A group of us recently completed the "Mission Possible" program at the Family Bedell YMCA. I need you to all re-read the last line. This is Mission POSSIBLE not Mission IMPOSSIBLE!
While Tom Cruise has been my Hollywood crush since I was probably eight, I will be talking more about blood, sweat and tears, which were all made POSSIBLE by one little lady...Brittney! However, if we had some kind of Mission Impossible movie marathon, you could also count me in on that program!
Every fall for the past ten years, the YMCA has held a competition for teams to lose the most weight. This program is eight weeks long. Each year, they've set it up a little differently, but in 2019, you put together a team of four. Boys, girls, ladies, men, tall people, or short people, it really didn't matter as long as you had four heartbeats in the challenge. Each team member weighed in on week one with their starting weight, and each week after, everyone weighed in to see how their team was fairing against all the other teams.
This year, my team went up against seven other groups. You don't have much interaction with other teams, unless you work with one! Let the sabotaging begin Miss Jenn!
Each team was offered two personal training sessions a week for the full eight week period. My team called ourselves "Slim Possible for Lake Life." The four of us were completely different. Here, goes the introduction. In one corner, we have the spring chicken, Tara. She played collegiate basketball and volleyball, and she is about a decade younger than the other three of us. Her goal was to get fit and look amazing in her wedding dress in June!
In the next corner, we have #along Amy; she had gotten a jump start on doing some of these "Brittney" workouts earlier in the fall. The YMCA offers some great workouts throughout the day that are free for all members. #along Amy was prepared for today! Her goal was to get a jump start on losing some weight and get back in the good habits of eating and exercising.
Next, we have Joy who sees the walls at the YMCA more than some of those that work there. Although she was excited for a new workout routine, Joy's goal was to incorporate several Brittney exercises into her daily routine, along with losing a pound or a few.
In the final dark corner, there was me. Like Tara, I was a collegiate athlete, but that was 20 years ago, and it was throwing the shot put and hammer. This means I knew my way around a weight room, but cardio is a different story. My goal was to get a jump start on my weight loss journey.
Take these four totally different people and put them in one room together to train. As you can see, we are all so different, but it was amazing how each of us could get so much out of each workout. Brittney made it so customizable. I do heavier weights than Joy, but she barreled through the reps faster than I could, and during any running and box pushes, her speed was twice of my own. In the end, it didn't matter, as these workouts were made for all types and speeds! Brittney was just that amazing!
Before I start, I want to reflect on two words. Working out. What do those two words do to you emotionally when combined? Do they make you happy, sad, angry, or produce another emotion? I know some people love working out and need to go every day to just clear their minds and sweat a little...Joy...cough, cough. I think all of those people that say they love working out are liars! Okay, no they aren't liars, but people like me (who loathe working out) can't imagine loving it.
Starting Day 1
Suddenly, it was happening and day one was here! As we arrived for our first workout, we all seemed to have the “here we go” jitters. As we waited for the clock to strike time to start, #along Amy and I started walking to get blood flowing, maybe did some stretching, hoping deep down we didn't pull something on day one. Over on the sidelines, Tara was checking her heart rate?!? She said she was so nervous that she felt her heart rate jump higher than a heart rate should ever be during a workout. I am pretty sure she was thinking of bailing. Joy showed up already sweaty from her elliptical warm-up (yes...she was one of those).
Our first workout was a Tabata. This was one of my favorite type of workouts because it was 20 seconds on and then ten seconds off. Then, we went onto the next exercise for 20 seconds...repeat. Anyone can do anything for 20 seconds, right? So I thought. Sometimes the buzzer never seemed to sound!
As we were getting through our workout, everyone was very quiet. Brittney kept asking us if we were okay. I was the only one to speak up and say, “Sarcasm is being saved for later.” Let me tell you, sarcasm really was the only way I made it through these workouts. I like laughing too much to be too serious.
By the end of the workout, our legs and arms were shaking. We have discovered muscles that we didn't know we even had or had forgotten. Leaving the YMCA, we all could tell that we would be sore in the morning. But the level of soreness wasn't even a speck on the radar.
We showed up on Thursday and questioned how we were going to get through the workout - since just sitting down in a chair seemed to be a feat in itself. No one had done laundry in two days, because the stairs at home were a daunting task. And if I might say, the toilet seat may rock a bit from having been fallen on from about a foot above.
