I’ve often heard people who work-out regularly say they actually look forward to it … and even miss it when circumstances keep them from their regular fitness routine. I have NEVER been one of these people. Even as a high school and college athlete, my only motivation for doing any kind of aerobic or strength training was “to better play the game,” whatever the game happened to be.
Since I get no joy out of the actual activities involved in a gym work-out or exercise class, and with no “game” to prep for or team to be a part of … it’s really no wonder I’ve only ever managed to maintain whatever fitness level is necessary to do the stuff I like to do, like biking and cycle touring, for example.
But something has changed in the last week or so, which is the third one since starting our 2014 MalmöMilen “Quest Toward Fitness.” Both Dr. Darling and I seem to have crossed some kind of magical threshold, because for the first time that either one of us can remember … we have started looking forward to our work-outs. Maybe not the exercising itself, but the feeling of accomplishment after we’re finished. Of course it also helps that we have both started seeing results: more strength, improved endurance, and in my case at least, clothes fitting differently.
Even more startling to me is how competitive and demanding I’ve become with myself. Here are two recent examples:
On Thursday of this week, we moved up to Level 2 of Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred. We were ready for the change but didn’t preview the work-out in advance because we wanted to be “surprised” for some reason. (And were we ever.) But this also meant that we were super slow on the transitions and often had to watch the instruction for 10 or 15 seconds just to see how each exercise was done. I realize that doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but when the work-out itself is only 24 minutes long, every second counts.
So even after this work-out kicked my @$$ in all kinds of new ways compared to Level 1, I did not feel I’d worked hard enough due to the un-expected learning curve. My response was to do 15 flights of stairs in addition to that day’s Sophie-imposed Burpee count, prompting Dr. Darling to ask out loud, “Who are you and what have you done with my wife?”
Then today, while at our gym for a cardio blitz, I discovered that the shorts I was wearing … an old pair of the Swede’s that I was really chuffed to be able to actually get in to … were restricting my leg movement when I started my Burpees. So much so, in fact, that I didn’t think I’d be able to do them.
This was just not acceptable. I HAD to do these Burpees and I had to do them right then while all my muscles were warm from the 35 minutes of cardio I’d just finished. Since I just happened to be set up in a somewhat isolated corner of the women’s section of the facility, I decided to just take the shorts off and finish the work-out in my underwear.
YES, you read that right.
I dropped trou at gym in order to properly do Burpees.
So I’m not sure I know who I am anymore, either.
But I am fairly sure that Coach Hard-@$$ would be proud … or at least will be once she gets over being monumentally embarrassed. No doubt Dr. Darling is glad to finally have some company on that front.