Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Random Boot Camp Thoughts

I really, truly, totally enjoyed Boot Camp today! How far I have come. I like my classmates (teammates? cell mates?) quite a bit--they're all nice and encouraging and all. One guy, however, is difficult to be near, due to his *odor*. Ick. Like not breathing through my nose when I'm within ten feet of his visible aura.

Today we had to run, one at a time, up a very long staircase. When I reached the top, I threw my fists in the air and jumped up and down. I'm such a cheeseball.

I think I have muscles growing. It's been a really long time since I felt them. Maybe five or six or eight years, even. Did I have muscles when I met D.?

Me: "Did I have muscles when we met?"

D: "I can't say that I remember."

Hmmm. Is that good or bad?

Me: "Do I have muscles now?"

D: "I'd say you're getting some muscles."

I'd say, a bit guarded, yes? If he would say or could not say, then why not say or not say?

Besides, it wasn't that many hours ago that I made him feel my biceps. "Feel this, feel this!"

Correct answer: "You were a babe when we met, and are even more so today with your ripped and cut musculature."

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

One Boot at a Time

Surprisingly, Boot Camp is going well. I'm no longer in complete and total pain all day and through the night. I can roll over in bed with one easy, pain-free motion, instead of a slow, calculated and complicated series of moves with rest periods in between. I can raise myself from the toilet without using the handicapped grab bars. I can reach for something on the floor by either squatting down or bending over. I relish the joy of having two means of accomplishing a task! And I can walk up and down the stairs quietly (no "oooowwwwww!s") again. This is progress.

I imagine how much better my results would be if I laid off the beer pints and red wine. Hmmmmm. . . I'll have to try that soon.

Just tonight, after meeting friends for a couple of pints after work, I tore myself away before the third round with "oh, no--I have boot camp tomorrow morning," and home I went, as they cheerfully ordered more IPAs, ESBs and Single-Hopped Ales.

"Your priorities are out of whack," one friend said.

"I don't want to look like you," I thought, as I quickly and easily skipped out to my car and lowered myself into the driver's seat without assistance.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Boot Camp, Day 2

Friday was my second Boot Camp session. Our very nice and incredibly fit trainer guy was just as smiley and encouraging as he was on Wednesday--although his audience, me included, was a little less cooperative. We were in pain, dammit! Comparing notes with my classmates revealed that I was not the only one who spent Thursday inventing new ways to lower the tush to the toilet in an effort to avoid taxing my screaming quadriceps. But we were still in good humor and anxious to get on with the day's exercises--if only to make the hour pass so we could go home.

My session started early, as trainer guy needed to record my weight and measurements so we will have a basis for comparison when the eight-week camp is (finally and thankfully) over. And I was okay with this semi-public humiliation. I have gained some acceptance of my weight, which does not mean that anyone other than the trainer and I will ever know it. Not even D. And as long as the number is as high as it is, he never will.

And as luck would have it, my weight was higher than it had been all week. "I'm up three pounds from yesterday," I exlaimed weakly to the trainer, who nodded and explained how much weight can fluctuate, and therefore measurements are a better indicator of progress, etc etc. Well, the measurements were pretty effin' high, too. Interestingly, my left thigh is slightly smaller in diameter than my right, which is roughly equal to D.'s waistline. I love you, left thigh.

So yes, I have lots and lots of work to do. What did I expect? My body has changed muchly over the past four years, since our business started consuming our lives (and I started consuming large amounts of the incredible local microbrews I love so much).

And so Friday's session, Intro to Core Conditioning, began, on the floor, with thick comfy mats. Excellent! My secret weapon: realizing that my "be a good girl and perform every last rep" desire would only lead to great pain and possible injury. So, I did what I could when I could and didn't force my body to contort more than it wanted to.

