Week 3 Day 1
I wake up with my sinuses pounding. I have already been on antibiotics for two days and I look at the prescription bottle and realize I’ll be on them for another week. Sigh. I grab the bottle of Afrin and snort it. Maybe it’ll keep my head clear for my training.
I’m actually looking forward to training with Kimberly again, but I’m nervous at the same time because I know it is going to be hard work, really hard work, and all I can think about is the block of bricks that is pressing against my cheeks and my teeth when I chew. Yet I manage to get my No-Fun Diet oatmeal down.
Later, I walk into the gym and see Kimberly. She walks up to me eager to get the training started.
“What did we work on last time?” She asks. I kick out my leg and do a squat instead of conversing. She walks over to a rack with boxing gloves. “They might be moist inside.” She says throwing a pair of red ones at my feet.
“I have a sinus infection.” I offer up this information like it’ll make her go easy on me. And as usual she tells me if I feel like I am just not into the right frame of mind to train today, then we can skip it. But I ALWAYS take that as a challenge.
I pick up the gloves; they’re taunting me, daring me to put them on and to begin the workout. After all, that’s why I was there. Dreading any kind of cold, dampness I slip one on and then the other. Yep. Wet. It’s like water that was left in sponge yet to be wrung out.
“Ewww.” I say…Kimberly doesn’t like complainers, but she laughs and hands me a different pair. Pink ones which were dry.
I’ve never worn boxing gloves before. It’s so funny how they transform you. My husband and I had just watched ‘The Fighter’ the night before, and I immediately felt empowered like Rocky.
“Do I get to hit you?” I asked, my mood surprisingly lifting.
She looks at me like she was surprised I would actually consider it. After all the last time I trained with her she told me she was going to try to make me puke. And I came close, real close.
She puts on pads and begins teaching me how to throw cross punches. Swing with my whole body. Keep my hands up. Thumbs on the side. I like it.
“O.K,” she says, “we’re going to do 10 cross punches, side shuffle to the cone, side shuffle back and then ten more cross punches.”
I do it, and after the last ten, she makes me do it 8 more times. Then, 10 burpees. Then 4 cross punches with 10 reverse lunges, and finally 10 jump squats. This is with no break in between exercises. This is considered a circuit.
I’m sweating. I’m breathing….heavy, pacing around the room. They say to stay moving. After about a minute, when I’m starting to think that maybe my breathing is getting back to normal she says…”O.k., again.”
We repeat it, then again for a third time. We then move on to a second circuit of exercises, and then a third. My whole training that day lasted 35 minutes.
“You’re done.” Kimberly says, patting me on the back.
I leave feeling a great big sense of accomplishment. But we were both concerned about my breathing.
Week 4 day 1
My sinuses are better. But I went to the doctor, took a test. I have exercise-induced asthma. It never occurred to me. I never liked gym class because I couldn’t keep up. I thought EVERYONE felt like this when they exercised. So I skipped P.E. a lot in high school and was probably deemed a slacker or a troublemaker. Ha. In your FACE. Not that I think having asthma is cool.
It also makes me think about how this last year training at the gym, I saw new people come to bootcamp, and then pass me in training ability. I was always stuck were I was, never moving forward. It was very frustrating, and asthma makes sense.
After telling Kimberly about my new found knowledge on how my cool new inhaler works, we get started on an upper body circuit. She hands me two dumbbells and has me sit on an incline bench. She tells me to just let my arms go limp. It’s awkward having your arms hang behind you.
“O.k., curls.” She says. It’s so awkward. It’s not like holding a barbell with both hands and doing bicep curls, or even standing straight with dumbbells. I’m literally lying back at a 40% angle and expected to do a curl. The weights are so heavy I know it’s going to be a challenge. I brace myself, dig my heels into the floor and push my butt back into the seat. Clenching my teeth, I give it my all. Nothing.
I’m so bummed because 5 months ago, this would’ve been a breeze.
After decreasing the weight…twice...Kimberly says, “Really? Marcy, I’m bored! You are literally boring me!” It’s the drill sergeant coming out. I start laughing, but at the same time I’m upset because I really WANT to be able to do this. It’s bad enough that I skipped the gym on the days I wasn’t training with Kimberly to try to rest my body and heal my sinus infection. But to have to curl HALF the weight in my left arm than in my right? It was embarrassing. Luckily I have the ability to poke fun at myself. I knew she was just kidding.
Week 4 day 2
“Did you weigh yourself today?” Kimberly asks me. I was dreading answering. I’m only supposed to weigh myself once a week on Fridays. I had stepped on the scale and lost .2 lbs. Now, I’m the first one to know that it takes muscle to lose fat. Muscle burns fat. There are those out there that say the fat weighs more than muscle. They tell themselves that to make themselves feel better about not losing or even gaining weight. The plain truth is that 5lbs equals 5 lbs. Muscle is just denser, more compact than fat. So when I step on the scale and nothing has changed, in my mind I feel like I’ve accomplished nothing. But the truth is, is that muscle is just replacing fat. I have to re-train my brain…again.
“.2 pounds.” I say. I try not to sound disappointed. I feel bad. Almost as bad as the time I told my daughter that dragons eat princesses. She didn’t believe me.
Kimberly starts explaining, “Marcy, most people have a layer of fat over their lean muscle. So I can just pump up cardio, and trim the fat to reveal the muscle underneath. Unfortunately, you don’t have that much muscle, and you have no fat covering it. So it’s not going to be as easy as just running cardio and burning calories. We have to actually build your muscle up.”
God I love people who know what they’re talking about. I also love weight training, so this sounds like a great plan to me.
We also discuss my diet. I’m put back on a carb-cycle diet, but it’s not as long of a wait in between carb and no carb eating. I switch it up more frequent. We learned last year that my body responds most to more frequent changes in diet.
We talk about my asthma and I realize that it the inhaler is helping, but it’s not as much as I would like. So I’m going to try to get a stronger medication.
“O.k.” she says, “we’re doing legs today.”
She starts me on a circuit holding 10 lb dumbbells in each hand. She shows me what to do, 10 lunges with the right leg, 10 reverse lunges with the left, 10 side lunges with the right and 10 backward crossover lunges with the left. I start the circuit.
“Push through your heel.” She says. I wiggle my toes to let the pressure up and I immediately feel the burn through my butt. It’s a good burn. I start to think of all the toned butts I see in all my fitness magazines, and I wish the fat away. I’m also going to need a tan. I think to myself.
I start the backward lunges. I never knew that holding dumbells while doing lunges could ad so much effort. My thigh screams. I start to feel a trickle of sweat down my temple.
I finish the circuit and stand. I shake my legs out trying to get rid the burn and the stabbing in my muscles. I hate leg days. The shakiness that my legs feel always reminds me that I just have two sticks for legs. But I love it. I keep coming back for more, and Kimberly always makes me feel good about myself every time I finish a workout. I walk around trying to slow down my breathing. What’s next? I wonder. Incline press? Leg extensions? I’m dying to sit down, to relieve the burning and tearing in my butt that keeps me walking funny.
Kimberly looks at me, “Two more sets.”
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