Bear Crawls through a Football Field
I arrive at Conquer Fitness a little early and jump on the treadmill. Normally I just do any easy warm up – 3.5 speed with 1.2 incline, but today I’m feeling more awake so I move up to a 5.0 jog, then 6.5 run hoping to redeem myself from the “I Skipped Cardio” debacle of the last session. My trainer, Robin, walks up to me, adjusts the incline to 3.0 and then walks away. Grrr.
He’s setting everything up for the workout. Today is back day, thank God. I start chitchatting with another women until her eyes open wide and she says, “I think it’s time for you to work out,” as the shadow of Robin casts down upon us.
Oh shit! He laughs as I scurry over to do shoulder presses. “I’m glad you guys are bonding over there, but it’s time to start.” He sniffs the air. “Are you wearing Bengay?”
“It’s my new moisturizer after the last leg session. Also, I did two (2) cardio workouts yesterday, just to make up for the one I missed. Don’t kill me again.”
He laughed, but he nodded his head. “That’s good.” We discussed cardio, the importance of rest and hydration as we moved through the myriad back exercises, the weight ever increasing.
“You know, when I was playing college football I missed a workout once. My coach pulled me outside and made me do bear crawls across the entire football field. This was Indiana; there was snow and ice on the field! Ask me how many workouts I missed my entire college career.”
“ONE!” He laughed.
The gym is crowded this morning. Lots of trainers with their clients and everyone does a kind of organized dance to share the equipment without stopping anyone’s flow. We move over to the squat rack, I’m guessing to do bent over rows, but no, it’s to do squats. He places a box beneath me with two plates on top and I have to tap it when I come down.
“Um, ok. That’s my birthday number, at least for another week.” I start squatting. “Faster.” I go faster and my legs begin to shake as I try to keep consistent pace.” I rack it up and begin to distance myself.
“No, you’ve got four sets of 40.”
“But it’s not leg day!”
“Go. Wide stance now.” I start squatting. He removes the top plate. “That’s too easy for you. You can go lower.”
40 reps are up and my legs are shaking uncontrollably. “Oh, nothing but hate!” he laughs. “She’s not even looking at me,” he begins to bob and weave so I have to see him laughing at me.
A trainer next to us says, “Look at her legs shake! She hates you.”
“I did two cardio workouts yesterday! Why are you making me bear crawl through the football field today!?!”
He laughs again. “You’ll hate me today, but love me in March. Deep squats now.” He removes the last plate. I’m going slower, grunting and my entire body is sweating. He is standing behind me now, spotting the bar. “If it’s too heavy, I’ll take it off your back.”
“You won’t need to do that,” I said between gritted teeth.
“Oh?” he sounded surprised (with a touch of impressed) and stepped back. I finished the last two sets.
“You just did 160 squats in 5 minutes,” he said.
“Yeah?” I’m out of breath, but smiling.
I drive home and then get a text. “Good job today. I like your change in attitude.”
“Thanks. Just want to look good at the Arnold.” Then I thought about it a little more. “You know, I’ve only ever come in last place in any of my shows. I’m so tired of losing all the time.”
“Let’s fix that.”
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