Hey, I’m pretty fit, right? I can run 10 miles, no problem. I just set a fantastic PR less than a month ago. I’m not at my strongest (not quite ready for speedwork yet) nor is my endurance at it’s peak (still have a couple more months before the 20-milers start hitting), but if you did a survey of random folks off the street, I would probably be among the fittest.
But apparently, my athleticism extends no further than putting one foot in front of the other, over and over, at speed. I had evidence of this tonight, when, in my first attempt to stay true to my strength and cross-training goals, I attended the 5:45 Core Conditioning class at the company gym. Always a dicey proposition, that, since I never know which colleague will surprise me with a full-frontal flash (or, worse, a mooning) in the locker room.
I arrived at the class about five minutes into it, all afluster in my typical I-hate-to-be-late-why-am-I-always-late way. Grabbed a mat and started into the crunches and bicycles everyone was doing. Turns out the structure of the class was to do as many reps of each exercise as you could in either 30- or 60-second intervals, moving quickly from one exercise interval to the next. The instructor (who reminded me of Popeye) told us which exercises to do and when we could stop. After the first minute of crunches/bicycles I thought, I have lost a lot more core strength than I suspected. After the second minute of crunches/bicycles I thought, why won’t my body do the exercises anymore? Yow! There must have been something risky about lifting my arms near or above my head, because whenever the exercise required such a moovement, I had to go easy lest I faint. That’s right–I said FAINT. We were doing lunges simultaneous with lifting our arms straight out to our sides while holding weights (me: 3-pounders! Grr!). I enjoyed this (I was forced to concentrate and I could feel my exertion) until I stopped and stood up. A hot flash hit me, sweat started popping out all over my face, I was seeing spots and hearing air whoosing through my ears. (Are you laughing? I hope you are because I am! I nearly fainted from 60 seconds of lunges?!) Luckily I was right near the exit so I set my weights down and walked with purpose to the water fountain, where I sipped and breathed until I felt the fainting spell pass. On my way back, I could see Popeye peeking out with a worried expression on his face. Even in my motification, I had to laugh at myself. Every time I set foot in the gym something happens that proves just how ill-suited I am for the place. It’s okay; it’s high comedy in the end. (Besides, I know lots of other places for which I am perfectly suited. Mmhmm!)
So, I look at the clock to see when the class would be over. There were 15 minutes left. I had arrived 5 minutes late, and the class was half an hour long. That meant that Popeye nearly made me faint after only TEN (10!) minutes of this squatting and crunching and lifting and lunging. Oh and I did push-ups, too, and some crazy twisty balancing thing that made me say “oof” with every twist. Could I be any dorkier? In my pigtails? And the worst part was that the other women around me–skinnier and plumper, older and younger–were all kicking my ass. If ever there was an evening where I needed to leave work and laugh at myself, it was tonight. But you know what’s the funniest thing of all? I want to go back, because there’s no way this class is going to get away with nearly making me faint. We’ll see who laughs last.