Monday, June 3, 2013

Taking it to the next level

He-who-trains is to trying to kill me. Again.

Of course, I'm grateful, because I know he is trying to help me break out of this (nasty, awful, growl-inducing, whine worthy) plateau.  This latest "Force-Kim's-body-to-quit-pitching-a-tempter-tantrum" program involves two days of a whole-body workout, which is considerably amped up from the one or two muscle group workouts I was doing. But that's not the most fun part of my gym week. Because for the other three days, I'm on the bike.  The idea of sitting on my butt and having some time to think sounded lovely, but of course that's not what He-who-trains had in mind.  So it's thirty seconds of a hard sprint, and a minute of soft pedal recovery, for twenty cycles. I was pretty excited when he first told me about it, because hey! You can do anything for thirty seconds, right? And besides, it sounded a lot easier than the four minute sprints and two minutes of recovery that I've done for forty-five minutes. Or three minute sprints and two minute recovery that I'd do for ninety minutes. But let me be honest. When you're only sprinting for thirty seconds, you're supposed to be able to exert a lot more power and speed.  That thirty seconds, short though it sounds, is probably the closest thing to hell I've ever experienced.

I've gotten to the point where I'm talking to myself. I learned the "put-your-head-down-and-shut-out-the-world-and-push-as-hard-as-you-can" lesson several months ago. I've learned how to go to "that place"and dig deep to find reserves of strength and energy.  But now it's not enough. Because every single time the clock tells me it's time to sprint again, I want to quit.  I want to cheat and go a little easier -- or "accidentally" forget that it's time to sprint. So every single sprint requires a pep talk, which goes something like this. "You want the body more than you want to be comfortable. You want to be healthy. Fight for what you want.  Get mad. Use it. Dontgiveupdontgiveupdontyoudarequitonthisyoukeepgoingitsonlythirtysecondsgogogogo."

Every now and then, someone out of the group who has become my community will get on the bike next to me. As I get tired, they will begin to cheer me on.  That rocks to have people like that.  But it's funny, because while I'm vaguely aware of what they're doing, I can't really hear them. My head is down, I'm blasting my music as loud as it will go, and I'm making the ugliest face you've ever seen.  I'm in a place far away.  He-who-trains is always talking to me about taking it to the next level in the gym.  The next level, I'm realizing, is the place where I've learned to push myself to give it all that I have--not because someone is cheering me on, but because this is the thing I want for me. The thing I want most.

I saw this shirt the other day while I was shopping, and I should've gotten it.  Because when I look in the mirror, that's the question I ask myself. (Yeah, yeah-- I'm sure this is meant as a snarky, trash-talk thing-- but there's no one in the gym that I need to trash talk to. I don't care what "they" are doing!) When I leave the gym, dripping with sweat and too tired to move, I have to answer that person in the mirror. I always want to answer "Yeah, that's all I had. It wasn't easy, but I'm willing to work for what I want. I did it for me."