Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Anonymous Confession Wednesday: Why I'm nodding off every time I sit down.

I got an email a few weeks ago. The subject line was "Fitness Group."

You see the problem already?

Look, I'm not exactly sedentary. I hoof it 3-4 miles around the neighborhood with other women on a sporadic basis. Because of genetics, I'm stronger than your average woman, and I have done things like move a piano across the living room or bring a chest of drawers up a flight of stairs all by myself. (My husband says there are a lot of men that I could beat arm-wrestling, and although curiosity makes me want to try, I think that would be a horrible thing to do to a man's ego if I actually won. So we'll never know.)

Ahem. So anyway, in spite of all that, the word "fit" hasn't described me for a long, long time.

But I read some more: Women and youth were invited to meet together every weekday morning at 5:30 (!!!!) for an hour to do stretching, strength training, and cardio workouts.

So in short, this involved:

1. Real exercise.
2. Real exercise at 5:30am.
3. Real exercise at 5:30am in front of other people.

Just the thought of showing up had my heart beating nervously. And cursing the Year of No Fear just a little.

So I emailed YONF. (Who's YONF you ask? She's the author of this blog, and I got tired of calling her the author of this blog, and I named her YONF. We are YONF - figured it out yet? - and Mrs. B.)

And I typed, "YONF, Does the fact that reading the attached email makes me break out a nervous sweat mean that it's a Year of No Fear item? PS - If you answer yes, you have to come with me."

She begged off on some excuse like being 6 months pregnant. Whatever.

I spent several days waffling on whether or not to give it a shot, but the day before it started, I mentioned it to a fitness-loving, early-rising friend who loved the idea and suggested we go together. It was just the boost of moral support I needed.

And so it went like this:

Day 1:
Showed up, utterly self-conscious. Realized I was the largest woman there. Tried to pretend that didn't bother me. Tried to stay at the back of the group where nobody would see me. Forgot to care about my size 15 minutes into it when my lungs became the size of grapes and my peripheral vision began to darken. Hoped nobody was noticing. Secretly decided I was not coming back, even though that would look worse than never showing up in the first place. Also, had an epiphany when somebody said, "Tighten your core. The shape you use it in is the shape it will stay in." That explains why I always look like I'm pregnant!

Day 2:
Came back anyway. (Or rather, limped back. Oh, the sore muscles.) Another participant said, "Hey! You came back!" (Laid to rest any illusions I had that nobody noticed my struggling on Day 1.) Found out that the "Fitness Group" is based on another program called "BOOT CAMP."

Day 3:
Testing day for Presidential Physical Fitness. (Did you know grownups can do that too?) All I want to know is, how can a bathroom scale tell me my fat percentage based on the soles of my large, summer-worn, calloused feet? If you ask me: scale = crock. (Based on the numbers it spat at me. Because it had to be the scale's error, right?) Also could not walk normally due to SORE CALVES. Played Shoulder Bingo. Rolled "20 wide-arm pushups" three times. Could not fold my arms that night without wincing.

Day 4:
Brought my 2-year-old who woke up at 4:50am. What an excellent excuse to bring up the rear as we navigated the track. Made sure 2-year-old didn't pass me on the track.

Day 5:
SKIPPED due to a sweet, blessed, timely family reunion.

And so it has gone, for nearly 3 weeks now. (That's a LONG time in my fitness world, ok?)

Here's why I can't believe I'm still doing this:

1. I'm still bringing up the rear, with or without a toddler. And I'm pretty sure I'm not practicing good form yet in most cases.
2. DID I MENTION 5:30 AM??
3. Do the words: "20 plank-walks with a resistance band around your wrists" or "boat position" mean anything to you?
4. All the exercise is making me HUNGRY, which is potentially counter-productive.
5. At least once a day, I try to figure out a justifiable way to quit (ie. pregnancy, injury, surgery, typhoid fever . . . )

And here's why I'm getting up at 5:00 tomorrow morning:

1. My pants are so loose, I have to go shopping for a belt. (YOU BET that's reason #1!)
2. I'm getting every muscle in my body worked, without having to figure out how to do it myself.
3. It's free. (Thank you , thank you, thank you!)
4. I really like how our fearless leader runs the program. We are encouraged and challenged, but not pressured or embarrassed.
5. Almost everyone who finds out I'm doing the program gives me a look of surprise, and then says, "Wow! I'm proud of you!" (Also laying to rest any illusions I had that my unfit state that gone unnoticed thus far. But the moral support is wonderful.)
6. When I fell off a toybox-that-makes-a-dangerous-stepstool the other day, and considerable pain shot through my ankle, my immediate, unfiltered reaction wasn't "Yippee! An injury!" It was instant panic that I wouldn't be able to work out anymore. I took that as a good sign. (Ankle is fine, thanks for asking.)
6. Let's be honest: I'm so stinkin' proud of myself I can hardly stand it.

