Sunday, December 15, 2013
Day 32: Some mornings I really don’t want to get up, but as soon as I hear the music, I’m ready to get some blood circulating! Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps, a brand new workout. Since it was Sunday, I splurged and went a full 30 minutes this time! My arms were totally shaking by the time I finished. Oh well, it’s not like I had to play the piano or anything afterward. Oh wait. I did.
Day 33: Plyometrics again, ACK! Ironically, 10 minutes at my new fitness level (meaning not taking a break 30 seconds out of every 60), actually wears me out much more than 20 minutes did at first. I guess that’s progress.
Day 34: Back and Biceps. Honestly, my arms don’t know the difference between biceps and triceps. *I* know the difference, but that doesn’t do my arms any good. They think it’s time to work the legs for a while.
Day 35: Today was slated for yoga. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t do yoga or other New Age type of exercises, meditations, etc. So I either substitute in another workout for it, or just go on to the next day. Guess what, arms – wish granted! It’s finally the legs’ turn after all.
Day 36: Every once in a while, my bus kids will have a little contest while they’re waiting for the other passengers to arrive. Putting a hand on the seat on each side of the aisle, they will hoist themselves into the air, feet dangling, and see who can last the longest. This time, I decided to join them. Even with my arms still weak and shaky from their brutal workouts, I managed to beat a 6th grader, a 4th grader, and a 3rd grader, CONSECUTIVELY all on the same dangle, without my feet ever touching the ground. I finally had to jump down and answer my radio.
Day 37: Stretching still makes me sorer than just about anything else, though that may change shortly. There are a few changes on the horizon…
Day 38: Another week gone already…unbelievable!
By way of general announcement, I’m going to be putting a pause on the daily exercise blog for a bit. No, I haven’t run out of material. In fact, it’s just about to get even more interesting, and slightly less Gentle. But I’m going to try and finish the book I’m writing by Christmas. Failing that, finished by New Year, so I don’t have to have another year with an unfulfilled resolution to “finish a book – any book”. After 5 or 6 years, that level of failure gets a bit old. I’m ready for a new resolution. A new book, too!
Saturday, December 14, 2013
It was almost time to go. I waited, bundled in pajamas covered by sweat pants and jacket, ready to go and sing carols for some of our neighbors in town who aren't able to get out very often.
One of the boys let Clancy out for a last potty break before leaving. Usually he stays outside and shivers silently if forgotten, but tonight he let out a small whuff at the front door. As I went to let him in, a strong odor of rotten garlic assailed me. It only grew stronger as I opened the door and the misbegotten mutt charged through.
Shaking his head, frothing, and drooling, he tried to rub on the carpet until I cruelly sent him out onto the linoleum. I might as well not have bothered. The malodor soaked into every pore of the house within nanoseconds, firmly sealing my status as a pariah forever.
Lucky Damon got to stay and wash him, while the rest of us went caroling. The music was sweeter than the smell, but none of the dear souls asked us to leave. Though none of them requested more than one song, either!
For our grand finale, we attempted to film the first-ever Westby Flash Mob. Technically, we succeeded. It was in Westby, and it was a flash mob. There ended all resemblance to those heart-warming or spectacular videos that circulate through Facebook and email.
The moment we stepped out in the silent and snowy street to begin filming, everyone in town decided to drive about. Even the sheriff - you'll see him in the background occasionally. We kept having to halt production and dash off to the side of the road to avoid going viral for all the wrong reasons. That was only the beginning of our trials.
See for yourself.
We Try Again
It's Just No Use
The next time we plan a flash mob, guess who is NOT invited!!! My only comfort is that the 3rd time through,we did actually make it to the end. More or less. For sure, we were finished. Next year we'll go for heartwarming. Next year we'll do this differently.
Next year, we'll go to the bathroom first. Next year we won't smell like skunk.
Or so we hope.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Day 25: Today marks the beginning of Phase II. I’ll be moving on to the next round of workouts, some the same and some different. Apparently a program is more effective if it incorporates “muscle confusion”, meaning you never work the same place long enough or in the same way for it to get used to it, and begin to slack off. Personally, I think my muscles were pretty confused by exercise at all.
