This week’s challenge came in the form of my first H.I.T class. High-intensity interval training proved to be frustratingly hard. Mostly because I feel there should be 2 I’s in the acronym even though one is hyphenated – am I right ladies? Yeah ok, just me. I’ve discovered a pattern in all these gym classes, they all start off at a reasonable pace with aerobic moves like “skiing-move” on a box thing to J-Lo’s “Let’s get loud”; a crowd-pleaser obviously because who doesn’t love Miss Lopez, I know I do. But just when you’ve settled into the frame of mind of a sexy salsa dancer and are almost awaiting your young Richard Gere, they tell you to do as many press-ups as you can in 30seconds.
Now, they say as many as YOU can do, but when you’re in a class with fit mums, trophy wives, women who are so stinking successful that they’ve retired at 35 and now take H.I.T classes at 9.15am on a Tuesday and Asian grandmothers who apparently love J-Lo as much as I do, and THEY are all doing 100 press-ups in 30 seconds, I think they expect you to do just as many, if not more. I was discouraged at first because I was still trying to figure out if a press-up was just a push-up by a different name and then the trainer said “OK NOW LADIES! TRICEP PRESS-UPS!” I was convinced my brain had stopped computing anything. But then I saw an Asian grandma that was clearly new to the clan and like me, it was her first day – oh brother, did she look how I felt. It’s clearly going to take me some time to get used to this whole fitness thing and to decipher the differences (if there are any?) between a push and a press but I’ve decided to use the fit women as a life-goal instead and take solace in the fact that I am not alone in my plight against lethargy – Asian gran and the oh-so-essential sports bra will be supporting me all the way.
Also fitness instructors, not only was this one smiling throughout this whole regime of ups and downs, press-ups/push-ups, damn squats and what she calls “The superwoman” but at the end of the class my friend mentioned that she was over 60 (did not look it) and was in fact, a grandmother. I mean geez, become a motivational speaker already. To give you a taste of what H.I.T feels like I dare you to try these Hump Day treats. Don’t try David though.
Here are things related to fitness I approve of
One of many things you should know about me is that I have tall-man syndrome. I’m always incredibly surprised when I see a photo of myself in relation to something regular sized where I look short. I’ve been 5ft 2inches for about 7 years – complete denial. I bring this up because the mall I work at decided to have a promotional weekend to “welcome” Santa for Christmas. Every good promo needs T-shirts and we were accidently delivered a box of male t-shirts for a group that consisted of 7 females and 3 men. The shirt I was given although a men’s small went down past my shorts. Today I wrapped presents for children and sold gift cards and directed customers all the while giving the illusion that I had a very strong aversion to pants and felt very strongly about dressing inappropriately around customers that can afford not just regular pants but very high-end ones.
Re-learning that I am indeed short wasn’t the only discovery I made, however. Turns out going to the gym makes you feel worse because you are in pain when working out, in pain the day after, and dying from pain the day after that. Also turns out that I have little to no upper body strength, which is a fact, I discovered when attempting to bench press a little over 6kgs at the request of a trainer. At this point, I think she’s doing it just to get a laugh. Considering how difficult it was and the fact that I have nothing to compare it to I mistakenly boasted to my cousin that I had indeed bench-pressed and was now an athlete. In disbelief, he retorted that he had a mate who warmed up with 40kgs. My cousins essentially friend bench a 7th grader and I can bench a fat puppy. Who really wins this scenario?
Despite failing in height and well…life @whatthehallelujah on Instagram remained well filtered and the one selfie did not reveal the strain involved in raising the camera to double-chin-diminishing height because I’d tried to lift a weighted bar the previous day. It didn’t even show you the pyjamas and uniform I spent most of my week in but rather the one-day I decided to make myself look human because the public isn’t ready for this jelly.
Although everyone ranted and raved about Kim Kardashian’s nude photoshoot for Paper magazine, few actually read the article, which notes how Kardashian “reveals very little yet foster a sense of closeness”. Celebrities and bloggers – the experts at the ideal life constantly update photos to document their lives, which give their fans and readers a sliver of their reality but mostly a huge misconception to the reality of most. A picture may be worth a thousand words but it is important to know that while candid pictures may embody this saying mostly Kardashian doesn’t spend her time on a stool, covered in baby oil and an odd bun and the photos are manufactured and filtered for popular consumption.
To whom it may concern,
Never in my life have I kept up with a New Year’s resolution or even remembered it a month later. This resolution is different; it’s an attempt to live the life of people we all envy, those who appear to have it all. Except there’s a lot of effort involved. I don’t mean having it all in the material sense but those out there who have their life “sorted”, their shit together if you will.
For the next 6 weeks, I will attempt to live the insta-filtered life that is constantly shown to us with ludicrous descriptions e.g. Lazy morning. Breakfast in bed #parfait. Cue picture of emaciated legs in an all-white bed with a parfait on the bed. Woman, you got out of bed and made yourself a parfait, got back in bed, took a well-lit and filtered photo and engaged in social media. Don’t lie to me. When I have a lazy morning I’m in bed thinking about how long I can stay snuggled before I pee myself.
I will reveal the hard work it takes to live this “balanced lifestyle” of managing it all: work/social life/experiencing culture through new books, films/eating healthy-ish/working out/have some form of spirituality grounding me so I don’t become a serial killer and you can feel better about yourself. The hope of this project is really a way to disguise working out and eating healthy as a social experiment to keep me interested and accountable. I promise to give you the un-adulterated truth of the struggle and nothing more. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit so by the end of this experiment I may be the girl you envy on Instagram because she’s got a parfait but chances are I won’t be.
With all goals come planning – work somehow worked its way in 6 days out of this week but the trick is managing the rest. My gym Contours Greenlane has given me an amazing 2 months free membership and tomorrow they offer a class called ‘Total Sculpt’. It is described as a total weight training workout designed to tone and define the body while also improving muscle balance and strength – neither of which I have. It will improve my posture, increase my currently non-existent lean muscle and see that my body fat melt away.
For someone who considered carrying her cello from the car to the house a full arm workout only one word comes to mind. It’s a bad word. Today also marks the start of a book my dad gave me, which I promptly neglected ‘ the Same kind of different as me’ which is about the sweetest title I’ve heard.
The goals of this week are starting off reasonably doable:
To attend 2 ‘Total sculpt’ classes
Workout 2 more times
Discover the delightfulness of a homemade smoothie
Start and finish the book
Work 6 days a week
Not to die