One of my gaming friends came into town to spend a few days; she flew in Saturday afternoon and left yesterday. We had a pretty good time, I think. She came walking with me on Sunday, and while she didn't last the whole 9 miles, I think she did a lot better than she thought she was capable of doing. Of course, I felt like a wretch when I found out she'd gotten a blister. I think nine miles is a good way into being prepped for this walk I'm doing in October. (Subtle Reminder; If you haven't taken a few minutes to read through my donation site and make a small pledge, please take a few minutes to do so, if you can. Every little bit helps!!)
Because I am a madwoman, we decided to go out kite-flying Sunday afternoon, and the gods of the parkinglots were definately not on our side, as we ended up parked right next to the steepest path up the hill. Which, of course, we went straight up! But it was fun, and Leslie met us there, and Toby showed up later at our house. We talked, watched a movie, and I cooked dinner for five adults...
Although after the last couple of weeks have been so busy, I was definitely at MFQ (Maximum Fun Quotient) before my friend finally left... I will forever be excessively grateful to Leslie for dragging her off to a country music concert Monday night which gave me a few hours being alone in my house to get my head back on straight.
Monday, I weighed in; we'll see if I'm past this plateau or not... I was down 1.2 pounds! yay! That puts me 4.2 pounds away from being "normal" weight and less than 20 pounds from my goal. (My Wii Fit tells me I'm like 2 pounds away from being normal weight, but I get to weigh in on the Fit first thing in the morning, without clothes.)
Yesterday, I had another meeting with my personal trainer. Oh my god, the woman is trying to murder me! (Seriously! She was throwing 8 pound medicine balls at my HEAD! More on that in just a minute...)
She said she could tell that I'd actually been doing my "homework" assignments; that I was loads steadier and faster than I was at our first session. I don't know about that, but I had done the assignments, and I'd also been using the elliptical instead of the stationary bike at her suggestion. I always have a little trouble with the elliptical until I get my rhythym down, and then if I have to take a drink of water, I have to get it back.
She did institute a "rule" during our workouts that I think will be good for me.
Absolutely no self-bashing. Any self-bashing results in my having to do 20 reps of something I particularly don't like. Yesterday it was side-crunches. Every time I made an excuse, snarked about my lack of balance, rolled my eyes or otherwise made a criticism, I had to stop what I was doing, grab a 10 pound weight and do 10 side crunches on each side. Of course, then I had to go right back to what I was doing before I started snarking in the first place.
Her code phrase to tell me I'd done it again was "Pop it!" "Pop out those crunches!" "Your body is stronger than you give it credit for being!"
Ok, so I probably did a few more sets of those than, really, I want to admit.
I think this will be good for me. I'm awfully hard on myself; to the point that I often go looking for more things to criticize. Some of my friends tag me on it from time to time, if I'm being exceptionally self-hating, but for the most part, it's considered a personality trait and they just let me get on with it. (That's ok. I don't yell at a friend of mine who's got some anger management issues, and I don't prod at the one who needs to grow some damn backbone, just once in a while!)
We did some crazy-planks (I don't know what else to call them...) that she was impressed with. The first was a regular plank, but balanced on one leg, with the other straight and up behind me as far as I could get it.
"That's really good," she said. "Most people sort of suck at planks."
Hah. I like planks. I love the way they feel, and I love trying to see if I can hold it just a little bit longer. Also, I can plank longer than my husband, and as it's one of the few areas in fitness that I vastly outshine him (also, determination. He might be better, faster, stronger, but it doesn't matter a damn, because I'm the one who's doing it regularly.) I practice. A lot.
Then we did side planks with a yoga-arm movement. First I held the arm straight up, looked up at my fingertips, then dipped the same arm into the gap between the mat and my planked up ribs... and again and again and again.
For cardio between sculpting excersizes, we did burpees in sets of 10. After a while, I really started complaining about these. They're painful and I always feel very awkward and unsteady doing anything that involves a lot of jumping around.
"So, what can you do?" she asks me, her hands on her hips.
"Pushups. I can do pushups." I lifted my chin.
"Are you sure?"
God, I hate being told what I can't do. Why I can say what I can't do and turn around and get hostile about someone else telling me I can't do it, I don't think I'll ever understand, but it's nonetheless true.
"Yes." I hissed the word out.
"Care to challenge me on that? If you can do more pushups than I can, I won't make you do any more burpees today."
I didn't do as many as I'd wanted, but then, by that point, I'd been working out for 45 minutes or so (if I'd been really clever, I'd have realized that there were only so many more sets of burpees she could have made me do anyway...) but I made a good show and pushed out 57 of them. Then I got to take a quick break and let her do her set. She did 53 of them. I admit to getting a bit tense when she passed 45, and in all honesty, I expect she let me beat her. On the other hand, it still made me feel smug and obnoxious and self-confident for a while.
We finished up the session with these completely unreal crunches.
I sat on the weight bench and she threw an 8 pound medicine ball at me. I caught it, then rolled back and crunched up, then threw the ball back to her. Sometimes while I was in the down position, she'd yell out "Twist!" at which point I was to dip the ball from side to side before sitting back up. I was supposed to do this as fast as possible; a trick that made me exceptionally nervous, as catching and throwing aren't things I've practiced much and I entertained truly gruesome images of taking an 8 pound ball to the face, a picture that included broken glasses and a smashed nose.
That, however, didn't happen, and she swapped balls out on me from time to time; going from a 2 pound ball to a 10 pound ball and back. Finally I caught one ball, rolled back and couldn't pull back up again, and we were done.
I've got homework again.
I'm supposed to practice the burpees twice this week; do at least 4 sets in an hour work-out period. I'm also supposed to work on jumping in general; she suggested with a jumprope, or if I couldn't get one, to just bounce as if I had a jumprope. If I can afford it, she'd like me to buy some resistance bands with handles and do some of the rowing excercises and stretches. And she thinks I need to get some 5 and 8 pound hand weights.
On the way back home, I stopped at the Rite Aid to get myself a diet coke. Leaving the store, I walked right by a group of construction workers who are digging large holes behind the Rite Aid's parking lot.
One of them whistled at me.
I grinned the rest of the walk home.