Working It Out

I’m aware the title of this post is a bold statement. But it’s really the only way to describe what I did this morning.

(I’m also aware just YESTERDAY I said I wasn’t going to talk about working out all the time. But I’m boring. And a liar. Deal with it.)

I’ve mentioned before the intense Epic classes that I signed up for with my friend Diana. What I have not mentioned?

Burpee Thursdays.

What is a Burpee Thursday, you ask? I’ll elaborate.

The class is broken into eight stations. Each station is comprised of some kind of toning move followed by five burpees. You perform each station five times before moving on to the next station. You have 45 seconds to perform each set.

So, for example, at one station you might do five dead lifts followed by five burpees. Five times. Then, at another station, you might do a box jump followed by five burpees. Five times.

Occasionally you finish the set before the 45 seconds are up, which means you have time to fit a few more burpees in. (Lucky you!)

I’ll save you the head scratching and just tell you that all of that averages out to at least 200 burpees per class.

I know you’re no doubt a busy person, so you probably read the last sentence kind of quickly and the meaning didn’t truly sink in for you. So I’m going to need you to pause for a second and really think about that.

Two. Hundred. Burpees.

In case you are unfamiliar with burpees (in which case, you were probably pretty perplexed at the 800 references to them I made above), this is a burpee.

It might look like the slightly more energetic cousin of the jumping jack, but rest assured — it’s so, so much worse.

If you don’t believe me, get on the floor right now and do ten in a row. Just ten. Go on, I’ll wait. I DARE YOU.

Now that we are all in agreement that these things are the work of the devil, it seems only fitting to remind you that I did over two hundred of them this morning.

TWO HUNDRED, YOU GUYS.

Even crazier? It’s the second time I’ve taken this class. The first time, I think it was actually worse because I had no idea what to expect and I was by myself. This time, it was still a beast, but at least I had my pal Diana to grumble with.

In case you were wondering, this is what you look like after you’ve done over 200 burpees:

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Diana defies the laws of science and logic with her ability to still look cute. (I credit the mystical powers of her entirely jade outfit.) I look appropriately near death.

Of course, the obvious benefit to doing The Hardest Workout You’ve Ever Done (besides bragging about it 8,000 times in your next blog post) is that you feel like a warrior princess the rest of the day. No matter what you accomplish for the next 12 hours, you’re doing this in your head:

XZr1Ndn

Because you accomplished anything after doing over 200 burpees. (Say “over 200 burpees” again.)

And that, my friends, is pretty epic.

You know what we haven’t talked about in, oh, four posts or so? Working out.

About a week ago, Chobani reached out to me and asked if I wanted to review some of their product. They’d noticed that I cook with Greek yogurt often (exhibit A, exhibit B, exhibit C, and exhibit D), but that I typically prefer Fage and would I be willing to try out cooking with Chobani. Obviously, I was thrilled to be asked (I never say no to Greek yogurt) and happily accepted.

As if that weren’t enough, they also offered me an invitation to a special Chobani workout at Barry’s Bootcamp specifically for bloggers and media members.

Um…free workout? I’m down.

I don’t know if any of you have ever tried Barry’s, but it’s pretty hardcore. It’s broken down into alternating sessions of treadmill sprints/incline runs and weights/step/bands.

IMG_5073They also keep the mood lighting appropriately intense.

I run pretty regularly, but I’m a distance runner. Hills/sprints kick my butt. And 20 straight minutes of lunges, squats, and step moves didn’t make it any easier.

By the time I left the class, I could barely walk down the steps to the subway. That, my friends, is a good workout.

IMG_5075Plus, class ended with a free Chobani protein smoothie. Can’t beat that.

IMG_5094So sweaty. So thirsty for yogurt smoothie.

I don’t know if I’ll attend another Barry’s for a while (it’s a wee bit expensive), but it was fun trying something new.

Thanks again for the invite, Chobani!

When my friend Diana asked me if I wanted to join her for a new workout class last night, all I knew about the class was that it was called “Epic” and that Diana said it was hard.

I think it’s fair to assume that no one has ever described me as epic physically.

