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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"Try-Athletes": Check Yourself

There was no rehearsal today so we were able to go home and nap before it was time for Spin class. When I got home, I was frozen half to death.

Now, there are few things in the world that I truly, truly hate. And when I say 'hate', I do mean despise with the passion of the burning, fiery pits of hell. Extreme temperatures are definitely on my Hate List. So what was I thinking when I decided to traipse across the continent, moving from Newfoundland to Alberta? Oh yeah, I needed a job in order to set my career rolling.

Now, parts of both Newfoundland and Alberta lie in the Subarctic Belt. Look it up, it's true. However, their climates are a bit different given that one province is in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and the other is landlocked. Alberta's climate can range from -50 to +50. Isn't that lovely? Extreme weather, as in storms, etc. are exciting, but extreme temperatures of hot and cold are brutal.

Anyway, today, I was laying on the couch, under a blanket, frozen half to death, and wondering if getting up to go to Spin would be worth it, or if I should just throw in the towel. I was tired, I was hungry and too lazy to make anything, and I was cold. I wanted to take a hot bath and go to bed.

My alarm clocks kept ringing. I have multiple alarms because I sleep through everything. Then I got pi$$y and I was contrary.

So I was cold, tired, hungry and annoyed. I went to get dressed and found out that I have huge burning dry skin patches all over both of my arms and my hands. W... T... F...

And I mean burning, red, dry skin. I thought I should put on some Aveeno cream because I don't want to have painful dry skin.

It wasn't dry skin.

It was a rash of some sort, and it was painful. So my internal temperature went through the roof. My hands started swelling and I was a bit of a vicious wolverine.

I was not a happy camper as I walked out the door into the freezing cold wonderful beautiful lovely subarctic freezer of a city we call home so I could make my way to Jenny's house. I wanted to roll up my sleeves so I could have Arctic Cold Rash but I didn't because I was afraid I would end up with Frostbite Rash.

After all of this, wouldn't it just be easier to stay home? Isn't it always something with me? Drama, drama, drama, always.

When Jenny and I talked about it, she said that it's only like this because we are trying to change our lives. If we were at home on the couch eating potato chips, nothing would be happening. We only get headaches and rashes and pneumonia because we are out trying to get healthy. I'm not sure about the logic but I suppose she could be right. At least we have interesting lives. Meanwhile, I have boiled-lobster-coloured limbs.

I had taken some brownies with me for the trip and chewed them savagely as I drove to Jenny's house.

Jenny brought me water so I didn't choke on the brownies as we drove to Lisa's house. We got a text from Lisa when we were halfway there, saying that she was going to drive down herself as soon as Andrew got home. She has a baby and he is not old enough to babysit himself yet, so she can't just up and leave or she will go to jail for abandonment.

Jenny and I talk about our day and she asks if I'd be interested in going to a Barons game. 'Yeah, for sure,' I say, 'why?' She tells me she is excited because they are doing well, and the captain of the team is billeted at her house and he is like her little brother. She and her roommate, the guy who owns the house, are his biggest fans. So, the Barons are doing well :) and we are showing our support for Fort McMurray's finest :) Go, Adam! And actually, Go, Father Time & Top Gun, too! Woooo! To the opponents of the Barons: "You better check yourself, before you wreck yourself!" (Due Date).

We got to Spin Class and I started warming up on the Good Bikes early. Worst. Idea. Ever. You wanna know why? Because warming up early means you are on the bike longer, that's why. So while everyone is doing a 40 minute ride, I really did a 50 minute and 50 second ride. I wanted to die. I think I had an acid trip in there but I'm not even sure about it. That's a long time on the bike. I can do a lot more stuff on the bike now that I couldn't do before, like stand for long periods of time, etc., but it's not like I am Lance Armstrong or anything. When I get tired, I sit down. I keep pedaling, but my arse hits the seat.

At one point, Jenny looked at me and said that she could feel her legs beating into her fat on her belly. I could, too - feel my fat, I mean! When Holly tells us to sprint on the bikes, sometimes it is difficult because if you are leaning over, and your knees are really givin'er, those knees are pumping hard and fast. And if you are a big girl, then each time your knee comes up, it is meeting a wall of fatness and that wall of fatness is getting a beatdown with each knee.

