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Jul 13 2013

The Pied Piper of Gym Rats

It seems my new accountability ritual for staying on track with the fitness goals connected to my crazy 2014 MalmöMilen 10K Race commitment is having something of a domino-effect.

I started posting my (near-) daily work-out activities to both my Twitter feed and Facebook timeline at the beginning of this month: Twitter for my fellow 30-Day Shredders, and Facebook for my local fitness idol and MalmöMilen 2014 conspirator/coach/team namesake Sophie. I do this because I know being accountable to others will make a huge difference in my ability to stick this thing out, and I’m very grateful to the folks who have agreed to be my cheerleaders in this way.

But since I started the reporting, a surprising number of friends (both of the real-life and cyber variety) have jumped on my fitness bandwagon in one way or another.

First, a fellow Team Sopherocious member, who also happens to follow my 30-Day Shred buddies on Twitter, decided to join us all in that challenge. Not long after that, his wife signed on to actually run the race with us next year. And shortly after that, the work-out-averse Alpha-Geek (who recently met all the members of the MalmöMilen crew at a combination July 4th/Shazzer’s Birthday BBQ), quietly began doing the Shred, too (much to the shock and awe of both the Swede and myself, to say nothing of his wife).

And then there are the Burpees.

Barely a week into the 30-day Shred, I got a text message from Sophie (here-after referred to as Coach Hard-@$$) directing Dr. Darling and myself to begin a cumulative Burpee challenge, starting by doing just one, but then adding one each day until we reach 50. And this assignment was in addition to any other work-out we happened to be doing on any given day. (I’ve since learned that the “typical” cumulative Burpee challenge has a goal of 100 of the bastards, but I suspect Coach Hard-@$$ is trying to ease us into that reality.)

For those readers who wonder if perhaps I’m dropping Swedish words into this entry by accident, “Burpees” are a slightly modified version of the trusty “squat-thrust”, the key difference being that you add a vertical jump to the end of it. Many fitness experts consider it to be “the perfect exercise” because it engages virtually ever major muscle group, and if you do enough of them in succession (like any more than TWO) you end up with a serious aerobic work-out as well.

So basically, Burpees are a very special method of total-body-torture, enough so that Coach Hard-@$$ occasionally checks to make sure I’m actually doing them. This from a recent Facebook Messenger Chat:

Sophie: So, how many Burpees today?

Shazzer: The calendar says 7 Burpees today.

Shazzer: For some people, 7 is actually considered a lucky number.

Shazzer: I am not one of those people.

Sophie: Lol!

Which is why I was stunned to learn that shortly after I began reporting the damn Burpees in my accountability updates, several other members of Team Sopherocious had added them to their fitness routines OF THEIR OWN FREE WILL. What is wrong with these people?!!!

In all honesty, I am doing Burpees because I admire and adore — to a ridiculous degree — my friend Sophie. In fact, I’m fairly sure I would be unable to refuse her anything she asked of me. (I have similar difficulty saying no to my 4-year-old god-daughter, which is why I’m still recovering from the somersault she asked me to do on the wooden floor of our living room a couple of weeks ago.)

But these folks haven’t even met Coach Hard-@$$ at this point, and yet they are still doing her #&%£@! Burpee assignment!

Sophie has magical powers, clearly.

Now let’s just hope she doesn’t ask us to rob a bank.

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Feed my ego!

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