6:00 AM stretch with Michael C. This was the first morning we had a different instructor for a stretch class. Michael approaches the stretch class as a relaxed way to “activate” body parts, yet he incorporates dynamic stretching techniques. In case you haven’t figured out “dynamic stretch” is trainer code for we are going to move your fat ass while we stretch. Similar to Sam he starts the AM stretch class with active movement, while maintaining an almost Zen like calmness, and sense of purpose. It was a nice way to get sore body parts feeling better.
8:00 AM hike to Zuma Ridge. Knowing I had Zuma ridge this morning I didn’t work out last night, this simple fact saved my day today. I went into breakfast thinking I was going to hike Zuma ridge. Little did I know that an asphalt truck would flip over and close the road that led to Zuma’s entrance, which meant our hike was redirected to reverse Zuma.
So…anytime you have a reverse anything it’s normally not a good thing. Like reversible shorts, you know what I’m talking about everyone has a pair, both sides are always hideous but there is that one side which is so ugly it’s fucking ugly or fugly.
Reverse Zuma to me is fugly. It starts out relatively innocuous, and actually starts at a slightly higher elevation than Zuma front side (ZFS), which gives you a false sense of security. What you don’t realize is that the peak at Buzzards Ranch is significantly higher than the peak at ZFS. In fact you travel downhill to reach the peak that I climbed last week. The course travels in the same winding endless direction that ZFS travels. Every time you turn a corner you think you are on your final ascent when in actuality there is more endless uphill trail.
The weather was phenomenal this morning, and the sky was perfectly clear, we could see the snow capped mountains on one side of the trail, while getting spectacular views of the pacific on the other side. It is the one redeeming quality of Zuma ridge. Both sides provide amazing views of California.
I am proud to say that during the ascent up to Buzzards Ranch I did not stop once. This is an impressive feat considering that last week a petite Irish Woman used her Jedi will to push and pull me up ZFS. That’s like Ann Darow carrying Kong up to the top of the Empire State building. This week Kong did it all by himself.
At this point I thought my hike was over because all we have to do now is turn around, of course the hiking guide Zoey had other ideas. This was the warm-up to the next two phases.
We began downward hikes which eventually lead us to the turn around point of ZFS. I distinctly recall when we took pictures at the top of ZFS looking up higher and thinking “The rest of this hike must really suck”, little did I know I would get to experience this in my second week.
There is a significant decrease in elevation over a short distance, while moving downward Zoey says to me this is a bitch going back up. These are not the words you want to hear from someone who hikes these trails 4-6 days a week. Let me also have the uniformed understand all the hiking guides are in phenomenal shape. They don’t work this job to get rich, they essentially get paid to workout, as a part time job if you are a health conscious person it’s almost a no brainer.
Ultimately the turnaround point was the same ridge top that we reached last week from ZFS, the return back to Buzzards Ranch was tough, but I finished it again with only a couple of stops to take pictures, but not for a rest. I am amazed at how much my stamina and endurance has increased.
11:15 Stretch with Michael C. After the difficult hike of reverse Zuma, a stretch was exactly what was needed. The entire class was spent on our backs. The lights were turned off, with low volume relaxing music playing. He focused very heavily on breathing, and relaxation. In between stretches he would have us lay with arms and legs on the ground and just take deep breathes to relax. It became so relxing that Angela heard me snoring. The class ended with an 8 minute relaxation period, sorry to those people who were next to me (Angela and Sharon), little did they know a bear had decided to hibernate next to them.
1:00 PM PT with Michael C. I was not looking forward to doing kettle bells today. On the hike I developed a dark colored sore on the pad of my right foot, couple that with general muscle soreness, swinging a 32 lb metal ball is not a fun idea.
My session started with me carrying the kettle bells from the lobby to the gym, a farmers walk as he likes to call it. Once in the gym we started the session with kettle bell deadlifts, 1 set two handed with the heavier kettle bell and 2 sets with one hand using the lighter of the two kettle bells.
