Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Rambling Beach Cat Fitness Challenge Days 9, 10. & 11: The Wrath of Tracie (and Fitting Into Old Pants)

Day 9

I was still a little sore from the intense workout from the day before, but a good night's sleep and an afternoon of watching football helped give me enough time to recover and get back at it in the gym that evening.

I also stepped on the scale and discovered that I was holding steady at 218 lbs. But despite my current weight loss plateau, my 38 waist pants were beginning to require an extra notch or two on my belt (depending on the last time I pooped). 

I also felt stronger through my core, a feeling that had eluded me for a VERY long time and that I did not anticipate experiencing again so quickly. Good times.

Day 10

Have you ever said something that at the time seemed completely harmless, but later came roaring back with a vengeance to cause you large amounts of pain and suffering. Well, here is my story for your amusement/schadenfruede.

You may recall that back on Day 8, I went to Francesca's soccer game after my session at Long Training Studios. Being the supportive and awesome mom that she is, Tracie was there as well. As we talked on the sidelines, I told her about how the workout with Jared that morning was the most intense one I'd had yet. It was SO intense, in fact, that for the first time since I started exercising again, I would be unable to do cardio that evening.

"Oh...that's good," she replied.

It was at that moment that I realized a couple of things:

1.) What I said may have sounded as though I were implying that my workout was better without Tracie. This was not the case at all; in fact, there is no way I would have been able to even get through it if hadn't been for all the great work she had put in with me so far.

2.)...but I do tend to over think things a lot and get way too paranoid over what the folks I care really care about think. This is probably why I shrugged it off when for a brief moment, Tracie got the same look on her face that Dave Chapelle as Prince did after being insulted by Charlie Murphy before they played basketball (sans the sound effects).

In case you don't know what I'm talking about, here's a clip.

If you haven't watched the entire sketch, you really should. The story (which is true, but a little exaggerated) ends with Prince and his crew opening a gigantic can of whoop ass on the Murphy brothers and their friends.

My story, on the other hand, doesn't end with laughter (on my end, anyway). Instead, I had unknowingly challenged a woman who could kick my ass ten times over to deliver an even more grueling work out than the toughest one I had previously experienced.

Tracie later insisted that she wasn't mad at me or trying to prove anything, but the gallons of sweat pouring off of my body during today's session tell a very different tale. It also contradicts a statement by Jared, who claims that Tracie said "I'm going to kick his ass on Monday."

Mountain climbers, step explosions, those cursed kettle bells...they all came together to put my body through more work than it had done in a very long time. At one point while I was trying to summon the strength to hold a plank for 30 seconds, Tracie asked if I felt I was ready to do a plank exercise while using the stability ball. Instead of verbally answering, I turned my face towards her and gave a very clear expression that said "Please put me out of my misery."

This must have meant "yes" in Traiceland, because she immediately rolled the ball over to me like the boulder that chased Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark (only I didn't try to run from it because that would have been embarrassing...and my legs were dead).

At one point I turned to her and cried "Holy crap Tracie, what did I do to piss you off?!" I knew good and well what I'd done, but I still needed to ask.

"Nothing," she cheerily replied. "Let's go; 10 more reps."

"Kicking your butt is FUN!"

But despite all my whining, Tracie was able to get me to do an exercise (the stability ball plank) that one week ago would have seen me falling flat on my face and rolling comfortably onto my pillow of body fat. Instead, I was actually doing this and feeling it work the heck out of my core/ab area. 

I'm not going to sit here and lie by saying that this workout felt great while I was doing it (except for the occasional relief of delirium brought on by endorphins). But when it was done, I honestly felt really good about it. I mean sure, I cut my reps off a little when I could get away with it (sorry Tracie), but I really did feel good (once it was over) to have pushed myself that hard and know that I had gotten some great work done.

And as evil as I am making Tracie sound in this post, she really did keep encouraging me and helping me push myself way past what I thought I could do. In that one day I was able to do things that on my own I would have paced out for weeks while wondering why I wasn't getting results quicker.

That's why having a personal trainer is much more beneficial than just having a workout program. Without Tracie's encouragement/prodding, I would have backed off most of the exercises much earlier and simply patted myself on the back for trying my best. Now I knew I was capable of a lot more. This whole 1 month timeline for some serious weight loss was beginning to actually look more and more like it might actually happen....

...which was good, because after sitting still for a few minutes, my body ceased to feel anything for a while.

Day 11

I was having trouble sleeping last night before for a variety of reasons. Part of it was my depression acting up and making me think too much. Another factor was that my energy level was still a bit jacked up from the beastly workout session earlier that day.

While laying in bed and trying to get my mind to shut off, I finally decided that if I was going to be awake in the wee hours of the morning, I might as well try something out I'd been wondering about (and that was one of the things keeping me awake).

I went upstairs, opened the attic storage doors, and dug through a pile of old khaki shorts that I had not been able to wear in years. This was due in part to the well known fact that clothing can shrink significantly over time, but it was mostly caused by my ever-expanding waistline. I was currently wearing shorts with a 38 waist, which was beginning to feel a bit loose.

I took out a couple pairs of 36 waist pants, tried them on...AND THEY FIT. It was a little snug, but not tight at all...and definitely not in danger of turning the front button into an airborne projectile. Unfortunately, I also seemed to have stored these over 5 years ago without washing them, meaning they smelled strongly of shame and ball sweat. These shorts would definitely need a run (or ten) through the wash before they could be worn in public, but it was still a moment for personal celebration.

Spurred on by a tangible piece of progress, I upped my cardio intervals that next evening another 15 seconds. I also had a strange incident that morning when I felt my cell phone buzzing in my pocket...which made no sense due to the fact that I was holding it in my hand. It was then I realized that the tingling sensation I had felt was actually my hamstring.

So yeah...there's still some pain, but definitely some very good gain happening, as well.

Except for our poor washing machine, which 
must now tackle is most horrifying challenge to date.

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 Facebook page.