Our long stretch of ruthlessly cold weather had me wimping out of my walk to work more often than not, which wouldn’t be so bad except I’d been simultaneously reneging on my workouts at home. Add to that the extra holiday treats, and I felt like a slimy slug sitting on a platter of poutine left too long on the counter, growing fuzzy around the edges.
“I’ve gotten bored with my routine,” I told the girls at coffee break one morning. “Maybe I should buy myself a new workout DVD.”
That’s when Brandy made the brilliant suggestion of trading DVDs, thereby giving us both a fresh workout without spending a dime. I gave her my Jillian Michael’s “Yoga Meltdown” and she gave me Jillian’s “Ripped in 30.”
Five days later, I finally popped in the disk, ready to give it a whirl. The title isn’t lying when it calls the workout “Ripped in 30.” It took me about 30 seconds to rip something.
But I soldiered on. The DVD gives you four completely different workouts, each more challenging than the next. As I sweated and panted through the first, I wondered what the 30 actually stood for. Years? Because that will make me a heck of a fit 85-year-old one day.
Upper body strength is not my forte. I do the girlie push-ups, on my knees, and it still requires Herculean effort to push past four. But at least Jillian shows the decency to place them early in the routine when you still possess enough energy to fake your way through it before moving on.
The aerobic and abdominal bits are killers, but they’re mercifully short. You can handle any amount of pain if you know it’s only for one minute, or even two. Right?
Afterwards, I felt certain I’d never make it back upstairs on my jelly legs, which wouldn’t have been such a bad outcome. There’s a bed and bathroom downstairs. If I could simply recruit my husband to bring me food and books, I’d have all I require for a happy life.
My little fantasy ended abruptly when I discovered I’d somehow made it to the top of the stairs after all. Bummer.
The idea is to do the first workout five or six times the first week, then progress to the second. By the end of the fourth week/workout, you’ve become what’s known in fitness circles as “ripped.” For me, it will prove enough of a challenge to stay on the first level for a month before attempting the next. That method may not sell more DVDs for Jillian, but I sincerely doubt she is hurting.
And you know what? I could spread this thing out over four years and feel at peace about that. Because, as Jillian says, “it’s not about perfection. Transformation is not a future event. It’s a present activity.”
So, that’s my new year’s challenge to you. Start the transformation! Heave your sorry carcass off the couch and drag it around the block. Dust off your old exercise video. But don’t wait. And if you miss a workout, don’t allow it to paralyze you. Just start again the next day.
If I can suffer, so can you.
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