Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Keep Your Gloves Up

Note to reader:  My blog traffic has been dismal.  No one is really reading it.  I have considered abandoning it all together, but I think it is important I keep a journal of this process.  I may want to look back at it someday, and this format is as good as any.  However, the writing may be a bit more self-indulgent.  My posts haven’t lacked authenticity, but have been written for an audience:  shorter, cleaner less free thought, more structured.   Since there are so few readers in the first place, I am going to write more for me.  I apologize in advance for the tangential--edit free nature of this post.  Perhaps when my attitude cleans up (you will understand if you read on) I will return to my normal blogging self.  This one is to purge some emotions.
Image stolen from some women's fitness suply website I failed to make note of.

This weekend I was reading the blogs.  All of these weight loss/fitness goal people are amazing.  So many fantastic stories.  This week (and last) there were tons of about hitting emotional walls.  I know that it is part of the process, I have been there before and even allowed it to end my fitness efforts in the past.  But this time has been different.  I haven’t been overly emotional.  If I have been emotional at all, it has been positive.  Even when faced with villains like the Evil Inner Princess, I have felt intellectually superior to the threat and felt resolved. Recently, while reading blogs of negative emotions, I almost felt smug.  I am doing this, I feel good, nothing is getting to me this time.  I could identify with their problems, but in a historical sense.  Nothing could get me down.
Until today.  Today I finally hit an emotional wall.  Smack!  Face first.  Ouch. (Or was that a medicine ball?)
Based on my trainer’s suggestion to “Get off the damned elliptical”, I used this week to try a variety of early morning cardio classes.  I wish I had reality TV cameras following me, because this would make an excellent video montage.
Monday:  6:50 AM  “Cardio Class”
This class consisted of running in place, fast.  Lots of jumping jacks.  Insanely complicated push ups.  Lunges, squats.  Lifting weights repetitively.  Jumping rope.  Kicking.  Three minutes of an intense activity.  BEEEEEEEP! An obnoxious horn would blow.  Thirty seconds to rest and slug back some water.  BEEEEEEEP!  Three more minutes of some new intense activity.
It was hard.  Really hard.  After an hour I was beat.  The bald guy was really sweet afterwards.  He told me I did great and to come back for step aerobics tomorrow.  The little itty bitty lady asked what I thought.  “This isn’t Zumba,” I said.  She laughed.
Monday: PM
I plugged in Digit.  The number said that while I worked my ass off, the mix of intense cardio and floor work created a flux in my calorie burn.  I was short about 400 calories after work, not normal for me.  I sighed and decided to push harder on Tuesday. 
Tuesday: 6:50 AM “Step Aerobics”
I found out this is actually step aerobics mixed with weight training done while sitting in a chair.  The repetitive lifting makes my arms burn.  I feel I am getting stronger, but not burning calories. Why do we sit?  The cardio/step part was really difficult, it pushed me, which made me happy.  I kept up decently with the step portion, coordination wise.  Better than most people thought I would, apparently, because everyone (including the instructor) told me how impressive my performance was for a first-timer. The bald guy, now identified as Jack, fawned all over me.  I decided he is the new president of my fan club—cardio class region, distinguished from the elliptical region—the original branch. I felt good.
Tuesday:  Midmorning
Facebook Status:  I love the positive encouragement the staff at Baptist East Milestone Wellness Center gives me every morning, but some days I wish they would go Jillian Michaels on my ass.
Tuesday:  Evening
Digit told me I was in a heap of trouble.  I had a lot of calories left to burn.  I spent the night doing housework, laundry, dancing to commercial jingles.  Burn, baby, burn.  I went to bed 100 calories short of my burn goal.  I was pissed. 
Wednesday: 6:00 AM “Kickboxing”
Well dammit, apparently it was time to jump rope again.  And run in place some more.  When we started hitting the bag the instructor showed me how to hit.  This type of hit and that type of hit.  Keep your gloves up, she said.