Day 26: A brand new workout today – Core Synergistics. I’m pretty sure I didn’t even have a core, but it got worked anyway. And whatever it is, now it can’t move, either.
Day 27: I was supposed to do this lovely martial arts workout throughout the entire process, but had lost the DVD. After searching everywhere for WEEKS, I finally sent for a replacement. Within 48 hours, the other disk was found. I wasn’t too surprised – that’s how it always works. Now I have 2 to lose.
Day 28: This should have been easy. It’s all lovely stretching. Piece of cake – not! Whatever was left after the core workout is gone.
Day 29: And….back to the core. Really, peoples? This is just cruel.
Day 30: It was supposed to have been another round of Stretch, aka I-Always-Wanted-to-be-Rubbery-and-Green-Like-Gumby. Awaking with a sore throat, I opted to sleep in and try to fit a workout in later. It didn’t quite go according to plan.
The end of the day found me at the store, nearly sundown, no workout, and with way too many groceries to carry. Just then, Tina arrived to save the day! Or so I thought. She saved part of the day, giving the groceries a ride home with Devon and Tiggy. I told her to go on ahead, and I was going to walk home in the obscenely cold weather in lieu of a formal workout.
Have you ever heard of that wacky diet idea where you drink a gallon of ice water a day? The theory is that you burn X number of calories warming yourself back up, so you don’t have to exercise. Personally, I suspect most of the calorie burning comes from running to the bathroom every 2.9 seconds. I’m not down with all that, but one of the most effective ways to consume fat around here is to turn YOURSELF into an ice cube. Your body will have to work overtime warming back up from…oh…-47F, and voila! Burnt calories! (The only small flaw in this program is that your body then swears, “Never again!” And goes into overtime producing 72 more layers of fat for protection.)
Anyway, it was all I had left. As the cold began to sink in, my walk increased to a shuffle, and then a jog. Well, as joggy as I could be with full snow gear on. Picture a penguin running at warp speed.
Just then, Tina’s van rounded the block, stopping to wait as I crossed the street. Instead of driving my children and food home, she crept along, keeping pace with my frantic waddle. “This is even worse than exercising in front of Jack,” I thought to myself.
Then I saw that my little workout was being captured for posterity. Curse you, iphone inventor! Even at his most ANNOYING, Jack only took still photos. Trust me, video is much, much worse. Tiggy is going to be lucky if she’s ungrounded by the time she’s 30.
The closest to a "before" picture you're likely to get.
The closest to a "before" picture you're likely to get.
Well, I was pretty cold all right, even with enough fabric to wrap an entire walrus. It took a long while, and many calories, to restore me to some semblance of warmth. It felt so good that I hardly minded the extra 36 pounds I gained by morning.
Day 31: This is it! The end of one full month. I don’t look much thinner yet, but I feel different…better. I like it.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Day 18: Since it’s Sunday, I got to sleep in all the way to 6:15! I used to be able to make it till 8, if nobody else woke up and started racketing around. Working out is better than sleeping in. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.
Day 19: Instead of Oh-Dark-Thirty, I ended up working out after I got back from the bus. This led me to break my vow to only do the jump training thingy on holidays or weekends. Tina came over shortly afterwards, as I was trying to figure out how to walk. Awkward!
Day 20: I must be making progress. Even though I’m still only lasting about 20 minutes, I’m taking fewer breaks and getting most of the reps in. Of course, that also means I’m still generally In the Can’t-Walk-or-Move Category, but I have to work just a little harder to get there.
Day 21: Only time for the abs today, since Thanksgiving is coming up awfully fast. Whatever doesn’t get cooked today will have to compete with the (shudder) turkeys (shudder shudder) for my attention tonight and tomorrow.
Day 22: I’ll get my Thanksgiving workout in if possible. But with those TWO turkeys hanging over my head, I don’t have to worry about overeating. I hope I can eat at all. Besides, if I get sick to my stomach, that’s kind of an ab workout, isn’t it?