So, day two...we are still wondering how to handle this workout with the above excuses. It is mind blowing how when one little lady said something, your body went into auto mode and began doing what she said!
It took about four to five days to get over our first soreness. Amazingly, throughout the eight weeks, after that first week of extra sore muscles, we only felt a little here and there.
The following weeks we continued to have two workouts a week. Most workouts were a circuit of some sort or mixing weights and cardio to get the full body workout. I am pretty sure she knew which exercise each of us loathed and always included at least one of them. I think the saying "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger!" could be used in this case.
It was amazing how Brittney got our heart rates up and still had our muscles shaking. At times, I blamed the lack of oxygen for some of these favorite memories. The time #along Amy had no clue where she started, so didn't know where to end. Or the time I asked the question "which way is clockwise if I am starting at the six?" Then the time I told Tara how I had cold sweats, which meant bad news, and Tara responds with "How about tingling in the face, what does that mean?"
One of Tara's least favorite exercises was the bike. In some of the workouts, Brittney used this as a cardio set in-between weights and other exercises. This portion of the workout was to go one mile. So, you hop on your bike. Adjust it to your body and go, thinking, one mile, easy! Then Brittney starts to add more rules. "Make sure you are above 95 RPMs." "Gear eight or higher." Then her last one was, "Get the mile finished in two minutes." Lordy Lou! She made it tough. The first time we did bikes I went out like I was being chased by a tiger. I can give short spurts, endurance not so much. I thought these spin bikes would take in consideration of what gear you're in and how fast you got to your destination. I cranked it to gear 14 and pushed hard. I got off the bike and nearly fell on my face. The next exercise after the bike ride was squat jumps. HA! We were less than two minutes into our workout and my thighs were shot. This was going to be a long 30 minutes!
Every workout we had, Brittney introduced new things and mixed up exercises to give our body a different experience each time. As I mentioned earlier, my favorite was the "Tabata." Everyone stays together and sweats until the beep. There were a few workouts where she would tell us how many of each exercises to do. There were usually seven to ten on the list, and then she would set the timer to twelve minutes! WHAT!?!? So, you just kept repeating those exercises until the twelve minutes expired.
In any workout, if it was one like the above or a "Tabata," she has about a minute break to set up for the next round. Brittney always said, "Take a quick breather and get a drink." The break usually lasted only long enough to either catch your breath or drink, but never both. This was usually when I requested a set of "Mat Lays." Yes, it was exactly what I said. You lay on a mat. Not sure why Brittney never added them into any circuits we did. I guess I will keep my bright ideas to myself if she wasn't going to use them. HA!
Each week, Brittney achieved at putting us through great workouts. Or were they awful? I think that was one in the same. A great workout was something that pushed you a little harder than you would wish. After successfully completing one, it made you feel amazing—even if the amazing came about two hours after the workout.
Last weigh-in day arrived! It was a good time to reflect how the eight weeks went and if we were close to any goals we had initially set? The results from the full competition had us in first place after the first week and we slowly moved down. We finished in the middle of the pack, and I think all of us were happy in what we had accomplished. Tara is planning on signing up for the next "Boji Body" Brittney puts on, Joy continues her daily workouts and tries to include a little variation from the Elliptical every now and then, #along Amy still is attending some of the free membership classes, and I am planning on doing the same, along with nightly walks while the kids are partaking in their activities.
Back at the top, I mentioned loathing working out. In my head I agree. If I laid out three options, let's say, movie night, game night or going for a workout. My choice would never be fitting in the workout, because I just love doing those other two much more. BUT...yes, that is a big but! After these eight weeks full of blood, sweat, and I guess no tears, but a lot of sarcasm, I feel so good. I feel healthier, I have more energy and I just want it to keep going. And LOVING how I feel means I just need to make a little more room in my day for a workout. The movies and games will still be there! And just recalling how sore I felt after the first week of working out again, it could scare a person into regularly working out because that was awful. The only way to do this is for me to keep doing it. This is where the personal training the YMCA offers or the free classes will help me out. My New Year's resolution is to not feel like the first week ever again! So...Brittney, what's next?