter. This injury is mostly non-existent now, but it will definitely come back if I stop doing my stability and strength workouts. But I don't just want to keep injuries at bay, I want to find these weaknesses and correct them.
Every athlete wants to get as strong as possible in the shortest amount of time, but I also know that I have gotten injuries before from trying too hard. This is why I have started really slowly, building my strength from scratch. Not only focusing on my legs when squatting, but being sure that the rest of my body can endure the strain as well. This means a lot of stability and mobility training.
In the pictures above you see me doing squats and deadlifts with 80 kg. When I started two months ago I started at 40 kg. It felt absurd, cause I know I could have started at 80 kg if I wanted to. 80 kg is still not heavy for some of my muscles, but I know that my technique and core isn't developed enough to withstand more at this time. If I do heavier loads my knees will move inwards and my back will suffer from the strain. It's a long process that hopefully will result in a steadily development of my entire body and not just my legs.
And remember, every day in the gym is a leg day!