Mr. Olympics is our new trainer, a key leader in the healthy lifestyle program we’ve joined.
“Oh, actually it was good,” I said. “It wasn’t too bad. He worked me, yes, but I feel really great today. There was a half hour of cardio, and a half hour of weights.”
She seemed pleased with my answer. It’s a good thing she asked me on Tuesday night, and not on Wednesday morning.
Shortly after we spoke we sat with a dozen of like-minded people, none of us in great shape, and all of us taking part of The Program. It’s a fantastic opportunity–time with a dietician who doesn’t use the word “diet”. Time with a trainer who was a sprinter in the Olympics.
The dietician part was fine. The group exercise session nearly killed me.
We started with a minute of jumping jacks…already it was clear that group day is not at all like individual day. Once the jumping jacks were finished, we had to sit in a chair, get up, sit down again–and repeat that 30 times. How hard can that be? I sit in a chair all day long. I’ve got the technique down cold. But by the twentieth time or so, I began to think he was nuts. And when he followed that up with another full minute of jumping jacks and another thirty chair sits, I was convinced of it. The same woman who had asked me about him at the beginning of class glared at me. The much younger woman beside me gave it her all, and I found myself glaring at her because she was doing so much better than me.
I thought maybe that was it, the worst was over, but Mr. Olympics was just getting started. Chair sits were followed by kick-backs and more jumping jacks.
I looked at the clock. Wow, an entire ten minutes had passed. Ten minutes out of sixty.
I’m pleased to say that I finished the hour. I was tired, but hey, I knew I’d worked for it. I told my husband and our friend about it on the way home, and they did their best to encourage me.
Of course, during that time of sitting on the trip home, my muscles seized up and I remember thinking how odd it was that Monday had gone so well. On Tuesday, they could have buried me and I don’t think I’d have objected.
Naturally, when we got in the house, I made the best possible choice for a snack. Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. That’s right.
It was the held-overs from Dave’s birthday cake, and I didn’t want it staring at me anymore. So, we all had a piece, eating it downstairs in front of the television set (as you can see, I’m applying all rules for a healthy relationship with food here). I went upstairs and started in on the dishes the guys had left for me when they made supper (don’t judge–they’d been working on the pergola project and then they came to get me). I went to go get the three cake plates.
I changed my mind when I counted the stairs. We live in a split level. From the kitchen on the middle level, there are seven to get to the family room. On the second step, I turned around and hoped that one of them would realize I was doing the dishes and would kindly bring the plates upstairs.
Thank goodness, one of them did, which immediately set me in tears.
I started to go back downstairs again…and changed my mind again. Seven stairs was too many. It meant I’d have to climb fourteen stairs to get to the bedroom. Seven down. Fourteen up. I couldn’t imagine it, so I split the difference and climbed the remaining seven stairs up and went to bed.
The next day, trying to get out of bed was a bit like trying to glue dandelion fluff back on the flower. My poor legs were still not functioning. I had a keen awareness of muscles that I never even knew existed, even though I’ve had the same ones for 52 years.
I had a physiotherapy appointment that morning, one scheduled the week before. My physiotherapist had already told me a number of things had to happen before I could try running (“Like,” he said, “finding a whole other body.”) He didn’t think I looked too chipper, so when I explained what happened, he tried not to laugh. To be fair, he’s become a friend, and although he doesn’t sound very professional in this exchange, I assure you he totally is. He put a hand on both my calves and said “Wow, that’s some toned calf muscles there.”
Let’s be clear. He did not mean, “These are great gams, lady.”
He meant, “I can’t believe they’re still quivering eighteen hours later.”
We talked strategy–this is a seven week program. If I don’t do at least some of the exercises again as part of my home program, when I get to Monday-followed-by-Tuesday with Mr. Olympics, then I’m going to be in exactly the same shape.
I’ve never had a better incentive than that. Let the chair sits begin!
Have you ever had an exercise session go so badly? Did you stick with it? Tell me your story–I need the incentive.