My body is definitely changing in many unpredictable ways. I wake up with a desire to stretch and move but most of all to really jump and dance. While the sun starts to peek out over my garden, I turn on my music and coffeemaker and start to jump rope for a few minutes, then kick off my shoes to dance around my dark kitchen. But after a few songs into my routine this morning, it occurred to me that the coffee I was drinking was totally redundant, kind of disgusting and unnecessary. I was already awake! I had an urge that I instinctively followed to toss it down the sink.
I have always been a coffee drinker. Coffee (and tea) powered me through university, early and late hours working and then when I had my son, it was the go-to drink for feeling sane and present when I was under slept or overtaxed as a mom. I never really pictured a time that I would stop wanting it, but today it just seemed obvious that I would leave it behind, at least in the mornings. How can coffee compete with a few minutes of non-stop cardio on a jump rope? Logically, which one is going to have my blood pumping more energy to my brain and every extremity on my body?
I mentioned this revelation to Bertina at the gym. Although she is a complete aficionado for really good coffee and its careful preparation, she understood what had happened to me. She counseled that I would notice a lot of natural changes in my diet during this physical fitness journey. The body starts to ask for different things from us based upon new physical needs and a new healthy reality. You cannot workout and cleanse your body and then try to give it any kind of junk or unwanted provision. It doesn’t feel right; it’s not palatable to our senses.
During this morning’s workout, I am savoring all the fun that we are having training together. Two people definitely double the fun and I love when we warm up jumping rope inside the same cord- so much more exciting! Two weeks ago, when we started co-jumping together like little girls outside on Calle Xalteva, we were frustrated that we could only do a few revolutions before getting all tangled up in a mess. The next week we were thrilled when we had increased our record to 12, then 24, and then 36 rotations. Today, we are almost up to 50 turns and Bertina is twirling around singing as we go.
My trainers always aim to introduce something new and challenging that raises the bar for me or takes me to a part of the gym that I would never go to on my own. Today, before she has me sink down into a wall sit, Bertina passes me an X-Heavy resistance band to wrap around my legs, so that while we are hovering at a 90 degree angle, we can push our thighs out and back with opposition to get extra hip and inner thigh muscle attention. It burns like all get up, but it is an awesome, stuff-is-really-going-on kind of heat and since I am wearing a short tennis skirt for fun (more unpredictable changes), I am reminded that it is grueling exercises like these that make the legs extra curvy and strong in the end.
Today, Bertina initiated another brilliant team exercise called Amazon rolls. Bertina lays down on the ground, I jump over her body, pop out into a plank and lay down beside her. Then we roll over 360 degrees side by side. Next, she jumps up to leap over my body, planks down beside me and we roll over side by side back again the other way. Chris films this routine, which is just the kind of combo move I am attracted to because it reminds me of when I was dancing growing up.
The playback on the video looks really great, but I can already see how we are going to keep improving it as we get more coordinated. What kind of extra power jump can we add in as we leap over each other?
Finally, Chris takes us back to the weights section to do pull-ups! Oh my god, how I want to do them, but in my mind I am already thinking about how far up the bar is and how long and wimpy my arms are. Never mind that, I get to watch Bertina go first. As strong as she is (if I could describe every muscle that shows in her back while she is pulling up…), Chris is still there to support her up from the bottom where her ankles hover in the air crossed. Her very effort to defy gravity creates incredible muscle tension throughout her upper body that inspires me back into action. I realize again it’s not about getting it perfect, it’s hacking away at the centimeters of progress until someday you are where you had hoped to be.
I take my chance and I give it my all. Between Chris and I, and the tension that he allows me to endure so that when I arrive I feel that I am successful, we get over the top of the bar, down and up and then one last more. Three assisted pull-ups in two sets and this is enough and all I can do for today’s conquest.
But as Bertina says as a warning and a reality check, If you can do it in one month, I am going to be really upset, because it took me years to get here!