Having survived week one of the LIFE XT program, I was eager to embark on week two. Given that I have the attention span of a gnat, and hadn’t yet thrown in the towel on the whole program, I considered myself successful. If you missed my account of week one, you’ll find it here. And you’ll find my review of the book this program is based on here.
The instructions for week two are:
Exercise aerobically three times a week for at least thirty minutes and do one nonaerobic workout.
Nonaerobic? Piece of cake. I can recline in front of the television like an expert.
It was the aerobic part that had me worried.
My idea of a cardio workout is a panic attack. Nothing gets the heart pumping faster than a jolt of adrenaline.
But panic was not forthcoming, so I needed to pursue other options.
Other options? Hmm.
I don’t belong to a gym. When I did belong to a gym, my routine consisted of sitting on an exercise apparatus, towel slung around my neck so it appeared sweat was involved. Nobody noticed I wasn’t actually moving, because they were preoccupied with their own workouts and their reflections in the mirror. I proceeded to sit in this manner until I had parked myself on every apparatus. Then I showered.
I don’t jog. I’m more of plodder. Not a plodder in the sense of an old grey mare. More like: let’s take a lovely stroll through nature, preferably with a good book.
I don’t ride a bike. The seats are too hard for someone who, according to my physical therapist, has no ass. Plus, they’re infinitesimal. Finding a perch is nearly impossible.
But…I do swim.
For several years, I swam in an outdoor pool with a buddy. My approach to swimming was similar to my approach to working out at a gym. As my buddy swam toward me, I passed him, immediately turned around, and passed him again. He was astounded at how quickly I navigated from end to end. I also wore flippers.
But it’s winter, and, like…chilly. So, swimming was out.
Which left brisk walking. Maybe a combination walk/sprint.
On your mark, get set…
Monday morning, after fueling up on crackers and peanut butter and a banana (because I’m also a grazer), I set off on my first aerobic workout. The only problem: a shin splint in my right leg. Which bumped me down from plodder to hobbler. Did that deter me? Nay. I plodded briskly, broke into a trot, backed it down to a plod, up to a gallop (maybe old grey mare isn’t that far off), and attempted to jog on the balls of my feet which I’ve seen other joggers do, until my calf seized up and I was back to hobbling. Did that deter me? Neigh! I proceeded in this fashion until a mile down, when I arrived at The Sweet Shop.
Picture a quaint shop that offers coffee, pastries, and bins and bins of candy. I had the brilliant idea that I could barge into The Sweet Shop, eat fistfuls of Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, M&Ms, Gummy Bears and Skittles, down a blueberry muffin, chug a gallon of espresso, and consider it an aerobic workout. Because barring a panic attack, nothing gets the ticker revved up like huge quantities of sugar and caffeine.
But the Sweet Shop was closed.
On I hobbled/cantered until I had completed two miles, returned home, and earned the right to graze on dates stuffed with peanut butter. (If you haven’t tried this deliciousness, I urge you to run, not plod, to the nearest store that sells whole pitted dates, grab a jar of peanut butter and a knife, and indulge.)
My second aerobic workout was an indoor affair as the day brewed windy and cold for California, meaning: non-shorts weather. I considered tap dancing in the garage on a sheet of plywood, but submitting my joints, not to mention my shins, through heavy pounding on what amounted to plywood on concrete didn’t seem wise. So I opted for a cardio workout of pushups, sit-ups, lunges, squats, planks, jumping jacks, and a dozen of those movements where you drop to your hands, kick your legs out, kick them back in, and shoot upright with an energetic hop. Not easy to do when you live in a cottage the size of a cat box. I was only able to endure what I call Movement on Meth because at the same time I was watching the all-stars battle it out on Jeopardy. Note: do not attempt this without proper preparation and ability. Those all-stars are pros.
For my third aerobic workout, I prepared for the rain. I suited up with a salmon-colored rain jacket (what was I thinking when I bought it?) boots and rain pants, the lining which had melted into hard blobs when I threw them in the dryer. With umbrella in hand, I proceeded at a brisk pace in the direction of the library.
Suffice it to say, I did more browsing of the New Books section than anything resembling an aerobic workout. But I did come home with a five-DVD set of a Canadian television show so I’d be ready for my nonaerobic workout.
Which, by the way, I aced.