I consider myself a healthy person. I watch my sodium intake, fat intake, sugar intake, etc. I am one of the lucky ones who actually enjoy healthy food. I reach for fruit or vegetables over chips. I’d rather have a salad made with spinach, tomato, feta, cucumbers, kalamata olives and avocado than a slice of pizza. But try as I might I am just not athletic. I might even be the most athletically challenged person on the planet! Even as a child I was the one yelling, “Wait up!” because I couldn’t keep up with these speedy Gonazalez’s as they ran ahead of me to play at the playground. The playground in itself presented a challenge for me – the monkey bars. They were my Achilles heel (don’t get me started on my Achilles. I pulled that thing a good half a dozen times trying to run as fast as my little friends). Try as I may, I would grab on to that first bar….and that’s it – I would just hang there…Well, to everyone watching it would appear that way, but inside my head I was willing my arm to move to the next rung (it just wasn’t happening) and then I’d finally fall to the ground. This all occurred within thirty seconds. Thirty seconds of pure torture, but I was a determined little thing. At the time, I would have sworn to you I was hanging there for minutes, but I would have been lying. I’d rather you know the sad pathetic truth.
Just last week my friend Fife was telling me about this quick workout routine – You do five exercises (a set of 20 per exercise) 5x a week for the first week – then increasing each week 20 more until you reach 100. Now knowing me I was sure I would die before I could do 100, but I was sure I could do 20 each of 5 exercises. I mean, come on, that’s like a 5-minute workout! I could do this! Day one: I do my first exercise – 20 jumping jacks and I’m feeling good. Now on to the burpees – 1 burpee, 2 burpees, 3 burpees…….4 burpees…..ehhhh…..5 burpees…..good Lord……6 burpees…….help me, Jesus…..wait, how many am I up to now?…..9 burpees?….And I was down for the count, breathing so heavy I was sure my neighbors thought I was shooting a low budget porno in my apartment (hey, this is the valley and it’s conceivable). So, I’m lying there with my dog Kota peering over my heaving body until her cold nose touches my cheek – nudging it. Even she can’t believe how pathetic I am! Even she was trying to push me to get up! There must be a name for my condition – Patheticism? Wimpy Sad Sack Disorder?
I know you are reading this and thinking – “She must be exaggerating,” but I’m not and I’ll prove it to you. I like nature. I enjoy being outdoors, so I enjoy a hike at the Fryman (keeping in mind I try to walk fast/jog when I’m there). For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Fryman, you go up some very steep inclines at times and my body convulses at the mere thought of inclines. Level surfaces are my body’s friend, anything else my body rejects like poison. As I begin my hike I immediately start going uphill and it’s a steady incline for about half a mile or so. Within the first minute and a half I am trying to look chill as other people jog past me, or power walk with their tight little tushies…. By this time my heart is beating like a conga drum exploding into my ears. Now I am up to minute 4 of my hike and I have thrown out my pride as I let my shoulders slump and I begin to huff and puff loudly. Regardless, I am feeling good as I continue my climb. Inwardly I am congratulating myself – giving myself the “You are rocking this Christal,” speech when an older gentleman with a cane passes me. A man with a cane! True story. Talk about an ego deflator.
So try as I might I am destined to remain a mushy pool of jello, instead of a hardcore babe. I will continue to workout because I want to be fit and healthy. And to the average onlooker I will appear to be dedicated (like I’ve been working out for an hour when in actuality its only been 5 minutes). My problem is that I concentrate so hard on getting through the workout that I forget to breathe. This realization hits me when I start hearing myself breathing in my ears and I feel I’m about to pass out. This usually happens about 5-10 minutes into a workout and I have to tell myself, “Just breathe dammit!” Still, I refuse to be a wimpy sad sack. I will continue my slow uphill battle to become one of those sassy little tight tushy power walkers. I just have to learn to breathe…. And maybe one day I will be able to do all 20 burpees.