Turbo Sweat

My friend Melinda had been inviting me to Turbo Sweat at the YMCA for months. First of all, it’s at 8:15 AM. I kinda don’t do group classes. I really don’t do 8:15. But second, I didn’t know what was involved in Turbo Sweat. I knew it was difficult. I knew the very most hard-core members at the YMCA go. And the trainers.

And did I mention it was at 8:15 AM?

But I figured if I was a little scared, it made it the perfect challenge for Project 40.

So I set my alarm. And I walked into the gym at the YMCA trying not to think about the fact that I had no idea what was going to happen.

Right away I found Melinda. She hugged me and introduced me to the instructor and a few of her friends. Then I saw my friend Rob who suggested where I should stand and who I should watch. (And also, who I should maybe not watch.) Before class started I was given one final piece of advice.

Don’t leave.

You will be chased down.

Seriously. Don’t leave. If you have to pee, tell the instructor. Otherwise he’ll think you’ve given up. And he will chase you down.

I had two thoughts in response.

1. Man, I hope I don’t have to pee.

2. Why will I want to leave?

We got started. And for a while I’ve totally got it. It was like Tae Bo. I’m pretty OK at Tae Bo.

Ok, so it was like really relentless, nonstop Tae Bo.

Soon my arms felt like rubber bands. That was right about the time we started doing push-ups. I figured I’m new. So it will be fine if I just do my best and put my knees down and


So maybe not with the modified push-ups then.

I pushed on. Tried to kick at the height of the instructor’s hands as he came around. Tried to keep going. Then I realized. We’ve been doing everything on the left side.

Oh dear God.

This is half.

I got some water. The I saw that lots of people dropped out to get water. Even the trainers. And people were dropping sets to shake it out or stretch. Everyone needed breaks.

Aha. That took all the pressure off.

Sure, I wanted to do as much as possible. But I allowed myself some room to admit that “as much as possible” couldn’t possibly be every set of every exercise.

The right side was emotionally easier because I knew what was coming, and physically more difficult because holy cow I was tired. But I stuck with it. And I did it. And I got some water. And I was smiling.

And people weren’t leaving.

They were putting down mats. Because it was time for abs.

What the wha?

I have strong abs. I’ve never been afraid of a little ab challenge. So I jumped in.

And I have never had the feeling during a workout before that I might genuinely puke. Like, really. I thought for a moment it would happen.

Mercifully, the class eventually ended. I was exhausted. And sore. And a little nauseous. But I had done it.

I had a victory picture taken with a few of my friends and classmates. (Several were taken. None of them are acceptable. Below I’ve posted the one that’s the least upsetting.) The people I know from this class are all parents. One had just returned from a long trip. One had a three-day-old daughter. (A dad, clearly.) One has three boys who run her nearly ragged. But they all gather for this class. They encourage each other. And they push each other. And I get it.

I probably won’t return, but I get it. (Just not an 8:15 girl.) It’s about the community.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Melinda P
    Jul 10, 2014 @ 12:16:13

    I totally love you! Made me laugh, what a colorful, accurate summation! XO


  2. Trackback: Project 40 so far | Thoroughly Modern Mommy

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