comfort is highly overrated

When I made the decision to do back-to-back group exercise classes yesterday, it seemed like a good, if somewhat ambitious, idea. When the 60-minute Body Pump at 9:30 am ended, sure I was sweaty and tired – and more than a little sore, but I knew I had more gas in the tank and wanted to do some cardio. I was putting away my bar-bell, plates, bench and mat when people started piling into the room, so I asked, what’s going on next in here? Body Combat, someone replied.

Hmm…I’ve never tried that one. It’s based on martial arts principles, leveraging moves from Tae-Bo, Kickboxing, and Muay Thai. It’s been on my To-Do list to give this class a try, but I’ll admit I was afraid to. It seemed pretty advanced, every time I had caught a glimpse of it through the large windows. I hate looking like an idiot. What if I mess up the moves and kick someone in the head? What if I get kicked in the head? Gah! Why can’t I just be really good at this, right from the start?

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

I quickly scanned the room, looked at the various ages, shapes and sizes assembled, and decided that I could should give this a try. It’s important for me to keep pushing my boundaries and to edge more and more outside my comfort zone.

I positioned myself near the door. You know, just in case I needed to make a discreet exit.

After stashing my towel, keys and water bottle, I approached the instructor, “Hey, I just finished Pump, and was thinking of doing Combat now. Is this a good idea?”  She responded, “Well…it’s been done…”, and smiled at me not so comfortingly. Then I saw a look of recognition come over her face. She remembered me from last week’s Pump, and recalled my shoulder injury. “Hey, how’s your shoulder?”

I have a messed up right shoulder. It’s a double whammy: a small tear in my rotator cuff, combined with a bigger tear in my labrum. It is greatly exacerbated when I bear my body weight doing things like push-ups and tricep dips. The only resolution on the labral tear is surgery, which the orthopaedic surgeon advised would mean a long and painful recovery. His advice, just avoid the things that hurt (push-ups, et al). I took his advice quite religiously [after all, who needs to be told twice not to do push-ups??], but that was before My Year of Sweat, and certainly before Body Pump.

I looked her in the eye and said, “It’s flippin’ killing me.” [The latest Pump release is very shoulder-heavy, with 150 reps, including 48 push-ups.]

She replied, “Okay, well then Combat is not going to help. It’s not easy on the shoulders with all the punching and jabbing moves.” I nodded, but made it clear I was not going anywhere. She made me promise to stop “the minute it starts to hurt”.

The class was brilliant, offering a crazy cardio-blast [on average 740 cal burned in 60 minutes] combined with strength and agility. But then, wait, oh what’s this…everyone running to grab a mat for the core/ab portion at the very end? What??? More push-ups? And planks? Sweet Baby Jesus…really?? REALLY??

This morning I woke up crazy sore. But it’s that good sore. The sore that means you pushed your body to its limits and awakened muscles you didn’t know you had. I haven’t felt this in a while.

When you get into a groove of doing the same types of workouts day in, day out, your body adapts to those demands until, well, they aren’t so demanding.

Today is a good reminder that I need to continue to challenge myself if I want to see results and changes.

Doing what’s comfortable is better than doing nothing, I suppose, but change only comes when you push yourself outside your comfort zone.



Get Moving!

xoxo nancy

16 thoughts on “comfort is highly overrated

  1. Nice! I’ve tried body pump but not body combat. I’ll have to see which gym around me offers that one! Good job going out of your comfort zone!

      • Thanks!!! If I ever do try it, I’ll have to write a post on it. Haha, I worked out my legs right before Body Pump one time…yea, not a good idea to do another workout with body pump. lolll, thanks for stopping by my page too!

  2. Two intense workouts in a row? Wow. That merits a little chocolate treat for sure. Oh, and: “after all, who needs to be told twice not to do push-ups”—Haha, not me, that’s for sure. Alas, I’ve no reason why I can’t do them, though, so I persist with their cruelty. Almost as fun as burpees…

    Hope the shoulder heals up okay sans surgery.

    • It’s funny Carrie — when I’m working out: lifting weights and doing push-ups, etc, the pain isn’t all that bad. (Tricep dips are the exception — those kill my shoulder). Yet, when I’m doing every day things like hooking my bra or reaching for something on a grocery store shelf — GAH! the pain makes me wince.
      So weird. I’m trying to be smart and not aggravate it any further (ie. ease up when I feel the twinge), so I’m hoping that all this strength training will actually improve the shoulder rather than harm it (over time). To quote the surgeon, “I hope you’re in a lot of pain now, because you’ll be in a LOT of pain after the surgery.”, meaning – don’t do this unless you really can’t tolerate the injury. Rock — Hard place. 😦

  3. I do body pump, sometimes and I really like it! I used to do combat…it is a really good work out but I have done kickboxing in some form for quite a while and I find the lack of contact doesn’t suit me. I now do MMA and Thai boxing training with my personal trainer…which I love! Possibly not great if you have a bad shoulder mind you.

    • We did some kickboxing and boxing with that heavy bag thingy (don’t you love how technical I am??) while I was at the Biggest Loser Resort last November. It was pretty awesome, gotta say. Not sure I’m ready to actually spar with another actual human being though. That’s just a bit too far outside my current comfort zone. One day… 😉

      • “Big bag thingy” works for me!
        I do savat a few years ago…I watched the sparring section for a year before I dared join in…once I did I loved it! I even competed once! That was a few years ago though. I can recommend it though 😀

  4. Pingback: But why can’t it just be easy? | My Year of Sweat!

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