The rest of the workout was a mix of kettle bell swings and medicine ball drills. Using the 12lb medicine ball I was told to slam it straight down with two hands, then instructed to do 20 kettle bell swings. The next 30 minutes involved a series of drills with the medicine ball, each drill followed by 20 kettle bell swings. By the end of the session I think I must have done 200 swings.
It was a great workout, and a welcome change to everything we have been doing here, it was intense but controlled. The session worked a lot of areas of my body that don’t get much attention.
This how it ended:
2:30 PM Treading with Cameron. Treading is a tough cardio routine. It starts with a 5 minute intense workout followed by a 5 minute recover period, followed by 4 minutes of intense, and 4 minute of recovered the series eventually works its way down to 1 minute on 1 minute off.
It sounds simple, and not very difficult. The reality of it is that it’s difficult. Because the longest period of intensity is at the beginning you end up pushing yourself harder than normal in the beginning. Five minutes don’t seem very long at all, yet as the intense periods get smaller so do the rest periods. You have far less time to recover, and the longer you stay on the machine the more fatigued your body becomes. By the last minute you are ready to get off, and call it a day.
Today’s session was a bit screwy. Following the first 10 minutes of the class a maintenance team fixing something outside took out the power to all the treadmills. Anyone on a treadmill got screwed, they either had to grab a spinning bike, or do some other type of cardio. Cameron our instructor did not handle this well, in trying to help the people off the treadmills he forgot about the other half of the class still on the machines. I was keeping track of time on my machine, so I started calling out times. This went on for almost 15 minutes of the class.
On deeper contemplative reflection the entire session was shitty, Cameron likes to ask trivia question during the recovery period. He uses some app on his smart phone, which clearly was created by a dolt because half of the answers to the questions are wrong.
One of the questions he asked was “Who was the first President to use an informal version of his name?” When no one responded he said “Jimmy Carter”. I then asked what about Teddy? His response was a statement or comment which made him sound like the dolt who created his app, he made some comment which made it clear he had no idea that Teddy Roosevelt preceded Jimmy Carter by, I don’t know maybe by 70 years. Never mind that Theodore’s most famous pre-presidential exploit was leading the Rough Riders during the Spanish-American War. That’s right that was the war fought just after the hostages got released from Iran.
The trivia was distracting, and today he thought he was Alex Tribec and not Cameron the guy who is supposed to motivate and push us. He spent more time reading the questions then focusing on the timing of each interval. Ultimately the row of Arc Trainers I was on become the Louis Kim (third person is so great) training class; in fact all the people on my side thanked me for my help. Should this really be happening?
Don’t worry I still sweat through a shirt, I got what I needed.
3:30 PM Pool Class with Katrina. I was in the pool early waiting for the class to start when Mary Lou Obnoxious came out of the aerobics room, and started to walk towards the pool. I said hi, but inside was thinking please walk to your car, please walk to your car. She of course stopped right before the gate, where the microphone and iPod cradle is set. It was inevitable that after a fiasco of a treading class, I would get stuck with Miss Sunshine for the pool.
I can’t stand her insistent yapping but today’s class quality was better than the previous two I had with her. She was better about explaining the motions we were supposed to perform in the pool, yet she still over complicates them by adding unnecessary levels of difficulty. On a scale of 1 to 10 it was probably a solid 6. If anyone ever calls you a solid “6” it’s not a compliment, I assure you…
4:30 PM Ballworks with Ursula. I remembered today why I forgot this class last week. It’s forgettable. Using the rubber balance balls you perform dynamic body motions, which include slamming the ball, throwing the ball from overhead, chest high tosses, and squats. The problem for me was after throwing a 12 lb medicine ball performing the same motions a rubber ball filled with air doesn’t have much impact. I think this class is about creating more range of motion, or toning, or I don’t know filling a space each week.
In reading what I’ve typed so far, it sounds like it’s coming for a negative place, or perhaps a different place from my other posts. There is clearly a bit of frustration growing over the lack of protein I’m consuming, the seat cushion I mean bed (Tangent Here: how is possible to open a business that is marketed to overweight people, purchase such crappy beds), and that damn cow.
