My trainer must want me dead. That can be the only explanation for what happened today at the Y.
It was my first full session with Jackie Vroman, who, despite my above statement, is quickly becoming my guru. She's sweet and encouraging, but she proved today that she's going to push me as hard as she can to help me get results.
She really did. We started with arms. At first I thought, "This is easy. Really? Just 12 bicep curls and three other arm exercises with 8-pound weights? Piece of cake." Two minutes later, I was sweating and my arms ached. That's when she said we'd be doing three sets of all four exercises.
"How? How will that be possible?" I thought.
That pattern of thinking went on for the duration of the hour, with me questioning how I would complete the task provided -- everything from lunges to these weird back kick movements -- and, for the most part, finding one last bit of energy to push through.
How hard was it? Twice I had to ask to stop because my heart was racing, pounding out of my chest. At one point I felt so light-headed I literally could not focus on the words coming out of her mouth.
Meanwhile -- as I'm face down on a weight bench, sweating onto the mat, face apple red, grunting my way through one last tricep exercise -- there are a couple of guys circling the weight room who looked like they belonged there. I laughed to myself when I imagined what they must have thought, as I laid there like sweaty roadkill.
Yes, for many reasons, today was an exercise in humility. But Jackie reassured me that strength-training gets much easier fairly quickly. And soon, 8-pound weights will seem like child's play, and I'll be able to do a ton more lunges without wanting to kill myself.
For now -- body aching absolutely everywhere, to the point of being scared to have to climb stairs -- I remain embarrassingly out of shape.
However, one piece of good news: After one week of exercise and calorie counting, I'm down seven pounds. Woo hoo!