Friday, May 17, 2013

Getting the Rush Again

Four years ago when I committed to getting in shape I would get these "rushes" of adrenaline about 45 minutes into an intense workout.  This is often termed a "runner's high."  It felt like this: a rush of heat, then cool then a complete sense of calm and relief.  Then I could go about another 15 or 20 minutes and then my body was finished.  I felt tired and energized all at once.  To describe the experience as awesome is an understatement.

Over time this euphoria occurred less and less.  A kettle bell workout was about the only thing that would trigger the high and even so it wasn't consistent.  I suppose the good news was that I was getting in better shape, the bad news was that I was missing my euphoric rush

On the other hand, I had a general sense of peace after every workout, everyday.  I assumed that I was no longer going to experience the rush because I was living the the benefit of regular physical activity.  My body had adapted.

Until yesterday.

I'll be honest, I've been working out but hardly as intensely as I probably could.  My exercises have been like brushing my teeth a few months after seeing the dentist - I still did it but probably not for as long as I should or with as much attention to detail.

Back to yesterday.

At the gym we have a new trainer who's a few years younger than I am and in much better shape.  A couple of weeks ago I showed her some core exercises for postpartum moms and she showed me a few good exercises for the shoulder and upper back.  We discussed working out together in the future.  I was both terrified and excited by the prospect of exercising with her.

So, we made a date to train.  I let her decide what we would do.  She showed me two workouts she had designed.  Both looked like the work of the devil.  

"Which one do you want to do?" she asked.

"You pick," I replied.  I did not want to be responsible for picking my own method of torture.  I felt a little sick already.

"Ok, we'll do this one," she said showing me a sheet with a mixture of cardio, core, and full body exercises.  ugh.

OMG, what had I done? 

To be honest, my fear was that either a) everyone would see in real time just how bad of shape I was in or b) my certification as a trainer would be proven fraudulent or worse, c) I would vomit on the floor of the weight room.

Fortunately, none of the above happened.  Though I had to modify a couple of the exercises for my knee and achy shoulder, I kept up and I completed the entire set of exercises.  Plus, about 30 minutes in, I got THE RUSH!  Just like old times: an all-over sweat, heat then coolness with a surge of both energy and peace.  

So, I think we'll do it again next week.

But I'm still letting her pick the workout.  

Want to give the workout a try?  Well, here you go....

100 jumping jacks -(I did 75)
12 high knee lifts with elbow - each leg
12 single leg box step ups - each leg
12 single leg dead lifts - each leg

Then, this is where the fun begins:

For 10 minutes, do the following without rest if possible - I took breaks for water. And I used an assisted pull up machine.  After 3 sets, I switched to dips which may explain why my triceps ache a bit today!
12 pull ups/chin ups
12 ball crunches

We're not finished yet!  For another 10 minutes:
12 pushed ups with pike - I did mine on an exercise ball.  After 24 I switched to regular push-ups.

But wait, there's more!

2 minute sprint on treadmill.  Rest 90 seconds.  Repeat 2 minute sprint.

Stretch.  Hydrate.  

Be well and have fun.

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