Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My own personal Jillian Michaels

I bought the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD on sale from Amazon about a month ago and have yet to use it, although I have lots of fabulous excuses like the marathon, my IT band, post-marathon recovery, etc. But this week, I seriously can't use it. I have met the male version of Jillian and his name is Mondale. And my body is going to need about a week to recover from his beatdown.

Let me set the scene for you. After a lengthy process (about six months) of gym searching (but who needs a gym in Chicago's summer?), we finally settled on the YMCA. I was leaning that way after reading lots about it on and it's only about a 10 minute walk from here. I also read about a particular class instructor, Mondale, and how awesome his classes were. Now, it took me a long time to attend the first one. There is something a tiny bit intimidating about group exercise and I'm not sure I've ever been to a class without a friend. I was acutely feeling the loss of having gym buddies, which never affected me at our old gym because I always went with either Adam, his brother, or at a completely off-peak time when there were only 2 or 3 other people there. The Y, not so much, there are always quite a few people milling around.

I finally bite the bullet and quit being a little pansy and decide that my first group class would be Mondale's Ultimate Toning for Lower Body. I figure I just ran a marathon so my lower body is in pretty good shape. On the way to the aerobics studio, I see this guy trainer in the hallway yelling at a woman who was relatively fit. It was eerily similar to a scene from the Biggest Loser. This dude was kicking her ass and she was saying things like, "No, I can't do it any more!" and getting really whiny. It reminded me of Jillian and Amanda's dramatic treadmill scene and I even told him that he was going all Jillian Michaels on her and he just laughed at me. Probably because he saw me going upstairs to the studio and knew the pain I was about to face.

I get to the studio like a good little student 15 minutes before class. No one was there yet so I just sat down with my water bottle (THANK GOODNESS I HAD THAT!) on the floor and waited. The first lady walks in, takes one look at me, and says, "Oh honey, is this your first time? You're going to need some equipment." We went all around the room grabbing a step aerobics thing, a couple sets of free dumbbells, a big barbell and a padded weighted bar. Maybe that was it, frankly, I can't remember all the stuff we got our butts kicked with. The room fills up and we wait for Mondale.

Turns out he's the Jillian Michaels I saw beating down the woman in the hallway. Nice. He turns on the music and we start by doing about 500 lunges. My ass was kicked by just that and then he wanted us to do another 10 million lunges only with the various weights and using the stepper. My legs were shaking so bad and Mondale would come over and yell various things at me such as, "Rookie, get your legs UP" or "LOWER, LOWER, bend your knee". I'm about 99% sure (and I can say this now that it's the day after and I'm sorer than after the marathon) that I've never used about half of the muscles that I worked yesterday. When Adam was asking me last night about what we did, I really couldn't remember all the things. I just remembered that they hurt. The 45 minutes of class are like a black hole in my memory, probably because my brain couldn't be bothered to use it's memory function while it was concentrating on mere survival.

I've never felt like I was going to puke or pass out during a workout before. At one point, I had to sit down and drink some water because I just couldn't do it. WHAT? I just ran a marathon! I thought, despite my injury, that I was in pretty decent shape! Apparently not. As the 45 minutes of Lower Body wore on, people started dropping like flies. A couple of people packed it in and left. No one, not even the skinny badasses, could finish the work out completely. It was truly insane. I was completely embarrassed of my performance or lack thereof. I can't wait to redeem myself next week. My original plan was to go to his early a.m. class tomorrow but there's no way. I'll be lucky if I can walk to the gym tomorrow.

I am proud of the fact that I stayed the whole time and didn't die. I even stayed for his ab workout afterward but I kinda halfassed it because my legs were like jello. I have a LOT of work to do. The best thing was that all the regular girls in the class (and there were no men in the lower body class, WIMPS!) said that if I keep going, I'll get results really quick. It was nice too because I felt a little bit of camaraderie with my classmates. Maybe I'll end up with some gym buddies after all!

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