A Man and His Thoughts

The random thoughts of a common man

Oh the Insanity!

A while back I happened to notice that I was getting a little thick around the middle and I decided to take stock of where I am at physically. For so long I did not have to worry about what I ate or when I ate because I stayed active enough with athletics that I was constantly in great shape. As I’ve gotten older though, my time is consumed by work or family and things like pickup basketball or softball have become a thing of the past so I joined a local gym called Snap Fitness.
Snap had four things going for it that made it my #1 choice:

  1. Location – it is less than a five minute walk from my house
  2. Hours – with a key card you can access the gym 24/7
  3. Size – it is a small, intimate gym so you don’t have to work around the powerlifters
  4. GROUPON – there was a Groupon that amounted to about half off the monthly membership. SOLD!

I have no illusions about myself so I knew right away I would not be running on the treadmill or working the elliptical machines but I did get into a pretty good weight lifting routine. Over the course of a year I had gained size in my arms, shoulders, and chest but the bulge in the middle still remained. A large part of the problem is most certainly my eating habits (baked goods and Doritos are like Kryptonite to me) but I also wasn’t doing any kind of cardio. I thought I could come up with a good plan but then thought it might be better to follow a workout plan that has already been established so I decided on Sean T’s Insanity. I obtained the DVD’s and decided I would begin waking up while the house and neighborhood are asleep and begin my journey. This in itself is a great challenge considering I like my sleep! After 60 fays I fully expect to be ripped like the people in the testimonials!

Day 1 – Fit Test (reality check is more like it!)

The fit test only lasts for about 20 minutes and has you perform 8 different exercises with you logging your results so that when you perform the next fit test in two weeks you will have a benchmark for comparison. You perform the first exercise for one full minute, take a 30 second break, begin the next exercise, etc. No problem, “I’ve got this!” I thought. Then the warm up began. It started off easily enough with some stretching which turned into jogging in place, which turned into butt kicks, which turned into…well I don’t exactly recall because this is the point where I began to suck wind and complain…and I was still in the warm up! When it was over the fit test began and included some crazy exercises like power jacks, which are basically jumping jacks but on the down stroke you go into a squat. MUCH tougher than it looks. I realized very quickly that I am in incredibly bad shape and that this workout might actually kill me. Somehow I soldiered through, albeit with frequent stops, and when I was finished I was so winded that I thought I would never catch my breath. “What have I gotten myself into here?” I thought to myself. The best part of the workout (said dripping with sarcasm) was the audience watching me. My 10 and 7 yr old daughters decided to watch (oh yeah, I missed my 6 am start time) and giggle at me, telling me how easy the exercises looked but of course not joining in! Where is the encouragement? Where is the support? Those little monkeys sure did get a kick out of watching me sweating my butt off!

Day 2 – Aftershock

After surviving the fit test, I started to mentally prepare myself for the challenge of completing one of these workouts six days a week. The plan was to get up, take the laptop out to the garage and begin my workout at 6 am, giving me enough time to finish and shower before the rest of the crew had to be up to get ready for school. I made certain to set my alarm and turn it up just a bit louder to be sure I would hear it. I went to bed early (early for me anyway) so I would be well rested and ready to go in the morning. At 5:50 am my alarm went off and in my mind I could see my body jumping up out of bed but in reality my body refused to obey. Every single muscle was screaming at me for the punishment I inflicted the day before. I slowly rolled out of bed and struggled to stand on wobbly legs but finally made it to the bathroom to change into my shorts and sleeveless T. Just getting dressed was a major challenge! My back groaned as I bent over to pull up my shorts and when I lifted my arms to put on my shirt it felt like the muscles in my sides were on fire.  Let me be specific here, if you lift your arm and but your opposite hand on your side, just below the armpit with your fingers touching the bottom of your shoulder blade and your palm on the upper part of your ribcage, that is the area that burned with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns. What muscles are those and when have I ever used them before? Based on the pain I would guess NEVER. After much grunting and groaning and more than just a few ouches, I managed to get myself dressed, grabbed the laptop and headed to the garage. At this point I was still mentally ready for what’s to come so I fired up the computer and tried to play the disc…which didn’t load. I looked at the drive on the PC and it showed a blank disc. Being an IT geek, I started to troubleshoot, knowing that the disc worked on my desktop PC so it should work on the laptop. That is when the devil on my shoulder started whispering in my ear telling me that “By the time you figure this out it will be time for everyone to wake up and you won’t be able to finish the workout anyway. Just go back to bed!” I’m not proud but I listened to that voice, went back inside and laid back down on the couch for another 45 wonderful minutes of sleep.

Having skipped the morning workout I had to spend the rest of the day beating myself up and telling myself that if I don’t follow the program I won’t get the results. I eventually talked myself into doing it when I got home from work. My lovely wife was kind enough to give me the time to do it but the more I thought about it I realized that she probably did this just so she could enjoy my misery or to be there to dial 911 when I passed out. To her credit, she wasn’t as blatantly obvious as my daughters were. She at least kept her amusement to a few chuckles. The warm up had me huffing and puffing again but I felt a little better than the day before. This workout was a lengthy 40 minutes so my confidence about finishing the workout still on my feet was not very high. After about 10 minutes I was drenched in sweat and yelling at the PC. A sample of my vocalizations: “Why is everyone in this video ripped?”, “I want a regular person on there stopping every two minutes like me trying to catch his breath!”, “Shut up Sean T!”, and “No, I’m not fine! I’m dying here!”. The sweat was just rolling off my bald head and down into my eyes. My fifteen month old daughter had been babbling at me and doing her baby version of the workout in her highchair but was suddenly behind me latched onto my leg. She was so sweet, just trying to play with Daddy, not understanding that I was on the verge of losing consciousness. About halfway through I think I began to hallucinate…the sunlight in the room seemed to turn a very vibrant yellow and I was acutely aware of all the sounds in the room. Two-thirds of the way through, the edges of my vision were fuzzy and gray, my mouth was dry no matter how much water I drank, and my heart was trying to make a jailbreak from my chest. With only ten minutes left I was obviously out of my mind because I actually believed that I could finish the workout! With my baby girl clapping and cheering me on I finished the workout still standing. Don’t get me wrong, there were many extra rest periods, but I finished it just the same. I realized that I can do this! Only 57 more days to go…


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This entry was posted on September 6, 2013 by in Fitness.
Kristen Lamb

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