Friday, September 18, 2009

Recruit Tries Burlesque Training and Frog Legs - 22nd story

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!”

Unhappy Recruit Forced to Make Another Decision -21st story

You may recall that I am doing two Boot Camps this session. I am a member of the Warriors of Wine at Schnebly’s Winery on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings and the YMCA Boot Camp on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Warriors of Wine started three weeks ago and I have been going every day with the exception of the day I overslept and woke up in a panic! I had accidentally set my alarm for p.m. instead of a.m. I woke up at 6:24 a.m., stood up in a panic and was rushing around when my husband calmly informed me that the class ends at 7 and I would never make it. I couldn’t believe how angry I was at myself for missing it. I know I need to be there.

This week is the beginning of the YMCA Boot Camp session. I have been really excited about the prospect of working out five days a week. I think it would be a great physical challenge for the old lady and I truly feel like I need to push myself a little harder. Unfortunately, during the past week, I received a call from the YMCA staff to inform me that they would not be offering the Tuesday and Thursday morning option for Boot Camp. There are not enough people signed up so they will only have Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning and evening sessions. I cannot begin to tell you how disappointed I was to hear that news. Now what am I going to do?

My boss had signed up with me for the Tuesday and Thursday session at the YMCA and it is easy for him to switch over to Monday and Wednesday which he is doing. I, on the other hand, cannot participate on those days because I attend Warriors of Wine at that time. I have thought about trying to make the evening sessions on those days but the more I thought about it, the more I don’t think that is physically feasible. The workouts are tough and I just do not think my body could keep up.
Someone told me I should go and work out at the YMCA on Tuesdays and Thursdays anyway. This is where the FLS Syndrome takes affect again. Fat Lady Syndrome is keeping me from doing just that. Even after everything I have been through and all the challenges of Boot Camp, I just do not feel comfortable enough to work out in front of other people who are not in my comfort zone. The recruits at Boot Camp know how hard I would out and they support me. My FLS leads me to believe that when I would show up at the YMCA to work out by myself, people would be wondering why I was there and just staring at my size. Now I know you are thinking that I should not feel that way but no matter what, I do. Those who suffer from FLS need a comfort zone and Boot Camp was my comfort zone. I know I took a big step in signing up for it by myself and stepping out of my safety zone and I am proud of myself for doing that but I just am not ready for the next step.

What do I do? I am considering doing personal training on Tuesdays and Thursday. I am investigating several options and I need to see which one is financially possible for me. I have dreamed about having the one-on-one training as I think it would be so beneficial to me. I know I will truly be pushed to my extreme limits and I know I need that right now. I would like to stay at the YMCA for it if it is possible. Nasty Nestor, one of the trainers from the YMCA, has already stepped up and told me he would love to punish me if I can work out the financial aspect of personal training. I know he would like to brutally put me through an exercise routine that would bring me close to death and he would smile while doing it! That’s nasty Nestor! Ha!

Well, time will tell and I am giving myself another week to come up with a firm plan to kick up my exercise routine to the next notch. BAM! Where will I end up? I have no clue but I can tell you this, I will not give up! There is such a difference in my life since I began Boot Camp at the YMCA. I’m not the fastest runner but I can now run and speed walk. I am not the most limber person but I can now get down on the floor and play with my grandson without needing a tow truck to get me up.

If I look back to one year ago, if someone would have told me that I would be in a Boot Camp and looking to enhance that Boot Camp with more exercise, I would have told them they were nuts! If you are sitting there on the couch thinking that you wish you could do what I am doing, let me tell you that YOU CAN! I sat on that couch with you for how many years thinking I could never do anything like this and I have proved myself wrong.

There is still time to register for the YMCA Boot Camp that started this week. Make that call! Get up and do it now.

I am a recruit in the Warrior’s of Wine Boot Camp and I need more!