So, since it's Anonymous Confession Wednesday, I ask you:

What are you proud of?


Anonymous said...

Yesterday I went to the gym (even though I really didn't want to), and walked on the treadmill, uphill, for 25 minutes! I was so sore when I woke up this morning, but I loved it because it made me feel like I actually did something. Now I'm really looking forward to going back tonight, and that is something to be proud of!

Also, in an effort to lose weight, I've also cut out snacks after 7 pm, and I'm actually doing really well! Yay me!

Anonymous said...

I'm proud of YOU!!! Hang in there! It will be worth every sore muscle and the lack of sleep!!

Jerilyn said...

First, Now I feel bad about the phone conversation we had earlier where I told you I never say I'm proud of ANYTHING, including my kids (because of semantics)(thank goodness this is anonymous).

Second, that second comment was totally Mom.

Jerilyn said...

Curses, I just sent that last comment non-anonymously. Ymously. Aymously. Mously. I think "non-anonymously" is a double negative.


You know why I never say I'm proud of my kids, but for the rest of everyone, I DO say to them "I'm proud to be your mom." or (for friends) "I'm proud to be your friend." or (for sisters) "I'm proud to be your sister." To me, it makes me proud to be associated with them, rather than taking some kind of responsibility for what they're doing.

Like I said, semantics.

Anonymous said...

YOU!!!! That is so incredibly awesome! Three weeks of 5am exercise? You are the woman!

I'm proud (in an athletic sort of way) that lately when I've started feeling yucky and down, I've been going to the gym instead of sitting around the house feeling sorry for myself. The gym membership is cheaper than therapy! (And having tried both options, I get almost the same results either way. They both make me feel so much better!)

Anonymous said...

I just read this post again, and seriously, if I could give you a giant-you-are-so-incredibly-awesome-I-can't-stand-it hug I would. So, I'm giving you an internet one instead. I just thought I would tell you once again that you are so awesome.

Also, I went to the gym tonight, and your posting inspired me. So I got up on the Machine that scares me and I was avoiding because I didn't want to look stupid and I didn't know how to use it. And as I dripped sweat (and felt a smidge silly as I almost fell off), I thought, "Bean would be proud."

Anonymous said...

I"m proud that I embraced the whole year of no fear and called up someone I'd been needing to talk to and we feel much closer now and are helping each other out. Nice going with the workout! As far as that area is concerned, I'm proud that I'm getting back into a routine of exercising and feeling good about myself.

Bean said...

Gawrsh - thanks for all the excitement on my behalf! I forgot to mention that on the day I brought the toddler, I also brought my 10-year-old, who totally lapped me on the track.

12:07 - No, YOU'RE awesome! I saw that machine! It looks scary even in a tiny picture! And I AM totally proud (or as Jerilyn would say - proud to be your (anonymous relation)!

6:57 - We LOVE hearing about other people being brave. Way to go!

Year of no Fear said...

I'm proud of my friend who went swimming yesterday even when an unexpected husband came home early from work!

Bean said...

I'm hoping he couldn't see much, what with my blinding white lack of a tan. That'll teach him to come home early.

Anonymous said...

I am proud that I made my bed 4 out of the last 5 days. I am proud that yesterday my upstairs and downstairs were clean for a whole day and it wasn't because someone was coming over. I am proud that I have had a regular scripture study habit since the beginning of summer.

Sunni said...

Keep it is worth it. And once you stop it is hard to start back up agin.

I am proud of myself for reading a book I have wanted to and for being a more attentive wife to a my husband who was starting to feel left out by all the demands of kids and life.

Jill Walker said...

I'm proud of YOU...and anyone else who can wake up that early in the morning for any reason at all. Keep it up!!