Totally Shredded

While we were in Florida, my friend Joanne picked up an inexpensive workout video at Walmart. I’ve never used a workout video. I’m not a “worker-outer.” I enjoy physical tasks but exercise for its own sake has never had any appeal.

However recently I have noticed the aging process accelerating. Arthritis in my fingers, bursitis in my knee, general decrepitude and lack of stamina everywhere. So when I was reading a blog and the author recommended an exercise video by the same person in the video Joanne had purchased, I thought, “Why not?” At $7.99 the risk was slight.

I bought Jillian Michaels’  30 Day Shred. I’d never heard of Michaels but since I don’t watch television, that is a common occurrence for me. I also didn’t know what “shred” meant in this context but a quick glance at the video titles assured me that all of them were fairly incomprehensible.  Exercise “jam?”

The video promised to get you in shape in twenty minutes a day. Surely I could commit to twenty minutes. Lucy was eager to do the workout with me. It would be a fun mother/daughter time.

DH was away so she and I watched the lowest-level workout two nights ago. It seemed very simple. Jumping jacks, jump-roping with an invisible rope, stomach crunches, lunges, modified push-ups, squats holding tiny weights. Maybe this would be too easy. Oh well, it was only $7.99.

Yesterday at 6 AM we had our first workout. Lucy had dug out our smallest hand weights: 2 lb weights for her, 4 lb weights for me. (They were left over from the last occasion I tried to get into shape. I think my college grad was a toddler at the time.)

After interminable advertisements, the video began. The first five minutes were fine. Piece of cake. Who can’t do jumping jacks? But then I noticed my breath coming shorter. My thighs were beginning to tire.

Michaels is not a cuddly personality. “No resting!” she barked, leading us into push-ups. I did the modified version but even so I found myself gasping to Lucy, “How many more?”

Lucy at 13 is in great shape after a season of cross-country skiing and seemed to be prancing effortlessly beside me.

The workout routine consists of three circuits. Long before the second was over I was praying for the end. I try never to swear but by the fifteen-minute mark I could only wheeze, “Oh… my… God” at regular intervals.

Finally even Lucy was starting to flag. Her legs are like iron but her upper body strength does not match.  Michaels exhorted us to push those weights high.

“Don’t you think she has kind of a mean face?” asked Lucy.

By the end (it’s 27 minutes, not the promised 20) I was a quivering jelly, and faintly nauseated. I could hardly bring myself to do the warm-down stretches. I wanted to pass out on the floor.

All yesterday my legs were wobbly from exhaustion. D stopped by the farm to look at some work I want done. As he strode down the driveway and I staggered beside him I could barely keep myself from whimpering, “Don’t you want to take the truck?”

By suppertime the trembling had stopped but soreness had replaced it. I took an Ibuprofen with a glass of water.

Lucy looked at me and said kindly, “Maybe we should start with every other day.”


4 Responses to Totally Shredded

  1. Susanna says:

    Hahaha I have totally done this!!! I made it through 12 days, and then school reality kicked in. I agree – it’s TOUGH! The side lunge things with weights near the end always killed me.

    • adkmilkmaid says:

      I feel marginally better to know that a sprightly young thing also found it tough! I am feeling like Methuselah! The worst is knowing that after a day’s rest Lucy is eager to go at it again! Lots of love.

  2. Missy says:

    This post totally cracked me up! I’m sympathetic, really I am. I’m also totally empathetic, (but I’m still laughing!) We went bush walking and rock walking this week while we were on holidays and my legs totally turned to jelly. I thought DH was going to have to carry me down the hill. I guess all that walking back and forwards on the farm and chasing cows and chooks and fence post pounding develops a certain kind of strength and stamina that you just don’t get when you hang out in front of the TV! If you make it through a few more days you know it will get easier, right?

    • adkmilkmaid says:

      LOL Part of what was so shocking to me is that I feel reasonably in shape, and as I started to falter and puff Michaels would snap out comments such as, “I have 400-lb women who can do this workout!” They are tougher women than I am!

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