Now, the key to doing well on the bike is to keep steady and straight while you pedal your guts out. You hold your abs in, put it up on Gear 95 and just pedal flat out until one of your knees busts off, you die of exhaustion or your nose starts bleeding from the acid trip you are experiencing, whichever comes first. No big deal. But you gotta keep steady and straight.

If you are wiggling side to side, or if you are reaching too far with your pedals, or if you are moving off your seat, then YOU. ARE. DOING. IT. WRONG. And you gotta get your sh!t together. Everything on those bikes is adjustable so you can fix every little thing to your specific requirements, so there is no excuse as to why you should be doing something wrong. Get it together or find somewhere else to work out, man. No losers here.

Just an observation, not an excuse:

Picture this, if you will:

* You are fat and you are givin'er on the pedals...

* Each of your knees comes up with the force of 500 horses on speed and hits your chest full on, dead centre

* Each knee does this rapid fire, repeatedly

* You try your best to hold in your abs, keep your hands firmly cemented onto the bike handles and keep your legs going

* You also try not to let the acid trip get the best of you

Things can get a little out of control after awhile so you really have to keep a tight handle on everything and it is easy to get a little frazzled and whatnot. You can only take so many knees to the chest area before it's fighting time.

Jenny said her vag was busted again. She hasn't been there in awhile. I told her my arse was pure busted. The bikes are dangerous. There should be hazard signs posted.

We went for a walk after the bikes. People were running but we only run when we are passing people who are slower walkers than us. They are usually the pregnant people, the seniors and the people who have various illnesses. We just wait for a good time and then jog around them as if we run all the time. We don't want to make them feel bad. We just want to look kind of decent.

During the walk portion, we evaluated ourselves again. We have been at this for over a month. We have made many changes. We are doing much better than we were doing 2 months ago. We have commited ourselves to this lifestyle and have taken time off only because we were sick. We constantly reassure ourselves that we are doing a great job. Sometimes it is hard to know if we are - we show up and we work hard but results aren't immediate. We take the advice, "You better check yourself before you wreck yourself!" (Due Date) to heart.

I thought a Life Change like this would be tougher than it is. There are a few things about this that are challenging, but like Holly says, "You only work as hard as you make yourself work." And, in the beginning, Nancy told us to work at our own pace and as we got more in shape, we would get better and stronger.

So for me, at least, the time commitment is tough. It's nice to come home and do nothing else after a full day of work and then a couple of hours of rehearsal. I also feel guilty about leaving Harley for another couple of hours every evening. My poor dog is becoming as savage as a wolf.

Food choices - you have to do what works for you and know that working out is only part of the health stuff. Your body is a reflection of what you put into it. So if you put crap in there, you are going to feel like crap.

This is what we have learned so far. We have learned that you pay for what you eat - whether that has been the things you have eaten over the course of your life (all the fat you have to burn off) or the things you ate only recently (the Crispers and burgers that threaten to come flying out of your esophagus when you are spitting up water in the pool or when you are going hardcore on the bike).

Oddly enough, we didn't make this a New Year's Resolution but we are working awfully hard to make this a reality.

We decided to have steak after Spin. We needed protein. We think the rash came from the hand towels that restaurants give you when you get wings. Yes, we had wings at lunch. I washed my hands, and maybe it crawled up my arms because my skin is dry. I don't know. Maybe I'm just nasty. Ugh... check, please!

P.S.: Wetnaps are an issue between Jenny and me. One day, at our friendly neighbourhood pub, Paddy's, we were eating wings. There were a few people there. I finished my wings and took a wetnap. One wasn't enough to wash my hands because they were really dirty. So, looking around, I thought that everyone had one, so I took another one. It looked to me like there were lots of wetnaps. And I am sure there were.

Meanwhile, on Jenny's ranch, she was up to her elbows in wing sauce of some kind or another, and she just came up for air. She looked around, and the pure devil came out of her. She had no wetnaps. I am sure someone took her wetnaps, but I was blamed for it. So, Jenny had dirty paws and no way to clean them right at the table. She was rotten. She said that I took all the wetnaps to wash my hands, my face, my arms and my boots, and probably even took some home. Now, wetnaps are rationed out to me at every restaurant we go to. Jenny is in charge of all the wetnaps. I only get one unless there are lots. You just ask Jenny to tell the wetnap story.

But you know what I think? They can keep their stupid wetnaps if they are passing on Wet Nap Rashes to everyone.

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