Week 1 is in the books. The Rubins’ journey toward a healthy lifestyle has officially begun. Last week when we wrote the column, we were super excited to get started. That was until emails started pouring in telling us about how much pain we were going to be in.
Remember the feeling you had the night before the first day of school? That was how we felt Sunday night, multiplied by 10. Here it is, the end of Week 1, and we made it. It definitely was not easy, but we made it. That has to count for something right?
Mike: Wow, I have to admit, I was extremely nervous Sunday night. On Monday morning, I was asking if it was too late too quit. I could feel the butterflies in my stomach as we drove to the gym. We started with a warm-up lap. Have I mentioned yet how out of shape I am? Shannon and I made a pact that we would not leave each other when we were running. Now, I made it seem like I was helping her out by my willingness to stay with her. The reality is, I was hoping more than anything that she would not leave me in the dust.
Once we finished our lap, we did a few more warm-up/flexibility exercises, and then it was on to the weights. We did three sets of 10 back squats and shoulder press and three sets of 15 “superman’s”. At that point in time I was ready to call it a day. I felt good about myself. My body was aching, I had done some cardio, stretching and weights. Day 1: Check. That is, until we were told that we were about to begin the real work out. It consisted of 50 kettlebell thrusts, 300 jump ropes and 50 kettlebell thrusts. Needless to say, 18 minutes and four almost-vomits later, my day was done (I was the last one to finish). Now, I just had to find the energy to pick myself up off the mat.
Tuesday came, and so did the soreness. It hurt to sit and stand up straight. As Tuesday progressed, I have to admit, I was asking Shannon if it was possible that we quit. That has always been a struggle of mine. I work out, I get sore, I stop working out until the soreness is gone and never go back to the gym. This was a perfect example of why I am thankful I am going through this with her. Shannon reminded me that we made a commitment to you, the reader, and that we would (one day) be thankful we did this.
On Wednesday morning, I felt like a child making up excuses to stay home from school. They fell on deaf ears as we headed back to the gym. I was so nervous/scared of what was going to be in store that I thought I was going to get sick in the car. When we arrived, I could not get my keys out of the ignition. The workout again was a bear, but fortunately it was modified to our level of ability and somehow we got through it.
Thursday was another strength workout and I must say, afterwards, while exhausted, I found myself starting to actually enjoy it.
I have to admit that while I have tried to be more conscious of my food choices, I have failed several times. I have still had my soda or two a day and somehow four or five Tootsie Rolls found their way in my belly. On the positive, my water intake has increased dramatically, and we have had protein smoothies almost every day after our workouts. This is definitely going to be a difficult area for me, but I hope that each day, my diet gets a little bit better.
The biggest lesson I learned this week was the power of support. It is amazing what having 10-12 people supporting you and cheering you on while you work out does to you. I did things this week at the gym that I never thought I could do and would not have done alone. I totally would have stopped each of those exercises short by several reps the minute it started getting hard. But with the support I was able to push on and complete each set and I know that it will pay off in the long run.
Shannon: Well, Week 1 is in the bag, and I can say with 100 percent honesty, I am pumped about the next 51 weeks. Please understand that by no means was this week easy! Sitting down and standing up give me glimpses of what I will feel like when I’m 87. I’ve needed a nap almost every day, and the house is a disaster area because it is too painful to bend over to pick things up. But I’m eager for more! Yes, you read that right.
On our first day, someone told us that this was less like going to the gym and more like a P.E. class, and I thought to myself, “Well, that’s just great. I hated P.E. class.” Having completed this week though, I completely disagree with that statement. I never once felt like I did in P.E. class. I was encouraged and supported and cheered on, and not just by my husband. This is exactly the reason that I am excited about completing the next 51 weeks.
The workouts were hard, and there were times I didn’t think I could lift myself up to do my 45th push-up, but then I’d hear, “You can do it!” and I would find the strength I needed to finish it out. It’s that support that makes me want to go back to work harder so that one day in the near future I can call out to a new person and make them feel like they are not alone on their journey.
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Week one is in the books, and it is on to Week 2. If you are joining us on a journey toward a healthier lifestyle of your own, we would love to hear from you. Comment on the column at eveningsun.com under the local sports section or check out the Handful of Sports blog at www.evesunblog.com/handfulofsports, where you will find highlight videos our workouts this week, plus much more.
Fitness Tip Of The Week: “I don’t ever say the word diet. Don’t diet, eat right. I also believe that without challenge there is no change. People always come into the gym and workout, but wonder why they don’t see change happen and it is usually because they do the same things all the time. They do not understand they need to make it challenging to get better.
- Mark Baker, personal trainer at Planet Fitness in Hanover
Mike Rubin is a sports reporter for The Evening Sun. Each week, he writes about his fitness journey with his wife, Shannon. Contact him at email@example.com, 717-637-3736, ext. 143 or @michaelrubin6 on Twitter.