Four blog posts in a span of 11 days? I’m on a serious roll! I said I was back…
I exercise for 2 reasons. Well, there are probably more – but 2 that I know of. One, because the Bible tells me my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and I need to take care of it. And two, because I don’t want to get old. In that order. Hopefully.
I’d like to say that this post will now transition to how I exercise spiritually, but then I wouldn’t be telling the truth. And that is certainly not spiritual! (Let me be clear. I do believe in and practice exercising spiritually – but that’s not the topic of this post!) What this post is about is a new workout I’m doing. And I’m writing about it because I’m rather proud of myself. (Insert photo of me patting myself on the back).
I’m not athletic. At all. I’m not coordinated either. And no one would look at me and go, “Oh well look at her. I bet she works out every day”. And I’m probably not the best advertisement for consistent exercise if you base it on shape/weight alone. But what you can’t see are my insides. I can’t see them either. But I know they’re healthy. My heart is healthy. My muscles are healthy. I’m pretty sure my blood is healthy too. Oh and my bones. All of these years of working out are surely going to pay off with me not having osteoporosis.
It all started when I enrolled at Oral Roberts University (ORU). ORU’s vision is ‘Educating the whole man – spirit, soul and body. And that meant aerobics points. Every week. I suspect at some point someone will probably find this blog post with a search term such as ‘how many aerobics points do I get for walking up 3 flights of stairs’. If that’s you, I’m with you. I feel your pain. Or at least I feel you grasping for every point you can get for every movement you make. I’m pretty sure running to the elevator should count for something!
While at ORU, I did get a vision for exercise. In spite of the fact that what terrified me most about attending ORU was the required 3 mile field test – every semester! I used to get sick in junior high on presidential fitness testing day when I was required to run 600 yards. A measly 600 yards would make me sick to my stomach! I’m not even kidding. That’s how much I disliked running. That’s why my first year at ORU I ran my first (OK, my only) 10K. Yep. From panic attack at 600 yards to a full blown 10K. Our PE teacher offered us an A on the field test if we signed up for and ran this 10K in under 75 minutes. I knew good and well that it would be the only way I could get an A on the test. It was that, or fail the 3 mile test. So, the night before the 10K Run my friend Patti and I signed up for The Tulsa Love Run. Love my foot! To be honest, Patti and I had been running together pretty regular like – but we’d only run up to 3 miles. And slowly. Never more than that. Long story short, we did that run. And we did it in 74 minutes flat. No laughing guys – we got our A!
So from that point on, I have exercised pretty regularly. Oh there have been hiatuses of different lengths. Mostly when having babies. Like the time Tanika was born – my first C-section. After that, I seriously thought my body would never be normal again and I would certainly never exercise again. But 1 month later, to the date, I started my aerobics video back up. There was another C-seciton – Tobi. In South Africa. I was even in ICU after that one. But I was able to get going again not too many weeks later. Part of my motivation was because while in South Africa, I had the luxury of an actual gym to join. That was fun. Kind of.
Fast Forward to today. My friend Sharolyn who knows I like to work out gave me a new set of DVD’s this past summer while we were in the US. (Thanks Sharolyn, I think). I didn’t really look them over until we were back in Niger about 3 months later. I had been on one of my exercise hiatuses for about a month due to team hosting and children’s camps, but knew it was time to get started again. I knew because of how my clothes were feeling. If I’m not exercising, my clothes shrink. It’s quite odd really. I like to start new things on Mondays, so Monday, September 15th was my day. It took my almost a week to talk myself into this.
The new workout is called Rushfit. I had never heard of it and part of the reason it took so long to get started was because it seemed so complicated. Running, as much as it is not my friend, is so much easier. And when I’m in the US it’s really easy to do – logistically speaking. I can just step out the door wherever I happen to be and run. And I do use the word “run” loosely. I think to be fair I would have to call what I do a slow jog. A slog, lets say. When we’re in the States, we’re never in one place long so I can slog and look like a dork anywhere. It’s not my neighborhood. They’re not my peeps. They’re not likely going to see me again. Oh, and it’s not 100 degrees. In Niger, it’s not that simple. I can’t just step out my door in my shorts and running top. Well I could, but it would be extremely inappropriate and offensive. And that wouldn’t be good at all – given that we’re here to reach and influence the people with the Gospel. And it’s often more than 100 degrees. I’ve run in that – it’s not fun.
Back to Rushfit and its complications. It’s 6 DVD’s. Six! You follow a particular 45 minute workout 6 days a week for 8 weeks. Every day is different. Then you’re supposed to be buff. Not sure what happens after that… Being that I’m not a novice to exercise, and not having a clue what Rushfit was, I chose the intermediate plan. What was I thinking? I pushed play on September 15th and when I finished the first workout, I felt like jello. I don’t even like jello. By that evening, I was sore. Really sore. The next day? Let me just say doing basic things (like sitting on the throne) were almost impossible. I spent the better part of that week literally hobbling around. I have NEVER been that sore from any exercise I’ve ever done. But I kept pushing play – through my pain! Now I can’t stop because if I do, I’ll get sore all over again. That can’t happen. What have I gotten myself into? The warm-up is 10 minutes. Warm-up they say. Right. You’re thinking loosening up, stretching – right? Wrong! The warm up consists of multiple sets of squats, lunges, push-ups, plank thingys, and sit ups. Not a single stretch! He says, “This is to get you ready for the work to come”. Seriously? That should have been my first clue.
I’ve never not been able to do something in a workout. At least 1 time. There are at least 2 things in the various workouts that I cannot physically do. Instructions are given. I know what I’m supposed to do, but I can feel that my brain does not make the connection. It’s tempting to include some picture or video here of me doing some of these crazy moves. But I’m just vain enough to stop at a description. You’re on your knees. Without using your hands, you jump your feet forward out from under your body and then jump up. Back down and repeat this move for a minute. Can’t do it. At first I didn’t ever want to. Now – I think I might try. Eventually. Because as I said, I”m almost finished with week 4 of Rushfit. It’s growing on me. And though my fitness will not be rushed, it is there. I can feel it in this 49 year old body. Most days.