(photo @ neptunebarbell.com)
Aside from a few upper body exercises, today was my first day doing Tracie's exercise regimen by myself. I walked into my neighborhood gym with my foam roll and mat and proceeded to open my email to pull up Tracie's warm up exercises.
Unfortunately, the foam roll stuff was linked somewhere and our gym is allergic to all forms of phone and wifi reception. This resulted in me attempting the foam roll stuff without a point of reference, which had the embarrassing side effect of making it look as though I was furiously (and unsuccessfully) attempting to mate with an inanimate object.
The other exercises, however, were all described in detail and with pictures on a previously downloaded document. I was able to get through most of them pretty well, although the one I struggled with the most (Spider-Man push ups) was ironically named after my favorite superhero.
As the exercises wore on, I could feel myself beginning to get tired. The planking exercise Tracie had taught me (for upper legs and core) caused caused sweat to pour onto my mat.
There also might be a few tears on there, too.
When I finally finished, I was exhausted, but also incredibly proud of myself. My upper body days seemed easy compared to this, but I had gone through all the exercises that Tracie had mapped out for me and felt like I had really gotten something done.
Tracie had requested that I give her a report that evening, so I called to tell her the good news. I also asked to make sure that the number of sets for each of the exercises was correct.
"Oh yeah, I didn't put that on all of them," she replied. "You should be doing three sets of each."
I had done 3 sets of 10-15 for about half of them, but not all. This workout program was going to be even harder than I thought.
Today it was back to my "easy" day of upper body weight lifting and basic cardio (although I did increase my high intensity intervals). I must admit, however, that I'm actually starting to feel a lot better.
My emotional state also seems to be improving. I don't think it's some weird thing with endorphins or fat melting away to reveal layers of happiness, either. Each day I know I'm doing some positive and beneficial for myself.
One negative thing that happened, however, was that I somehow ripped a hole in one of my favorite t-shirts. It claims that I am property of CTU, a fictional counter terrorism unit from the show '24'. In spite of the terrible last 2 seasons, it's still one of my favorite series ever...and now the shirt I had proclaiming my love of the series has a giant custom ventilation spot right on the armpit.
...but honestly, I'll probably still wear the shirt, anyway.
Today was another day back and Long Training Studios with Tracie. I was supposed to go on Saturday, but I had a rare Wednesday afternoon free. This was as good a reason as any try and get some more work done.
As Tracie exchanged pleasantries with me before we got started, two very attractive girls walked into the gym. I may be a happily married man, but I'm also still a guy...which is why when it slowly dawned on me that I would be working out with these girls in a small group, I began to feel an impending sense of dread.
Both girls (who looked like fitness models) instantly began going through the warm up routine while I stood there frozen like an obese deer in headlights. After being walked through the warm up by Tracie, we started in on the various exercises...all of which involved the girls completely ripping through them while I labored behind like an injured rhino that had been tranquilized.
But to their credit and Tracie's, no one really seemed to mind (or openly laughed me at). I went through the (easier, lower rep version) exercises, once again feeling the burn in muscle areas that seemed to be slowly awakening up from years of hibernation.
My man card finally convinced me to try an exercise that one of the girls was having a little trouble with. I was actually able to pull it off a little better than her...if by "better than her" you take into account it was an upper body intensive exercise...and I did two sets of 8 with the right form while she did around a million sets of 10 trying to perfect hers.
I was also fully introduced to the kettle bell. These evil little abominations look pretty benign at first due to their bright and cheerful colors. But the fun and games come to a screeching halt once Tracie starts having you do squats and carry them around the gym with your elbow extended like you're being forced to participate in some sort of twisted beauty pageant.
By the time we were done, I never wanted to see or pick up one of those cursed things ever again.
Giant candy gumballs...OF DEATH.
I must admit, however, that when Tracie asked how I was feeling, I actually felt...good. Sure, my body felt like it was on fire, but the temperature was definitely lower. I was also starting to feel more mobile, stronger, and even a bit lighter. This whole exercising thing was actually starting to make a difference.
The only real drawback to this lifestyle change so far is the fact that I have gone through 3 sets of headphones already. I seriously have no idea how I lose them or why it happens so much. As usual, I'll just blame mischievous gnomes instead of my own disorganization.
If you want to cheer Tracie on while she kicks my butt on a weekly basis, you can find her on Twitter. If you live in the Charleston area and would like to have your butt kicked into shape like mine has been, then take a moment and check out the Long Training Studios website.
Please also feel free to leave a comment below. If you'd like to sing my praises or tell me how terrible I am more personally, I can also be found on Twitter. To get updates on when new articles or podcasts are published (and occasional random musings) 'Like' the official RamblingBeachCat.com Facebook page.