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.