Blasting Out of My Comfort Zone

…while huffing, puffing, and dripping in sweat.

Photo May 02, 9 55 30 AMLast week I remembered that I purchased 10 Zumba classes for $35 on Groupon a while ago. Along with Zumba, the Groupon is also valid on something called Cardio Sculpt which intrigued me. I always prefer some sort of resistance training over pure cardio, so I booked that one for last Monday night.

In a nutshell, it was tough. Nothing I couldn’t handle, but I wasn’t a fan of the format. Loud cheesy music, high reps with light weights, sort of like jazzercise without the leg warmers. It was a perfectly good workout, but I don’t know if I’ll do it again. When a workout consists of a ton of quick lunges set to music, my form gets super lazy and it’s hard on my knees. Unfortunately I have 9 more classes on my punch card, but I’ll probably use those on Zumba for light cardio days.

Before I even went to that class, I had also purchased a 5-week boot camp Groupon for $49 (regular value of over $300) with a start date of May 1st. The 60-minute class meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in the morning, and Tuesdays and Thursdays in the evening.

Some people are morning exercisers and some people are evening exercisers, and neither group can figure out how the hell the other pulls it off. Me? I’m an evening exerciser all the way. Yes, I’m tired from a long day at work, and yes, it cuts into my social life, but it feels so good getting a hard workout in, then showering off the sweat and climbing into bed.

Classes are held at the huge community park across the street from my house where leagues hold soccer games, coworkers play softball, and people jog with their dogs. Because I still feel a bit of anxiety working out in front of others, the ass crack of dawn time slot would certainly have less people at the public park than the evening slot. Also, with summer afoot, sweating outdoors under the heat of the sun doesn’t sound fun.

On boot camp eve, I was hit with a major project for work that would have normally taken me a week, with a due date of 18 hours. I didn’t get to bed as early as I’d hoped, so I had already resigned to flaking on the first day of class. Even emailed the instructor that I wouldn’t make it and would start on Thursday instead.

Photo May 01, 5 51 26 AMWhen morning arrived, my 5am alarm went off because I forgot to change it back to 6am, and I laid in bed waffling back and forth a hundred times about getting up and going. Surprisingly, “get off your ass” won out, and that’s what I did. Sleepily changed into my workout clothes, packed all my supplies (a towel, mat, and water), and headed out the door before both the sun and I were completely awake.

When I arrived at the park there were a few other lost-looking people there, and we all confirmed that we were about to take our first boot camp class, and we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. We laid out our mats at the edge of the basketball courts and were told to warm up for about 10 minutes, which meant a slow jog/fast walk around the courts.

It was the first class ever for about 90% of the students (if I had to guess, there were 20-23 of us) so the instructor did a lot of explaining of the individual workouts. Much to the dismay of my lungs, the first half hour was all running. You know me and running. It was embarrassing how out of breath I was.

The second half hour was a series of body weight leg exercises like walking lunges, squats, and frog jumps, then core work. Leg raises, superman, I’m still terrible at holding plank for longer than 30 seconds, but I was thankful that the harder part (cardio) was out of the way.

Photo May 01, 7 17 16 AMThis was, by far, the hardest workout I’ve ever done. It is in a similar format to Insanity, but the difference is I can’t stop and rest anytime I damn well please while I have a [friendly and not at all mean] drill sergeant keeping a watchful eye on me. (Note to self: next class, put your mat at the edge of the court and not smack dab in the middle where the instructor stands.)

It was hard not to get a little discouraged when I was one of the last ones running back towards the group after a cardio drill, but I’ll get over it. I already know that I’m never going to be a fast runner with these short little legs, but at least these strong little legs fared better than most of the men during duck walks.

By the end of the workout, I felt absolutely wiped, but amazing. My hair was drenched, despite it being a chilly morning. My dogs were quite happy to see me again, thinking that I was already done with my workday, but unfortunately it was just beginning. I showered, got ready for work, and was ready to start my day.

Next class is tomorrow morning, and I won’t lie. I’m nervous. Scared of more running. Scared of passing out and/or puking in front of others. Scared of having to wake up butt-ass early again. But…I’ll go. Instructor mentioned that only about 25% of people make it through the entire 5 weeks, and I don’t want to be another statistic…

…said the girl who can still barely walk, or move any of her limbs.