Day 23: Temporarily, it’s much easier to work out. I’ve been painting my bedroom floor, so my bed is out in the living room to make room to shuffle all the rest of the furniture around. With no bed, there’s a nice clear area in the middle of the floor. Even when the bed goes back in, I’m going to turn it the other direction and rearrange the dressers.
The new arrangement may have a bit more space, I’m hoping. It was sure hard to do the lunges around the corner of the bed. Lunge-pivot-lunge. Stop, turn. Lunge-pivot-lunge. Stop, turn. I had to turn sideways just to run in place, and suck in my stomach to do jumping jacks.
Yes, our bedroom is small, but that is only a challenge, not an impediment, to someone who is determined to get in shape. (Any shape besides round.) In case you’ve been over and are wondering why I’m no longer working out in the living room, we had too much trouble with unauthorized use of our living room TV, sometimes even in the middle of the night. So I moved it into the TV Protection Program, or TelSec for short. Thus the need for Corner Lunges and other adaptations – the only TV we still have is in our bedroom. Don’t even get me started on the Side Kicks. Crash! Kabang! Oops. Oh, and I almost forgot – the 45 Degree Side-Bend-Wrap-Around-the-Bed Pushup! That one is a real toughie!
Hey, nobody ever said fitness was easy.
Day 24: Another rest has rolled around already. Thanksgiving doesn’t count. Yes, I can make up my own rules as I go.
The End of Week 3. Can you believe it? Almost a month already. Eventually I may run out of new things to say, but it hasn't happened yet.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Day 11: Jack is home, and it’s harder than you might think to sneak in a workout when he’s not looking. I managed it, though, while he was in his Special Office with Running Water. You might wonder why the secrecy. Aren’t good marriages supposed to be transparent and open?
Well, yes. Mostly. I’m considering this to be under the “surprise gift” category, which is one of the few acceptable exceptions to the Transparency Rule. And he will be surprised, a year or two from now, when he notices that I’m looking much trimmer. (Unless he reads this blog post, but I’m taking my chances. I can’t wait that long to update the rest of you.)
The last attempt to participate in a strenuous exercise program involved Tina. Jack’s idea of participation mostly included sitting on the couch, laughing hysterically, and taking unflattering pictures of us. Granted, his abs got a killer workout, but the rest of us sent big frowny faces in his direction. (Muscles which do not need ANY extra workouts at all.) I can’t fool myself into thinking I look any more graceful now, so this regimen is going to stay a strictly solo act for some time to come. You won’t tell, will you?
Day 12: Special challenges attended this workout. I didn’t want Jack to wake and find me hopping about in the bedroom. I didn’t want his brother, sleeping on the couch, to wake and find me hopping about in the living room. The bathroom is far too small. Only one option remained: the laundry room, with no DVD help at all. That was ok, since the cats decided they would be my helpers instead.
Days 1 and 2 they were quite fascinated, even swatting playfully at my arms and legs as they waved wildly. After that, they lost interest, until I invaded their domain and leaped about by their food and litter box. Suddenly, all the old interest returned, and I had uncounted glowing yellow pairs of eyes following my every move. On shelves, the washer and dryer, behind the door, even from the litterbox itself, they all attended the splendid entertainment extravaganza I thoughtfully provided for their benefit.
Day 13: See Day 12.
Day 14: This has been the only morning so far that I slept in past my workout, barely dragging my sorry derriere out of bed just in time for the bus. Jack had to leave out extremely early in the morning to fly back to Texas and begin working. When he woke up at 3, it took me a very long time to go back to sleep. I just couldn’t quite make it up at Oh-Dark-Thirty, as Jack calls it.
In lieu of a formal workout, I went for an evening jog in the snow, with my phone called into use as a flashlight. At one point I started to slip on the ice, doing a clever little jig to maintain my footing. The flashlight began to turn off and on, baffling me for a moment until I realized that it was set to automatically flash SOS when shaken.
