Boy, was I cocky today. I had one of those "strength/yoga" one-hour sessions on the calendar so I figured I'd saunter into the gym at lunch and knock it out. Then, I noticed there was a "body-sculpting" workout during the same time frame. "Why not?" I thought. I'll just go easy for 30 minutes and not work out too hard.
Plus, how hard could it be? After all, a few co-workers of mine who are in decidedly less good shape participate in the class and seem to do just fine.
With that, I walked into of my biggest training traps yet.
Once I got the step-up board and two sets of two planks, followed by 15, 8 and 5-pound weights, class was ready to begin. But not before my colleague, Johnny, wandered over in my direction to warn me that I should "get the light weights" because this class is tough and I should take it easy for my first time in here.
Seriously? Did you just say that to me? The guy looks and talks like the character Nigel from The Replacements -- that Keanu Reeves football flick featuring among other quirky characters that tall, lanky Welsh field goal kicker. Seriously, you're telling me to take it easy?
Now it's on!
And then class started.
Kyla, a bouncy blond whom the term "California Girl" was invented for, kicked things off with a series of squats with weights and using the step-up board. Three hard-sets with plyometric exercises and weights. No problem, I though. A strong opening salvo, but I've been through much worse.
Then, we got into a series of balancing poses with weights on the step-up board, followed by intervals with "burpies", mountain climbers, push-ups and back to the balance-board. We were 10 minutes in and I was sweating.
By the 15-minute mark, I was gazing at the clock the way Butler looked tonight against UCONN in the second half. "Is this over with yet? I didn't sign up for this crap!"
The next 15 minutes whirled by so fast I can't even remember the exercises because they happened so fast. There was lots of bending, holding, pulsing, squatting, jumping, balancing, and more lifting. I started with the 15-pound weights, dropped to the 8-pound weights, and ultimately finished with the 5's.
We took a water break at the 30-minute mark. This class was just warming up, but it was time for me to go and change for a work meeting. I was drenched in sweat, and in desperate need of a shower. I tried to look nonchalant about cleaning up my gear, but I couldn't wait to get out of the class. Kyla cheerfully said goodbye and thanks for coming on my way out. I wonder if she was thinking, "Chump!" as I left.
I sure felt like one. I had underestimated the class and pretty much disrespected everybody in it when I got into the room, and felt exactly the opposite when I left. One form of fitness doesn't necessarily translate to the other. And I'm pretty sure I pulled something in my lower back trying to keep up and not look like a sissy. Except at one point I was being out-lifted by the girl next to me, though she was ripped to be fair!
Lesson learned. Humble pie eaten.
I can't wait to go back to that class though. I love a good challenge!
78 days and counting.