Flora, Fauna and Fat! 20th story

I open the garage door and am greeted with a rush of humid air that is choking. I walk out of the garage only to be greeted by a swarm of mosquitoes that want to leave no piece of my exposed skin untouched. If only the Army could harness these mosquitoes and use them in reconnaissance, Osama bin Laden would be flushed out by the biting buggers! I jump into my truck and proceed to ignore the biting at my ankles as I drive North on SW 217th Avenue at 5:30 a.m. There is not another vehicle in sight. In seven minutes flat I arrive at my destination, Schenbly’s Winery. I park in the empty parking lot, grab my bag and walk to the sidewalk leading up to the main building. My first week in the Warrior of Wine Boot Camp has begun! The flora, fauna and fat that surround me will become my inspiration.

Entering the winery through a side gate, I am immediately struck by the flora surrounding me as the scents of different fruits and flowers open my nostrils. Although it is too dark to see them, I know there are many tropical plants and flowers around me. I also hear water at the front of the building and assume that there is a fountain of some sort nearby.

I continue and walk down the path through the side gate into the garden area of the winery. It is pitch black with the exception of the moon in the sky above and the Christmas lights strung under the Grand Tiki where Oshun, our trainer, is waiting for the recruits. The fans in the tiki blow a breeze which keeps the mosquitoes away from our fresh skin. We lay out our mats, weights and get our water bottles ready. I greeted Denisse Serge, one of the owner’s of the winery who I have known for a while and who is so supportive of the program that she is participating as a recruit. My friend, Patty, surprised me the night before by telling me she would go with me but the other recruits were new to me so we introduced ourselves.

Oshun began by warming us up. Stretches and more soon brought a sweat to our brows. Even though I was only off one week between Boot Camps, I felt like I hadn’t stretched in a month. I realize that once you are in the “more mature” category, you have got to keep going non-stop as it is so easy to lose the movement that you have achieved. Oshun then led us along the pathways out to the parking lot. As it was very dark, I asked that she just tell us if there were any steps as I could see this fat woman sprawled face first on the pavement unable to get up! No steps and I felt pretty good that I kept up a running pace for the first lap. We then ran back into the tiki. By this time, my fat body was dripping wet but I noticed that I could now breathe while running a little which definitely helps! Breathing is important.

As we continued to exercise, the effort seemed to be softened by the sights and sounds around me. I noticed that the sun slowly rose behind Oshun and the flora and fauna began to produce a harmonic composition that was extremely pleasing to my ears. Waterfalls to the right of us produced a constant rhythm like a drummer setting the pace. Birds interspersed with their chirps in different tones, assimilating the melody for the composition. Chameleons hopped from one plant to another creating a movement of the leaves and branches that mimicked a wind instrument. The koi in the ponds flipped their tails in the water creating an occasional splash which created an unexpected element in the composition. The flora and fauna were creating an amazing tune.

Driving by the winery, you would never imagine the beauty of the sights and sounds within. Nature has produced a beautiful background for this session of Warriors of Wine. Before I knew it, the class was over and I felt pretty good about completing it. I drove the quick trip home, showered, dressed and went to work feeling like I could take on the world.

The next evening, I drove over to the Homestead YMCA and signed up for the Boot Camp which begins on September 10th. I realize that I need to exercise more than just three days a week so I am going to attend Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the YMCA Boot Camp. I have missed the people from the YMCA and I still do not have enough confidence to go into the Y by myself without going to Boot Camp. Although I have often said I would try when one of my trainers were present, I am too embarrassed by my size and feel I don’t belong. FLS..Fat Lady Syndrome. Symptoms are fear of ridicule, snide remarks or failure. Even after everything I have done in the past three Boot Camps, I still suffer from FLS.

I am a 54 year old obese woman and I need to lose weight and inches and increase my mobility. I have tried every diet you have ever heard of. I have eaten grapefruit until I turned yellow. I have eaten cabbage to the point that I didn’t think I would ever exit the bathroom. I have been to different companies to try their diet plans. I firmly do not believe in surgical intervention. I have failed at exercising on my own.

I realize I need help of I will die too soon. I have found tremendous support and help in the form of Rico and Nestor from the YMCA Boot Camp and Oshun from Warriors of Wine. It is not just the program but those individuals, Rico, Nestor and Oshun, who are slowly changing my life. I need them more than they will ever understand.

I am a recruit in the YMCA Boot Camp and Warrior’s of Wine and I need to be there!