Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Quest for Athleticism, Enter Boot Camp

This used to be me.
The teacher becomes the student.

In the spirit of becoming a pure athlete I decided to mix up things a bit.  The 2010 season is in the books and it's time to focus on bike rides that include breaks every 15-20 minutes and baggy shorts.  In other words, time to rekindle my affair with the bikes.  You know how people who are married for 60 years suddenly decide to start "dating" each other.  Yeah, that kind of thing.  O.k., I've got the bike thing figured out, but what about stopping myself from slipping into couch potato status?  It came to me a few days ago, why not participate in the Boot Camp class that my wife, Amy and I co-facilitate for the agency we work for.  In a nutshell, Amy and I developed a "Fitness/Wellness Challenge" within our work place (yes, we work for the same outfit).  The whole idea was born over dinner about a year ago and we decided that maybe we could inspire some of the 200 employees we work with to "get fit" or at least start thinking about it.  Part of the program included an exercise "class" called "Boot Camp" run by Amy and yours truly.  Yes!  This was the answer, I'd whip myself into shape and Boot Camp would be my vehicle.

I felt a little pressure when the core group of women began showing up for class.  Now, I've been yelling at these girls for weeks to either "get their knee up" or "pick up the pace, that's not a sprint!"  I felt I was in trouble when Kristina walked in, took one look at me in my workout clothes and started laughing.  I thought, "Whatevs, Let's Do This!".

Amy threw out some instructions and we took it outside.  I went through the whole warm up thing fine and started thinking about how this might not be as bad as I thought.  Still in the warm up I felt a warm sensation in my throat, GROSS, it was the last drink of water heading North!  Holy Crap!  The warm up kinda sucked.  I was kicking at things in the air that weren't there, then doing push ups that required me to cover ground while doing them.  I was sweating bullets and we hadn't officially started yet.

My version of the "plank walk" did not look like this.
Spending 4 dizzying minutes at each station with 30 second breaks between them made up the crux of Boot Camp.  I found some of the stations to be more manageable than others.  Basically, the ones that had to do with high cardio were o.k..  The ones that had to do with strength made me weep.  Spending so much time on the bike has left me with the upper body strength of a 7th grade girl.  The way I figured it the class contained about 200 push ups, I would struggle on them all.

Then, the dreaded "plank walk" station.  The station that I had expended a great deal of energy yelling at participants was now before me.  I would have to experience their pain for myself.  Now, all I was expected to do was plank walk for 4 minutes, it was possible, I could do this.  Amy yelled go as I heard some distant laughter as the others knew I was heading to Hell.  Like a fool I lined up next to Laura, a hard as steel hockey player who sets the standard for physical fitness.  Laura's real nice and she just smiled as we got started, but it was the type of smile that left me wondering, "What was that all about?".  It took about 30 seconds before I began to panic.  My shoulder muscles were separating from the bone, I was sure of it.  "I need my arms, I can't let them separate from my body", I thought as I watched Laura inch worm away from me while in the dreaded "plank position".  "How is she doing that?"  I began to have ill thoughts about her, but then I went back to the fact that she's really nice.  At about the 20 minute mark, I mean 2 minutes I heard a voice from the distance yell, "Don't put your knee down Tim...ha, ha, ha (others joined in the laughter).  "How ya doin' tough guy?", came from Amy (more laughter from the group).  I was reduced.  My knee was down and a steady stream of fluid poured from my chin.  "Are these tears or sweat?", I asked myself as Laura came past me doing the plank walk BACKWARDS!  Finally, Amy yelled STOP!  I got up and quickly brushed the grass off my knees so Kristina wouldn't be able to tell if I put my knee down (I used to yell at her ALOT about that - whoops).  I limped through the remainder of the class telling myself that it would all be over soon.  I did finally make it and the breaks between my "ab sets" were spent staring at the ceiling back inside the building with the voice in my head repeating over and over, "You made it".

My arms are shaking as I close out this post, but I'll be back.  These girls (Amy, Kristina, Laura and Cassie) are my inspiration.  Man, I gotta get them on some bikes.

1 comment:

jay said...

Great read Tim. Good Luck in 2011.