Time for muscle

Last week, Fuel Pilates / XTend Barre DC posted a Facebook update asking for help with morning check-ins in exchange for Pilates and XTend Barre lessons. While I’m not a huge fan of early mornings, I’ve always wanted to try Pilates, and XTend Barre looked pretty interesting, so I jumped on it faster than a speeding bullet.

I was trained on how to use the system to check people in yesterday afternoon right before my fitness boot camp, which, as per usual, kicked my ass. I arrived this morning to my 6:30AM check-in shift without any problems. It’s actually closer to my place than I thought it would be. I think that, since there’s barely any traffic at this time of the year, and especially at that hour, I might just bike it from now on. Since there were only 2 people registered for the 7AM beginner’s XTend Barre class, I was able to join in, and check out what XTend Barre was all about.

Me doing XTend Barre.

Me doing XTend Barre.The other two students and the instructor doing XTend Barre.The other two students and the instructor doing XTend Barre.

It was a very interesting workout. If you’ve ever done ballet, this is the perfect exercise for you. It was probably exactly what my figure skating coach would have loved for me when I used to compete, but oh well. Most work is done using various ballet stances, adding weights and inflatable balls for an extra burn, and stability and control, as applicable. There are also straps that are used along with the barre to assure that you can continue using all of your force without falling on your ass. This is good for those of us who aren’t as balanced as the rest of the world. (Don’t ask me how I made it through skating while having nearly 0 balance on solid ground. It’s ridiculous.) While there are some extremely challenging pieces of this workout, I have to say that I didn’t find it as ass-kicky as I wanted to, but it’s probably because I was doing it all wrong, and because I was still beat up from Friday’s fitness boot camp, and had another layer of its abuse from yesterday’s session. Still, I was glad of the muscles that did get worked out and, more importantly, stretched out. I no longer feel like I want to detach my left leg from the rest of my body and throw it to some hungry wolves for a snack.

I ran waddled that mile in 15 minutes! Thanks, left leg! :D

I ran waddled that mile in 15 minutes! Thanks, left leg! :D

Speaking of fitness bootcamp, I finally got to meet the rest of the class, since they actually showed up seeing as the weather wasn’t crappy. I’ve managed to earn Trainer’s Pet award for showing up last week and training through the storm. However, everyone else was all fresh and healed and all cruisin’ for a boot camp bruisin’, and I could barely walk, much less run the 1 – 2 miles they had planned for us that day without looking like Igor from Young Frankenstein. Still, I gave it all I could without actually injuring myself, knocking it out of the park with a 15:15:00 run waddle time! I redeemed myself later with an 00:08:15 wall sit. I really need to find a better position for myself, because I think my legs could’ve held on longer, but my toes were completely asleep by the end of that.

The good news is that I’m always welcome home to two extremely soft, fluffy kitties and superbly supportive boyfriend. Without that, this would make this extremely difficult to keep up, regardless of how painfully awesome it feels. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s fitness boot camp!

My first attempt at fitness boot camp

I like to describe myself as a healthy person. During the school year, I eat 2 – 3 small, but relatively healthy meals; and during breaks I eat various, tiny, healthy meals throughout the day. Every now and again my body craves intense amounts of tuna, and, for some reason, Chinese takeout; but even eventually the boyfriend learned that it’s important to make extra “bunny food,” as he calls it, for me when he makes dinner for us.

Let’s not pretend I’m a saint, though. I’m an absolute sucker for Coca-Cola. I’m quite certain I could still easily polish off an entire case of 12oz. cans, were I given the chance, but I know I’m no longer figure skating 3 times a week and conditioning 2 times a week on top of that. (Ah, to be young and have your parents pay for your talent… *sigh*) Still, at my age, a Coke is a Coke.

But I figured I was doing okay. I mean, I could hold my own on the ice; could make it through a 2-hour roller derby practice, no problem; carry more things than I probably should up and down 4 stories’-worth of stairs daily for work; and still maintain at 128lbs. – 135lbs. and between a size 4 – 6. Things weren’t so bad, right? RIGHT?!

Yeah. I think I got too comfortable. I decided to join a fitness bootcamp thinking, “Well, my boyfriend is getting back into shape, and I’ve been meaning to kick myself back into gear. If he can do it, I CAN DO IT!!!” I talked to one of my best friends, Lauren, who is constantly doing SOMETHING to push herself to the next limit, and she convinced me that it would be TOTALLY FUN. So, with the help of GroupOn, I found a hell of a deal of $48/2 months at Foundation Fitness near Georgetown.

I started my first session yesterday, thinking, “FUN TIMES AHEAD AT THE INDOOR GYM!! WOO-WOO!!” It was like everything that I hated about high school gym class. FOR AN HOUR. OUTSIDE. IN THE RAIN. Running. Push-ups. Crunches… The list goes on. It was my own personal nightmare, only I paid for it. I ended up not giving a crap about the rain when the push-ups came into the game. Not even when I was a nationally competing figure skater could I do a single pull-up, nor a set of push-ups properly. I’ve always had the upper body strength equivalent to that of a wet noodle. It’s really sad. I actually was thankful when kind, sweet Alex was like, “Okay! Time for crunches! :D” Then planks happened. By the end of the whole hour, I just wanted the whole thing to be jogging. Sure, I probably would’ve fainted thanks to the asthma I keep on pretending I don’t have (THANKS A LOT, ADORABLE PETS OF MINE WITH ALL OF YOUR DANDER!!!!!!), but it probably wouldn’t have hurt as much.

As I sit here and type this, I can’t help but wish I would’ve just kept on doing some basic exercises after I decided to quit skating all of those years ago. I mean, eating healthy has never been difficult for me, and was easier after being a part of a Co-Op at Oberlin; but, after yesterday, it’s super clear to me that no amount of healthy eating will ever replace the ass-kicking of a work-out.