Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Fat Lady on a Treadmill - Some Cans Should Remain Unopened

Have you ever opened a can of Whoop Ass? On yourself?

I have to confess. For the last few weeks I’ve been coasting. Yeah, I’ve been going to the pit everyday minus the road trip days, and those have been way too many of late. By coasting, I mean I haven’t pushed myself to do more. I’ve been content with the status quo. Same number of reps here, same program there. Maybe a little dew falling, but not too much. Shave a few reps off to save time (as if I have something better to do), skip that machine because I don’t want to wait for the guy in jeans to finish doing his thing. Coasting. I’d put the Classic Caddie in neutral and hadn’t even noticed.

After another extended road trip complete with a no holds barred food fest I knew I had to change things. I’d become too complacent and laziness beckoned. I could see it, hovering there, calling my name. I’d become bored with my workout. I had mastered the art of just getting by. Sure, my state of laziness now is light years away from my pre-pit days. I patted myself on the back. Yep, at least I put my transmission in gear, all be it a low gear. Today I decided it was time to shift gears.

Instead of the fat burner program on the ¾ rack, and in honor of last weekend’s road trip to the summit of Mt. Washington, I selected the hills program and in so doing opened a big ‘ole can of Whoop Ass. I made it up the first hill, congratulated myself on the accomplishment and started up the second one with more confidence than was warranted. My lungs struggled to suck oxygen out of the thinned air atop the imaginary mountain. My legs protested the climb. I hung onto the walking sticks with white knuckles. Why…? My brain screamed at me. Because you have too much junk in the trunk, I answered myself.

I longed to pull over and empty the trunk, but I knew the only way to lighten the load was to keep pushing it up the hills. One by one I climbed them; each one a bigger challenge than the one before. Jerry Lee Lewis sang about great thighs of fire. I knew exactly what he was talking about. At the bottom of each hill I coasted, sucking in as much oxygen rich air as I could, preparing for the next mini-mountain. They came. They went. I trudged onward, determined to reach the summit and plant my victory flag.

Minutes crept by. As I approached each hill I argued with my body.

You can do it.

No I can’t.

Yes you can.

Half an hour later I reached the summit and planted my dew soaked flag. I’d opened the can of Whoop Ass and survived.

A year ago I purchased a can of seasoned turnip greens. They’ve been on the pantry shelf ever since. I’ve picked up that can countless times, given it a once over and set it aside. As a Southern woman I’ve eaten my share of fresh turnip greens and never found them particularly appetizing. What made me think a tin can would improve them I can’t say, but there it sits, waiting to be opened.

I took a chance today opening the can of Whoop Ass. I’m glad I did. I’m glad I pushed myself toward a higher goal. It feels good to once again be working for something and I’m looking forward to heading back to the pit tomorrow and giving those hills another try. Maybe I’ll even add a few reps to the resistance weights. The can of turnip greens will remain on the shelf, a reminder that some cans should remain unopened. I think I’ll pick up a fresh can of Whoop Ass though, just in case boredom rears its ugly head again. Next time I won’t be afraid to open it.

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