These darker sentiments aren’t coming from a negative place; I have been pushing so hard to breakthrough all of my past performances that I am starting to feel unchallenged. The only thing which is a challenge now is the pace. I am ready for another breakthrough; I am more motivated to lose weight than I have ever been in my life. Every ounce of my being is focused on weight loss, and every time the people I am paying to help me get there don’t seem attentive I want to poop on their heads.
It took a trip to this place to understand that my eating habits were going to kill me, to put it bluntly I was overeating like a motherfucker. I can’t believe how much energy I have on the small number of calories I’ve consumed on a daily basis; I have been supplementing my daily allowance of 1200 with salads, and fruit. I am probably eating somewhere between 1500- 1800 calories with all the fruit and salad. A banana before a workout is an incredible boost of fuel, a week ago I would have had to eaten a sandwich before each class (sandwich=code for a pile of shit).
The other area which has developed significantly is my ability to work out hard. I thought I was working out hard at home…I was a big pansy back home. I can’t wait for my first workout with my trainer back home; he’s going to realize that we need to kick it into a whole new gear. I am developing a deeper and deeper intensity with each and every workout. Every personal training session here with Sam and Michael are like physical epiphanies.
It’s Thursday and the realization of going home is starting to hit me, many landmines, and booby traps lay ahead. The first week back for me is going to be very hectic just getting caught up on work.
This doesn’t even take into account the two weeks I have shared with some great people. Life, people and relationships are strange. I’ve experienced some intense circumstances with people who last week were complete strangers. Through the shared activity of pursuing a common physical goal, and overcoming personal boundaries and limitations I have shared some very personal moments, the types of moments that I may never experience with some of the closest people in my life.
Attachments have been created which at their onset were known to be short term, and confined to a certain specific time and place. We will knowingly leave each other with hesitation perhaps not completely understanding the dimple created in each other. We will all get on planes and head back to our homes and lives missing these people because of the experience shared, but not affected by the truth that we will never see each other again. As much as we say I’ll see you soon, or let’s get together the possibility of getting together with most of the people we meet here is about as probably I’m going to dance like Michael Jackson.
How is possible that we as people can leave such indelible marks on each other, carving a place in each other’s heart and mind, yet move on with such ease. I don’t write this because I’m going to cry my eyes out over not seeing some of the people here but a bit of melancholy at not being able to share further in their development beyond these walls, will Kent maintain the significant weight loss and happiness he has found from the weight loss, has Sharon lost it for good is it for the rest of her life, will Angela reach that point where she is happy with herself, will James finally reach that point where he doesn’t feel like he is fighting his body. These are all feats which these people are more than capable of reaching, their dedication here proves it, they have proved it every single day, but will it sustain itself when all of life’s crap starts to pile up, and the support we gave each other is no longer around. I don’t know how many times I’ve given and gotten high fives over the past two weeks. If high fives were actual money I would have paid for my trip in high fives.
In every relationship we take and we give. I knew I was going to learn a lot from the program, but I never thought I would learn equally as much about myself, people, motivations, self-image, self-desires, self-control, self-satisfaction, from other people. We didn’t have group therapy nor did we get up and tell everyone we are overeaters and hold hands and sing. It all evolved organically during meals, and in between workout sessions. Which brings me back to my point, how is it people can create such unforgettable memories in your mind in such a short period of time, yet we can all walk away and go back to our lives without a concern towards the lost relationship. I find it fascinating, perhaps it’s this innate human ability to adjust, and redefine ourselves which give us the capacity to open up to complete strangers and bare everything we hold inside from those close to us back home. With complete strangers we develop real intimacy without the foreplay, a sense of knowing and understanding without judging.
My only hope is that after this week I have made some type of lasting impression on those around me, because they have most certainly done that with me…
It’s time to go have my Wylie Coyote moment with my new found nemesis Mr. Cow. I here he has a friend too, no one will notice one missing…
By for now…