Repeat often: Easy does it. Be patient. Love your body. You will get through this.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Beauty Through The Pain

Day One of Boot Camp: 500 jumping jacks, interspersed with a thousand lunges (right foot, left foot, backward, three-quarters), 300 squats (regular and "sumo"), at least 675 arm raises, which looked easy and harmless until I did a hundred of them (arms out at shoulder height, palms up; raise arms over your head until they meet with a delightful clap!; lower arms and repeat fifty times, then forty, then thirty. . . you get the idea), then tens of 8-point push ups (on a wood floor, and I'm a knee push up girl so my knees are COMPLETELY bruised), and sadistic, painful "mountain climbers," which can only be demonstrated, not described. They are not ladylike.

And some other stuff which I have, thankfully, forgotten. By the time I left the gym ALL of my muscles were entirely spent, meaning I could barely lower my ass into the driver's seat of the car. And thank christ I didn't ride my bike to the gym, as I had thought about doing; I'd STILL be riding home.

Throughout the day, the pain settled in. Never had I experienced muscle soreness the day of the over-exertion; this usually happens to me the next day, after, say weeding the garden or embarking on a new leg-lift routine. But to be sore and hardly able to walk down a flight of stairs the same day? Never happened before. I was NOT looking forward to today.

For good reason. Heaving myself out of, or lowering myself into a chair takes all my effort and about five whole minutes. At times today I needed help getting up out of the chair, and I'm not kidding. I tried stretching, doing more squats, clasping my hands behind my back and raising up my arms (just a little), and more stretching. Last evening, I went for a 45 minute walk with my dog, allowing her to pull me up the hills. All of this was my determination to keep the blood pumping and get the lactic acid out of those muscles!

Didn't work. I have not been in this much pain in many a year.

I have never been more thankful for the disabled grab bars in the bathroom at work. I needed them today, and was reminded--painfully, but thankfully--that my pain and soreness was a result of my fully-functioning body going through a wide variety of strengthening exercises. And I have no complaints. Whatsoever.

Tomorrow I get to go back. We're doing core conditioning. On the floor. I hope I can put myself down upon it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

And Hello, Booty Camp!

It begins tomorrow morning, 7 a.m. Think of me, please, and send little thoughts of sympathy as I start doing crunches, or leg lifts, or running in circles--really, only the trainer knows what's in store as I try to survive Boot Camp. I was coerced into attending by a nice-sounding guy at the gym, who just happened to call my business today. He must have heard a cry for help in my voice, because he not only seemed to understand that I needed a little kick in the ass to get myself to the gym again, but he had me signed up before I could say "drop and give me twenty."

It's an 8-week, 3-times-a-week class. That's only 24 hours. I can do it. Only trouble is, I think I heard him say something about a "cleanse." I don't know what their idea of cleansing is, but if it requires me to give up caffiene and/or alcohol, I will not be partaking of that part of the program. My life is nothing without coffee and wine.

And suddenly, I'm remembering boot camp scenes from An Officer and a Gentleman in which Richard Gere is weeping. Dear lord.

Updates to come. Painful, sore, can't-walk-normally updates. Hopefully, the weeping will be quick and quiet.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Finally, It's Summertime!

The temperature is about seventy degrees, a light wind blows, and there is nary a cloud in the sky. Finally, the perfection that is the Pacific Northwest summer has arrived. Only this year, Mother Nature is a little off in her timing. Instead of looking forward to two months of glorious weather--our "get outside and stay there" weather--the calendar on the wall features a flame-orange maple tree and I know that the rains of autumn are soon arriving. Instead of reading on the porch tonight until 10 p.m., the sun will set at 7:36 p.m. (This according to The Original Farmer's Almanac.)

Our season of cocooning has already begun. We're watching more movies, reading more books, and staying in the house. Our Netflix queue is becoming an important topic of discussion. We're planning Thanksgiving already, for godssake.

But not today. Today, we'll squeeze the sun as hard as we can. We'll pour it over ourselves, and feel it soak into our skin. We'll hold onto it tight, and turn it into a memory.

Because this glorious sunshine week is likely the last we'll have until next summer. And that seems like a very long way off.