Throughout all the sessions of Warriors of Wine Boot Camp, I can often be heard saying, “You want my body to do what?” or “You want me to put my leg where?” I am often confronted with movements and positions that this body has not done or been in for years! Lately it seems that Oshun, our trainer, is pushing me to new realms of movement and positions.
The other week Oshun instructed us to get a bar stool from a table under the Grand Tiki. We then were instructed to sit on the stool which was very comfortable with our feet resting on the bottom rung. Oshun then told us to position our feet together on the top rung of the stool. With grunts and groans and a fear of falling, I struggled to get my size nine and a half sneakers on the same skinny rung and I felt like I was suffocating as my thighs pushed against my protruding belly. Oshun instructed us to stretch out, flex and lift one leg up and down which we did. We then did the same with the other leg. I felt as though I was a burlesque dancer practicing and asked Denisse, an owner of the Winery, if we were actually practicing for a performance at their Friday Night at the Winery! What a show that would be!
Next Oshun instructed us to lean back using the muscles in our abdomen and then put both our legs out straight. Now you have to picture this as these stools are just little oak stools with no backs or support at all. Here I am hanging on to the side of the bar stool with my hands wedged under my hind end as it hangs over the seat, body teetering backwards, legs in the air as if in imaginary stirrups, looking like I am about to give birth to a twenty pound watermelon! On top of that, once you are in a position and have done about 20 leg lifts, Oshun has this cruel way of making you hold that position for what seems like eternity so the grunts and groans of my natural childbirth days were vocalized! That was definitely a “you want me to do what?” day!
Last week Oshun introduced our group to a new exercise called the frog jump. Oshun explained that she wanted us to stand with our feet together, then spread them and squat as low as we could go, jump up bringing our hands together above our heads in a clap and moving our feet together like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz clicking her ruby red shoes while trying to get home. I definitely wanted to go home when I saw her perform this most cruel act of exercise. No way! Not only did she want us to do repetitions of this exercise, she wanted it done quickly! This was a “You want me to do what?” moment.
As you may recall, I broke my leg and ruptured my ACL dancing to the YMCA at a Catholic Women’s Convention so I have a horrible fear of falling. I think I was dyslexic and did an X instead of a Y for the Y in YMCA! Due to this constant fear, I had to think about the movement and ask her to do it in slow motion as jumping is not my forte. I stood there visualizing the movement and decided to give it a try.
Oshun instructs us to begin. I squat down and Oshun says “lower.” I squat down further and Oshun says “lower.” My train of thinking drifts away and my mind hears the musician singing that old song, The Limbo Rock where he says, “How low can you go?” in a deep haunting voice. This body just can’t go any lower! I give it a try and go lower and jump up, clapping my hands together and clicking my clean white sneakers together. All of a sudden I was in the state of disbelief. Did I actually complete a jump? I think I did. Could I do more? I continued and Oshun pushed further. Keep going! Don’t quit! This redhead’s determination, or maybe it was stubbornness, took over and I ended up completing 20 frog jumps. It was then that Oshun looked at me with that certain look she gives me when I know I did something well. My mind could not wrap itself around the idea that I had completed 20 frog jumps. O.K fatty. Hold back the tears. This time I was successful in holding them back but I think I was in shock for the rest of the session.
The next day I realized just why frogs croak. It must be because they so sore from hopping from lily pad to lily pad that they turn green and croaking is their way of expressing the pain. I woke up the next morning and thought my legs had been dislocated. The pain was immense. My buttocks hurt. My arms hurt. My thighs screamed in pain. I don’t think there was one part of my body that did not ache.
As I thought about the day before, I just had to believe that I was a part of a fairy tale. Remember the one about the girl who kissed the frog and he turned into a handsome prince? It wasn’t that one. It is the one where the old obese lady was touched by the golden hand of the trainer and turned into a fat, high leaping frog for just one day. And then she croaked. The end.
I am a recruit in the Warrior’s of Wine Boot Camp and I say, “I can do this!”