Tabata Torture Challenge Update

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Three weeks ago, I finished my first Tabata challenge:  go to two Tabata workouts each week for four weeks.  During those four weeks, I also played tennis at least twice each week and attended a weekly tennis clinic.  In my original post, Torture, Tabata Style!, I promised to evaluate my results at the end of the four weeks.  Well, my results were not good.  I did lose 1/2 inch off of my waist and hips, but I gained 5 pounds!  I also ended up with a nasty case of bursitis in my right shoulder which has resulted in a 3 week doctor-mandated rest period.

So, what did I gain from my Tabata experiment?

1.  The hope that muscle does weigh more than fat.  I am truly baffled that I could exercise in such painful ways for four weeks and gain 5 pounds!  Actually, I’m pissed off.

2.  The understanding that an exercise routine should vary so that one muscle group is not overworked to the point of injury, i.e. my right shoulder, which was injured and aggravated by too many push-ups, mountain climbers, dead lifts, and tennis serves.

3.  The wisdom to listen to my body.  Rest when rest is necessary.  Rather than paying attention to the pain in my shoulder, which started during week three, I pushed through the pain, dismissing it as “just a little sore” in order to complete the four weeks.  My shoulder was not sore.  My shoulder hurt like hell.

4.  The reminder that the road to becoming a physically fit goddess is long and paved with set backs such as shoulder injuries.  (Patience, grasshopper, you’ll get there.)

5.  Acceptance of my inability to crab walk!  I celebrate this gain.  I glorify it!  I walk just fine as a human, upright on 2 legs.  I can even do it in heels.  Who cares if I am not coordinated or strong enough to crab walk?  I’ll worry about crab walking when I become a crab.

Torture, Tabata Style!

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“Did you just start working out?” asks a beautiful Australian woman of probably fifty years old as I literally lay on the fitness room floor of my local gym praying that I don’t vomit.  She continues, “I’ve been working out for about four years now, and I promise, it gets easier.”

Well, good for you! I think and consider kicking her in the neck, but then I realize that I can’t lift my leg that high.  And, no, I didn’t just start working out!

“I hope you’ll join us again on Thursday,” the beautiful woman says and smiles at me so genuinely that I honestly feel guilty for immediately hating her.

After a sad attempt at stretching, I push myself up to a standing position and start to clean my sweat off the equipment that I used to torture myself for the last 45 minutes:  one of those half balance ball thingies, a body bar (the leader of the group told me not to use anything under 9 lb.), two 7 lb. dumbbells (“Anything under 6 would be a waste of your time!”), and a blue mat completely covered in makeup colored droplets of sweat.  (I forgot to remove my makeup before going to the gym, which meant for 45 minutes my makeup mixed with my anti-aging creams and pooled in my eyes.)  Red faced, red eyed, drenched, and stinking like a wet dog, I forced a smile, “Absolutely, I’ll be back!  See you Thursday!”

The workout was called Tabata, high intensity interval training that requires the participant to do ridiculously cruel exercises for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and then repeat until you either pass out or die.  For 45 minutes I attempted squats with side kicks, cross over jumps and squats using the half ball thingie, three different types of sit-ups, jumping jacks, renegade rows from a plank position, burpees with dumbbells, and, my personal favorite, crab walks.  Lil, the beautiful Australian woman, an adorable Asian woman who apparently doesn’t have sweat glands, and the one man in the group lapped me twice while I prayed for the strength to lift my ass off the ground with my arms and crab walk across the floor.  Pure, complete, total torture!

But in the spirit of renovating my backside, I will go back on Thursday.  I am now determined to be able to crab walk.  I don’t know why I need this skill, but I now feel like I must be able to crab walk.  So, here is my new challenge:  for the next four weeks, I will crab walk with the beautiful Australian woman on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  (Less tortuous cardio workouts will be completed on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays.)  After four weeks, I will take my measurements and re-evaluate my need to crab walk.  Maybe in four weeks, my ass will be smaller, which would make it much easier to lift off the ground.

For now, however, a short prayer is in order.  (Please pause for a moment while I try to get out of this chair and kneel.  Ouch.)

Dear Lord, please protect me tonight from debilitating leg cramps that will catapult me from bed and onto the floor causing me to scream out Claire Huxtable style, “Cliff! Cliff!”  For my Cliff is away.  No one is here to hear my cries of agony.  I will be forced to lie on the floor until you finally grant me the strength to stand.  I could be there for weeks.  Amen.