Monday, January 19, 2009

Good Old-Fashioned Upper Body

Last Thursday, when I arrived at the gym and announced to Capt. Awesome that I wanted to do some "good old-fashioned upper body," I was looking for a distraction from my usual break-neck obstacle course of leaping roaring tigers, balancing over hot coals, running through pelting sand, and the other sadistic stuff he has me do each morning. Not that I'm complaining; I love it. I was just a little nostalgic for some plain old bicep curls. Maybe an overhead press. Perhaps something as mundane as a tricep dip.

"Old-fashioned?" he asked. "Okay."

He plunked two weight plates on the floor and instructed me to get into a push-up position with my feet in each plate and walk myself across the room with my hands, dragging the rest of me behind. I was confused. On what planet does "good old-fashioned upper body," translate to "medieval torture"? But I'm game for anything so I gave it a shot. I made one lap and hung the weights back up. "Uh-uh, you've got two more." Crap.

Two sets later I asked what was next. Flipping tires? You want me to go outside and scale a building?

Instead, we headed to the cable machine for some chest work (I call them "tree huggers"), fancy bicep curls that made me look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, and some lat pulls, made all the more imposing by being about 18 inches away from my Tuesday/Thursday training partners, who were doing normal stuff like chest flyes and bench presses and making cute comments about my workout. I tried to flick some sweat on them but they were too quick.

Then it was time for my requisite 300 reps with the jump rope, where I was reminded by my reflection in the mirror that I really need to get some better sports bras if I am going to do that much jumping in the presence of other people.

My work done for the day, I got in my car and wondered how Awesome has come to know me so well in such a short period of time. He knew I didn't really want a back-to-basics workout, just a change. And while there is comfort in going to the gym and doing the basics, I know that those workouts are behind me. I'm ready to challenge myself beyond how much I can lift (which, despite all of my trash talk, isn't that much in comparison to some other serious fitness types) and more with what I can do. I still wouldn't call myself an athlete but I am becoming a lot more athletic, and that is fun.

What I did last Thursday was not what I expected, but I guess I have to admit that it was both good and old-fashioned. What I wonder now is whether Awesome realizes the irony of our "old-fashioned" workout being the path to a new phase of my MGP goal.

Nah, he's probably out looking for a car for me to flip tomorrow morning.

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