I mean, I work out. I’ve survived three half marathons. But epic? When I think of epic, I think of this:

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Or, you know, maybe this:

original

But I certainly don’t think of this:

IMG_0367

Which, yeah, is how I think of myself most of the time.

But anyway. I decided, sure, I could use some more epic in my life and signed up for the class. I’m a bit of a masochist when it comes to exercise anyway, so the challenge appealed to me.

I arrived at the Epic Hybrid Training Center Wednesday night about 15 minutes before the class, which was one of those courses designed to train you for a Spartan run. (Eep.) It was the type of small group that acted like they were all already friends, making me assume they had all taken the class several times before. (AKA, no one was all that friendly and they all acted tougher than they were.)

To my relief, though, only a few people looked significantly more in shape than I am. I had harbored a tiny fear that everyone would walk in looking like an actual Spartan, and I felt a lot better that most of them looked like they too spent their days behind a desk.

The gym itself looked like most CrossFit-style workout facilities — a variety of hanging ropes, bars, and sand bags surrounded us, along with jump ropes, raised platforms, kettle bells, mats, etc.

Diana arrived, we exchanged “let’s do this” glances, and class began.

By the time it was over, I was literally dripping with sweat. It was an intense workout, and there were definitely moves that I can’t do yet, but I was pleased to find that there was really only one circuit I found impossible to do at this point. (I’m looking at you, swinging/rotating monkey bars.) I’d never really considered doing a Spartan Run, but, hey, maybe, right?

Either way, it was a great workout. (An epic workout even??) I started feeling sore pretty much the moment I got home last night.

I have four more classes as part of the Groupon I purchased for the gym, and I’m actually looking forward to getting my butt kicked a few more times. I’m beginning to think I should make purchasing random class Groupons more of a habit — for the sake of a blog post at least, right?

Who knows, maybe I’m a bit more epic than I give myself credit for.

And that’s how I wound up naked in a building in the middle of Manhattan.

Hmm? What’s that? You find my Tarantino-start-at-the-end-and-work-your-way-back-to-the-beginning-style of writing alarming?

Well, DEAL WITH IT. It’s called a hook. Consider yourself hooked.

Anyway. Though it ends with me in the buff, this is a story that starts with trying to get buff.

As I may have mentioned, I recently joined a gym near my office. It’s a bit pricier than any other gym I’ve ever paid for (in my life), but it’s actually moderately priced for the area thanks to an employee discount I get through work, and it’s so dang convenient that I can’t even get home without passing it. Which, as we learned from my Brooklyn Y experience, help ensure I actually go on a regular basis.

For the last couple of years, I have been a staunch evening exerciser. While I would prefer to start my day with a trip to the gym, my crazy-long commute prevented that from being a viable possibility. (Unless I wanted to get up before 5 a.m. Or die at the hands of a (possibly) homicidal homeless man.)

Thanks to our recent move, however, my commute is much, much shorter, meaning I don’t have to wake up as early unless I want to work out.

I think you can imagine where this is going.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been telling myself that it would be a good idea to wake up earlier, go to the gym before work, shower there, and then walk the four blocks to my office. I’ve been telling myself this, but had yet to actually act on it.

UNTIL THE FATEFUL MORNING I DID. Also known as…this morning.

For the record, it had always been part of the plan that I would shower at the gym. And this is not the first time I’ve showered at a gym. It had just been a really long time, and I had completely forgotten how unbelievable awkward it is.

To be perfectly honest, I rarely even change at the gym. I’ll usually change my clothes at the office, in the privacy of the spacious handicap bathroom stall, before making my merry way to work out.

I mean, on one hand, I know I’m being silly. I know pretty much everyone averts their eyes awkwardly just like I do when I see someone half- to fully naked in the locker room. But I just…I don’t know. Nakedness. In front of people. Ehh.

I’m a prude, is what I’m saying.

Today, though, it just had to be done. Lest I want to become known as the “sweaty girl” in the office. (Not a very clever nickname, but it still stings.)

So after working out, I stripped down only to discover that…

1. …GOOD LORD those towels they provide are tiny. Who are they made for? Toddlers? I normal-sized woman can barely keep her dignity in one of those.

2. …few things make you feel less like a grown-up than showering in flip-flops. Though I was grateful I remembered to pack them.

