Training not only continues, it has officially been ramped up. Kind of like that presentation you’ve known for over a month you have to give and all of a sudden it’s tomorrow, so it’s crunch time. I am in official Cleveland crunch time.
Personal training at Absolute Results is happening 3 days a week rather than the twice a week it has been since late November. Two of the days consist of isolated arms and core; the other day is nothing but legs. Inevitably, inside of 30 minutes instead of breathing like a horse, I’m hobbling around like I have just ridden one cross country delivering some mail. But not this past Tuesday. Tuesday I was on fire.
It was a two-a-day for me, as I ran a speed workout at 5:00am (8 x 800’s @ 6:50 pace, 1:30 rest) and hit AR at 4:00pm. Usually my workouts there with Evan are 90 minutes. But not Tuesday. Tuesday lasted 2 hours.
Oh yes. 2 full hours of non-stop, heart-thumping, sweat-pouring competition against poor, unaware fellow attendees. I started with a 10 minute warm up on the elliptical since Evan gave me the death look when I started to move towards the treadmill. (My heel is hanging in there, but pounding out 2 fast laps at a time on the track for 4 miles never does it any favors.)
There are 3 ellipticals and 3 treadmills all in a row, directly in front of a mirror. To my left was a very pale woman who, as my friend Angela would say, needed to tone it down a bit because the personality explosion was distracting. I tried to crack some jokes with this newbie, but she was looking at me with disdain which is always nano-secondly hurtful. She apparently had become an aware attendee.
To my right was some guy that Evan should have first hooked up to an EKG and had sign numerous disclaimers so as to avoid future legal ramifications after he plunged to his death from walking at 21 miles an hour for 30 seconds. Yes, I do realize this all sounds arrogant and harsh but come on – I was not the only person thinking it AND…let’s all just stick to what we’re good at, shall we? I’m not going to actuary school anytime soon either.
And then…then there is Leslie. Leslie is about 17, obvious cheerleader and narcissist, and clearly dumb. Ok, I’m trying here. Let me rephrase. Clearly naive. As she struts around, she sizes me up. Really? Really, seriously? This is the second time she’s done it; the first time I acted my age.
In that moment, as we were side-by-side on the ellipticals, the place could have been teeming with Olympians chanting “Cleveland! Cleveland! Cleveland!” while Springsteen’s Born to Run was blaring and it would not have even registered with me. I was on a mission. No way was whatever her little brain mustered going to happen.
[She “had to go to the bathroom” and hopped off after roughly 3 minutes. Mission accomplished. Adult 1, Child 0].
So that was the first 10 minutes at AR on Tuesday. Let’s just say I was ready for the next what was supposed to be 80 minutes.
Rep after rep after rep with those stupid weights. 15lbs, 20lbs, 25lbs. No rest in between. I was drenched and loving every minute of it. My arms were so spent by the end of that hour and a half that when Evan said, “Last thing. Take those 5’s and do arm circles. 30 forward, 30 backwards, 3 sets,” I wanted to kill him. It is nothing if not embarrassing when you can’t even move 5lb weights 180 times.
Whew. Done. Well…almost.
After the other newbies had left (“Hey Evan, when those little scamps come in here, they’re worse than a sewing circle,” I might have said), he reminded me that I told him I wanted to box. And I did want to box. Just not right then.
“Put these on,” demanded Evan.
I can honestly say I’ve never actually put on a pair of real boxing gloves. Never curled my fingers up tightly at the top where they seem relatively safe and then locked-in with Velcro around the wrists. I started hopping left and right with that boxer rhythm thing, clinking the royal blue gloves against one other while bobbing my head around in a facade of cockiness.
My tiredness was completely gone! It was like the previous 90 minutes had not even taken place. I knew even before the first punch was thrown that I was in love. So much for fixing my impetuous problem, I thought.
Evan put on some hand pads, we moved out into the open, and Eye of the Tiger came on (it’s all about the timing…look out Laila Ali!). He told me to start punching and I just stood there like, well, show me how exactly. One, I like to do things correctly and two, I wanted to make the most out of this extra innings workout. Preferably while keeping my back intact and spasm free.
Punch! Punch! Punch! Left, Right, Left, Right…out wide, out wide, inside, inside, inside, quick, quick, quick!!!
I went kuh-RAZY. Several 3-5 minute rounds of punching was THE most invigorating, most fun, most I can’t WAIT to do this again feeling I’ve had in a long time while exercising. I could hear my fists hitting those pads. I could hear 5 months of lifting coming to fruition. I could hear Evan realizing he’d found a way for me to push past my pain, push through the tired, push to the end with fierce effort and concentration. Come on, May 20th. It’s crunch time.
We stopped at 6:00. I un-strapped the gloves, smiled, wiped my face, and started towards the front to leave. Instinctively, I turned back around, marched directly to a 25″ square and completed one box jump in perfect CrossFit-like form.
It was the cherry on top of a box full of sugary sweat-ness.