Day 15: Though challenging, twenty minutes no longer seems like quite enough. I barely made it through the warmup, and was just getting to the good stuff when it was time to quit. Tomorrow I’m going to try something new, just to shake things up.
Day 16: CANNOT MOVE LIMBS HELP ME AM TYPING WITH MY NOSE
Day 17: Oh, look! It’s already time to take a break again. How will I even manage until it’s time for the next wonderful workout? Yeah, right. I NEED A BREAK!!! I console myself that it’s not just being a wimp – that exercise on the rest of the days will actually be more effective for having a rest. Tomorrow’s a whole new day.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
I’ve been needing to resume a regular exercise program. With the many unplanned events of the summer, a whole bunch of important things fell by the wayside, and that was one of them. With some trepidation, I’ve decided to restart a certain intense fitness program, for the simple reason that I already have it in my possession.
Originally, I decided to re-name it P90L, with L for Lazy. But this program is so intense that even 2 minutes a day is way above laziness. At the same time, there’s no way that my version could be called Xtreme, either. So I’ve settled on P90G, for Gentle.
Day 1: (November 7, 2013) 20+ minutes and I feel great! Why didn’t I start doing this a long time ago? I can hardly contain my rush of energy.
Day 2: Yesterday was arms, today legs. That’s good, since I can hardly lift a glass of water. All went well until I got a large splinter while leaping around in my bedroom. All efforts to retrieve it were in vain. 20+ minutes again, and feeling so alive, except for my throbbing foot.
Day 3: The splinter has become infected, and putting any weight whatsoever on it is proving extremely painful. Oh well, it’s not like I could walk anyway. Thankfully, it’s Sabbath, so I don’t need to worry about exercise. The actual program calls for a day of rest anyway, and it just happens that my day of rest coincided with day 3. Lucky me! Maybe by tomorrow I’ll be able to not only walk, but lift my arms high enough to eat.
Day 4: Hey, I can walk! It hurts a little, but how nice to have that shard o’misery out of my foot. Today was plyometrics, which is basically jump training. I think I’d better confine plyo to Sundays and holidays, so that when I can’t lift my head off the floor afterwards it doesn’t affect work. About 13 minutes in, the workout clock got stuck. I’m pretty sure it was only counting off about 3 seconds per minute.
Workout guy: You’re doing great! Go even higher!
Workout guy: Ok now! Double time!!!
Me: I’m pretty sure that means half as many as before.
Staggering grimly, I gritted my teeth and kept going. I think it’s mean to make a one-legged man be part of the workout team on the video, so I can’t even feel sorry for myself. Will 20 minutes never end?
Suddenly, I glance at the clock. It has been 22+ minutes! I made it! And in case you wonder what all these +++ mean, it means + about 3 seconds. Not that anyone is counting.
I hope I don’t get any splinters in my nose down here. Prone is the new perky. Go team. I feel great. Really. Room fading. Blackness. Only 86 more days.
Day 5: For some reason my legs are beyond sore. Fortunately, today was mostly upper body. All the rest of the day, I keep finding myself frozen into weird stalagmite formations. I think tomorrow I’d better just work my abs. It’s the only part of my body that’s still functional.
Day 6: CANNOT MOVE HELP ME
Day 7: What can I do? The only thing that doesn’t hurt is my eyelashes, and I’ve never heard of a workout for eyelashes.
Day 8: Slightly better, I suppose. Maybe I’ve finally turned the corner, but I’m not going to stop and find out.
Day 9: Not too bad, actually. Did a combo of arms and abs today. My clothes all still fit the same, but I’m starting to feel better overall. Still have a nasty habit of waking up about 0430, but that’s not surprising. Time changes are stupid, and yes I am talking to you BENJAMIN FRANKLIN!
Day 10: I thought this break would never come. Only 80 more days until I finish this round of torture, and start something even worse! (I’m considering upping the ante to P90M, for “Mediocre”.)
PS I have taken some “before” pictures, but there is no way they will ever see the light of day until there are some “after” pictures, too. So don’t even ask.