My antagonistic relationship with physical fitness began at the tender age of 5 when I attempted to play softball for the first time and was promptly knocked unconscious by a stray pitch. In 2nd grade gym, I dangled, mortified, before the the eyes of my classmates, unable to lift my chin beyond the pull-up bar and inwardly deciding that I would die as I was born: without upper body strength. In college, I was the kind of jogger who took occasional half mile runs to 7/11 then strolled back to the dorm eating a pint of double fudge ice cream. I’ve never said no to a glass of wine with dinner. I’ve never met a carb I didn’t love. I’ve never worked out for longer than a month consecutively.
And I’ve always wondered why I’m often too exhausted at the end of the day to do anything other than crash on the couch with my DVR.
I’m tackling 20 health goals this year, not because I’m especially interested in health, but because I’m interested in so many other things – things that require me to drag myself out of my apartment after work on a regular basis, or at the very least, sit at my desk with some modicum of focus. And so, in search of the energy to finally tackle my long neglected list of more interesting endeavors, I find myself writing about a topic that has historically made my eyes roll and then glaze over: working out. Or rather, my new mission to find a sustainable form of nutrition/exercise that doesn’t feel like punishment.
But first, just to establish a baseline of what punishment really feels like, I kicked off the year with the dreaded 30 Day Shred. This workout was once recommended to me by a co-worker, at which time I tried it for exactly 6 days before deciding that my co-worker was trying to kill me. But what better way to make the rest of this year feel like a cake-walk than launching it with infamous hard-ass Jillian Michaels? I am almost amazed to report that, as of yesterday, I have completed all 30 days. And, with this achievement, I feel fully qualified to present the following 30 Day Shred awards for …
– Weirdest Jillian Michaels quote: “I want you gargling your heart by the time this 3 minutes of cardio is over!”
– Most accurate Jillian Michaels quote: “I know you’re thinking that I’m a crazy person.”
– Low point: Collapsing on the floor, yelling “No! Liar!” at the television when Jillian demanded that I “give her one more” walking push-up, flagrantly violating her previous promise that only 10 walking push-ups remained in Level 3.
– High point: The moment I realized scissor kicks were no longer making me grunt and groan like a dying woman. (Likely a high point for my neighbors as well.)
– Best potential drinking game: Drink every time perma-smiling assistant Natalie thinks she’s out of frame and therefore cheats her way through a cycle.
– Most exciting result: Attending a weekly group singing class and never feeling remotely tempted to skip in favor of my couch and DVR.