Saturday had us doing four circuits for eight minutes a piece. In those circuits you had to AMRAP – as many repetitions as possible. I’ve come to see that phrase AMRAP and heave internally. AMRAP is hard.
There was rowing and burpees – hands down on the ground, legs jump back, chest and hips down to the ground, push up, jump feet back to hands, trying to keep them flat, jump up then jump up in the air. DIE DIE DIE A THOUSAND DEATHS. Burpees are exercise hell and nirvana all rolled into one. A huge whole body fitness trip in one exercise while being an absolute hell ‘maybe I should just vomit now’ experience.
There was a kilometre run and kettle bell thrusts which sound sexy but involve lifting a weight (12kgs in my case but there are people in the room lifting 24kg ones) I liken to the ball from a ball and chain up and over your head then back down and back up and so on. There were box jumps, which are as ridiculous as they sound – a big box you are meant to JUMP UP ONTO. I step up because, quite frankly, falling arse over tit OVER a box is just too much even for me.
There was more running with pushups – as many sets of 200 metre runs and 10 pushups you could do in 8 minutes (4 sets + 150m for me) – but the absolute kicker? A 800 metre run carrying a sandbag on your back. I have no idea how much the sandbag weighed, probably 12 or 15kgs, but my GOD carrying it on my back? In the last circuit? After three other circuits? It might as well have been a chopped up corpse of a grown man such was what it felt like.
Fun fun fun
I started out OK but then, somewhere around 200 metres, I hit the wall. My whole body turned to lead. I let out a cry and came to a stop only to have this gruff panting voice bark at me from behind, ‘come on, you can do it. Don’t stop.’ One of the blokes was actually behind me. I put this down to the fact his sandbag was even heavier than mine and he’d been outstripping my effort on every other workout.
But then I was stuck. My body was screaming for me to stop but Brook behind me wouldn’t let that happen. So run I must and run I did. The whole way. Without stopping.
When I run I have to force the ‘well this is just fucking ridiculous’ thoughts out and replace them with idiotic lines like ‘my legs are like feathers! Light! Dancing on the wind!’ and ‘light of foot, light of foot’. I know. What an idiot. Needless to say my brain was following more ‘legs like feathers fuck off light as a feather you are a fucking moron light of foot light of foot this is fucking ridiculous what are you doing you idiot’ and less ‘ fast as a cheetah, light as a feather’.
By the time I ran back UP.THE.RAMP. to the gym and to its doors I was comfortable in the knowledge I was going to either vomit or pass out or perhaps both.
And then I realised something. There was still almost 2 mintues left for that circuit. I had run 800 metres with a sandbag on my back - after all the rest - in six minutes. SIX MINUTES.
This was both spectacular and fucking unlucky as I then had to see out to the eight minutes doing as many sit-ups as I could.
I admit I did just lie on the floor for some time trying to get some oxygen back into my body but I did it. 20 sit-ups.
What then unfolded was the realisation that me, lying on my stomach trying to roll a tennis ball around my shoulder joint is laughable when faced with Patti and Selma. Those girls mean that I need more basketball than tennis ball. There was much body-heaving laughter at this with the girls I’ve become friends with.
And you know what? Laughter after an excruciating work-out is as glorious as laughter through tears.