3. …those hairdryers you’ve been seeing in the locker room for weeks and telling yourself “are so convenient!” because now you don’t have to pack your own? They suck. You still have to pack your own.

4. …showering at the gym is not your favorite thing.

Plus, as we covered in the first sentence, there’s something about being naked in the middle of the city that just makes you feel more…exposed.

So! My fellow morning gym-goers. How do you survive showering at the gym? Do you skip it? Do you bring fancy shampoo to make yourself feel more human? Tell me your secrets!

 

First things first, it’s time to announce the winner of the Printcopia giveaway!

Drum roll, please…..

It’s Kayla!

I just emailed you about the prize. Congratulations, and thanks to everyone who entered!

Now, the matter at hand.

I’m pretty sure I’ve forgotten how to work a normal full work week.

Between the storm(s), our California trip, and Thanksgiving, I’ll have Gina e full month since my last complete week of work by the end of this week.

I mean, I’m not really complaining. I enjoy working for home, even just a few days a week, and obviously everyone lives vacation and time off of work. I love my job, but it still provides me with just enough stress that I look forward to days when I don’t have to worry about it.

Thins are still going well, though. A few big projects that I’ve been working on are finally coming to fruition, and I’m even interviewing a couple of people today for an assistant position under me.

My very own assistant: every girl’s dream, right?

Plus, the partial week before a holiday is always pleasant to work. Sure, there’s a but more pressure to get the same a amount of work done in a shorter period of time, but everyone is usually caught up enough in festivities that the atmosphere is pleasant and no one is overly stressed.

Though this will be my first holiday at the current job, so maybe I’m entirely wrong about that. In that case…at least it’s only a 3-day week!

In other news, I’m running a 5-mile turkey trot on Thursday, but my left heel started really aching a couple of days ago. Not cool. My plan is to take it easy until Thursday, and then I might have to take a couple of weeks off of running. I’m already miserable at the prospect, but I think it’s my only option. Sigh.

Anyway. Enough about me. How is everyone else doing?

An email exchange between Annie and me:

From: Annie
To: Me

Want a peak into my weird brain that ends with a question for you….
 
So Al and I have been running in the mornings – but its pitch black, but i’m not afraid of running because I’m with someone.
 
You run in the mornings, and Joey doesn’t go with you….is it still pitch black?  Are you all “on alert”
 
Then Annie brain goes to – well scary people aren’t awake at 6am so I shouldnt be worried…unless they are so crazy they dont sleep at all…or all totally nocternal so they are actually at peak time of crazying.
 
So….do you run alone in the morning dark?

From: Me
To: Annie

Haha funny you should ask!

Yes, when I run in the morning it is dark. I tell myself much the same thing you say, that the crazies aren’t up yet. There’s actually a really hilarious scene from 30 Rock that I repeat to myself a lot, where Elizabeth Banks’s character gets back from an early run that goes like this:

Jack Donaghy: Where were you?
EB: Jogging.
Jack: Who else is out at this hour?
EB: Almost exclusively women who look like me. God help us if the pervert community ever gets wind of morning jogging.

So that is what I TELL myself, but I also know for a fact that there is a homeless man who sleeps under a bridge I have to run over. I know this because, while he is still asleep when I start out, he is ALWAYS just waking up and shaking out his sleeping bag when I’m on my way home. We made eye contact last time I ran. Obviously, this is how I’m going to die.

At least now I’ve told someone? If I disappear on a morning jog, it was probably the homeless man under the bridge on W******* Avenue over S****** Highway. [Ed. note: See? I’m too paranoid to even tell you the roads near where I run!]

…I’m probably not helping your crazy paranoia, am I?

From: Annie
To: Me

ummm….i almost turned around this morning because there were two weird looking people just standing in the street ahead of us……
 
…….kids with backpacks waiting for the bus…….

From: Me
To: Annie

I just chortled out loud imagining that. Mostly because, this morning, when I was driving to the train station, these two girls walking to their bus stop passed in front of my car, and one made a point of waving at me until I waved back. It wouldn’t have been weird if she hadn’t been, like, 13. All I could think was, “WHAT IS SHE UP TO?”

This is why we’re friends. (Also, I’m for sure blogging this.)