I was sweating.  We started playing catch with partners using a medicine ball.  My partner had to downgrade from her 10 lb ball because the instructor was concerned it is too much for me.  It was, but mostly because I don’t like to play games where things fly at my face--especially if they are 10 pounds.  SMACK.  The four pounder hit me where I feared it would.  I chased the ball, felt my nose. No blood, it felt like it is one piece.  I thought to myself,  "well, actually that didn’t hurt nearly as much as it scared the shit out of me." I kept apologizing to my partner…for making her use the lower weight, for getting stuck with me.  I felt awful. I was hindering her from her fitness potential. She was nice and didn't really seem to mind.
We moved back to the bag. The instructor passed by “Keep your gloves up, gloves up Jessica!  You have to protect yourself!”  Could have used my gloves when I caught—uh—missed—that damned medicine ball. 
Dee, an occasional member of my Fan Club—Elliptical Division, stepped to my bag.  “Really, keep your gloves up or she will make you do push ups," she warned.  An emotion I am not sure I have experienced before washed over me—amused fear.  I hid my face behind the boxing gloves.  Punch, jab, punch.
The instructor came over and asked (for the fourth time) about my form.  “How would you kick a person?”  I laughed, loud.  “What’s so funny?”  She smiled.  “You keep asking how I would go about inflicting pain on someone.  I’m a pacifist.  I would probably try to hug my attacker first.”  She looked perplexed.  “Point your toe, don’t flex.”  She walked away, turning only for a moment.  “Gloves up!” she barked.  I kicked some more, with shitty form, occasionally forgetting and allowing my arms to fall to my side.
We hit the floor.  Planks.  “Jessica put your butt down!”  Hmmmm.  I laughed internally and readjusted myself.  I asked for it.  Stupid Facebook prophecies. 
Back to the bags.  “Jessica, you can hit harder than that!”  Wow.  Jillian.  Is that you?  “Gloves!  Put your gloves up!”  Dammit, can I just learn how to do the right freaking punches first?  I hid behind the gloves and continued to smack my bag.  I wanted my sweat towel but I couldn't pick it up with the stupid gloves on. 
The instructor opened the door of the aerobic studio leading to the running track.  “THREE LAPS.  RUN. NOW.”  What?  I have to run?  Three laps, that’s like three tenths of a mile!   “GO!”  I took off.  Jack jogged with me the whole time.  Encouraging me.  Go Jack, you shouldn’t wait for me, I said over and over.  Run ahead.  No, he insisted.  Now I have kept two people from making the most of their workout today.  Fantastic.
But guess what? I ran all three freaking laps.  I was proud.  And then we went back to the bags.  “Jessica, I am not telling you again!  GLOVES!  UP!”  Jillian?  Jillian?  Thank you for coming.  Now go home.
I made it through that hell of an hour.  But I still had to lift weights.
Sue, the Group Fitness Director checked in on me.  “How are the AM classes going?”  I started to gush:  I am afraid I am holding people back, I said.  My calorie burn sucks, I said.  The elliptical burn was so high, I said.  I START CRYING…IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WIEGHT ROOM FLOOR.  "I dont know why I am feeling so emotional," I sniffed.  And bless Sue for not taking me to her office, just 15 feet away.  If she had, my little sob soirée would have become a full blown pity party.  I pulled it together.  She was encouraging.  So nice.  They are all so nice there. 
In the shower I wept.  I couldn’t stop.  I struggled putting on makeup to prepare for work.  My face was too swollen (from tears, not that stupid ball) and my heart was too tender. 
I feel guilty.  For sucking energy from other people.  For holding people back.  I feel frustrated because I am sweating harder than ever, feel fitter than ever.  But the scale is frozen. 
I still have to plug in Digit tonight.  I don't think I am going to be pleased. 
I have a lot to think about. 
And I gotta keep my gloves up.


Kimberly Hill said...

I'm reading! I read through Google Reader so I'm not sure it registers on your stats but keep writing!!

Princess J said...

Thanks for your comment Kimberly! I know there are a few of you out there!