Today was the end of week two. I’m going to combine my two week wrap-up with my daily workout report, so this will be quite a bit longer and probably more disjointed than my previous posts.
I have just completed two of the most physically challenging weeks of my life. I haven’t lost an insane amount of weight; I haven’t dropped four dress sizes; I can’t leap tall buildings in a single bound. And that’s okay; because all three of those expectations are about equally unreasonable. This is not a miracle cure. This is not a hyped-up gimmick. This is real.
So, what are the things I have done? I have increased my muscular and cardiovascular endurance; I’ve lost a couple of pounds of fat (and a pound a week is just fine with me); I’ve even toned up enough that when Ted hugged me the other evening he said that he thought I’d already started to firm up. I’m down to 188 pounds today. That puts me only eight pounds to my first reward.
How do I feel? I feel proud. I feel excited about weeks to come. I feel nervous about weeks to come. I feel fatigued and a bit like I’ve been on that machine that they hooked Westley up to in The Princess Bride. I don’t have the intense muscle soreness that I had during week one; I have more of a muscle tiredness. My right quadriceps (Yes, the singular of that word ends in s; I didn’t know that until just now.) has a little tick in it at the knee that does a little jerk every now and then. My left knee is a bit inflamed and sore. My right shoulder is a little tender at the joint (I’m guessing that is a result of bad form on my push-ups at the end of class when I’m tired; I need to pay attention to that). My lungs are a little tight at the top when I take a deep breath in. I’ve worked my body hard, and it’s giving me cues as to what needs work and what needs TLC. It’s all part of the process of redefining my body.
That’s enough on the two week wrap-up; now for the daily report. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, Wednesday felt like one of my strongest, best endurance days. Today felt like the worst. I know that I probably did more than I was doing last week; but it felt like I just could not complete anything satisfactorily today. I couldn’t get into a good low squat on my shuffles; I couldn’t lift my body more than twice without resting on the up/downs; there was nothing correct about my inchworms; my knee started bothering me during the abdominal bicycles; and my push-up form deteriorated into oblivion as the class went on. It felt like a complete failure.
To make matters worse, Sgt. Ken made me squad leader for my group. My group consisted of Candace, Trey, and me. I’ll give you one guess who in that group is the weakest link (hint: it’s me). How was I supposed to be squad leader and motivate my group when I was the first to have to take a rest? How can I give advice to someone about their form when mine is nowhere near correct? How can I tell two strong, lean, athletic people to push harder when I’m standing there with forty-three more pounds to lose? How can I take charge and be a leader when I haven’t earned it yet?
Sgt. Ken told me that it didn’t matter that my fitness level wasn’t up to theirs yet; that it was my job to motivate the group to each individual’s best. Yes, that made sense. But I am not a natural leader. That is not me being modest or self deprecating; that is me being honest about my personality. Squad leader was a very difficult role for me today. I really think that as I get stronger and improve, that I will grow more comfortable with the idea of that responsibility. But right now, it’s terrifying.