Monday, May 3, 2010

Strokes, Seizures, and Aneurysms. Oh my!

Friends, Romans , Countrymen lend me your ears. We have a Brutus among us. I know. I am as shocked as you are. The only thing is, I didn't get a knife to the back, that would have been too easy. What I got was more of a totally demoralizing, soul hammering, spirit crushing, multiple system attack. It really truly was a beating of the body, the mind, and the soul. After literally weeks of recovery, my body has managed to pull through but I am not sure that my dignity will ever recover.

Since I broke my knee I have been pretty, um,
howyousay....sedentary. I'm not proud of it, but whatever. Working out hurts! My knee hurts! I don't like things that hurt. Come to think of it, I have spent the better part of my adult life avoiding things that hurt! (unless you count dating) But there are some problems with this plan. Problem one is that, while I don't like things that hurt, another thing I don't like? Being a fatty bumbalattie. Problem number two, I'm going to Africa very soon. I realize that I don't have to outrun any lions. When it comes down to it, I just may have to outrun the slowest person in my group whilst ALL of us are being chased by lions, or tigers, or cheetahs, oh my! However, at my current fitness level, the slowest person in the group may very well be me. In order to remedy the fatty situation and halt the impending "Jillian vs Christian the Angry Lion Showdown," I started going back to the gym. It sucked just as much as you would expect it to.

I have had multiple friends yammer on about the P90X videos and have seen some pretty remarkable results with my very own chubby eyes. Enter a conversation with the now infamous Jill, heretofore referred to as, Brutus. I
thought we were pretty good friends. I mean, what don't we have in common? We lived together in college and for a number of years after. Multiple times in our tenure as roomies one of us would meet someone new and give them our number. When they eventually called and asked for Jill, the conversation would go a little something like this.

"Hey- can I talk to Jill?"

"Which one?"

"The one from California?"

"Okay-which one?"

"The one with a ton of curly brown hair?"

"That doesn't help. Which one?"

"The one that reads a lot?"

"Still no help."

"She's pretty funny, kind of sarcastic."

"I'm going to need more information than that."

"All of her brothers and sisters names start with J."

"I'm about to hang up. Is she tall and skinny or is she....not that tall.....and even less skinny?"

From there it was pretty easy to figure out who was wanted. That has been the major distinction between the two of us. Tall and skinny....or short and
squatty. In case you haven't guessed she is the former, I am the latter. It is what it is, but I never thought she would use that difference to try and kill me! We talked and she went on about how I shouldn't get the P90X videos. They were geared toward building strength and muscle. If I wanted cardio, to shed pounds and the endurance to outrun lions in the Serengeti...I needed the Insanity videos. Then she went on to sing the praises of how she lost all of her baby weight, got a super hot swimsuit body, did a triathlon, hobbeldy gobbly googely gook. Whatever- I was sold. I got home, got online and ordered the videos (without watching any of the infomercial nonsense) asap. Where was my soothsayer to warn me to, "Beware the ides of Jill Berdugo."

Needless to say, I got home from work THREE DAYS LATER and the videos were there waiting for me. A brown paper package all tied up with string. I wasn't sure if I should be excited, insulted or concerned at their speedy delivery, but I trust(ed) Jill. I love(d) Jill. I took Jill at her word. This was going to be grrrreat!

I waited to start until Monday. The program is 60 days long and that Monday was exactly 60 days before I left for Africa. Plus- I couldn't really handle looking at the supplied calendar with everything work out week starting on a Thursday. But truth be told-I just needed a little more mental prep time.

Those extra three days did nothing for my mental preparation. They did nothing for my physical preparation. They certainly did nothing to prepare my soul or dignity for the unmitigated misery and suffering they were about to endure.

Three days seem to be a recurrent theme for my experience with these videos. It just so happens that three days is exactly how long I lasted. Let me just get this out of the way now. Those were three of the worst days of my life. I honestly can look back at all of the decisions I have made in my life thus far, and attempting Insanity was one of the worst, by far.

Day one was the 'fitness test.' It should have been my first clue that this was going to go horribly, horribly, wrong. However, I was determined. I gave it the old college try. Day two was the Plyometric Cardio Circuit. I am fairly certain that the plyometric cardio circuit is one of the top three activities on the deck of the cruise ship that circles the innermost ring of hell. Day three was Cardio Power & Resistance *and because I am a lady, I can't tell you what that day was like.

Let me sum up the whole Insanity debacle this way. Horrific. Terrible. No Good and Rotten. I realized, ever since I started the work out, every single day of my life had been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you saw me when I was on the program, that's on the worst day of my life**. It involved blood, sweat, tears and vomit. While I know I am one for a mild overuse of hyperbole.....this is not one of those times. I puked. During the fitness test. THE TEST. Not even the actual workout. This should have been a sign, yet I pressed on. I pressed right on to a bloody nose. I am fairly certain that the tears were the next fluids to spill forth, but the details are all a little fuzzy. Seems as though the tears and the sweat were more likely mingled throughout the workout. These bodily fluids that, (the blood specifically) by definition must remain inside my body for the purposes of maintaining life, spilled forth with each and every workout. Beyond the loss of wildly important bodily fluids; the pain, stabbing, constant and throbbing was another fun little addition to the program. At various points throughout the workout, I was certain that I was experiencing the early stages of a stroke.

When I wasn't busy dealing with the stroke, I was then met with a sharp pain in my brain. Not just in my head, but my actual brain. This led me to believe that I was seconds from an aneurysm. When I decided to lay down and allow the peace of sleep to overcome my battered and bruised body and ego, the seizures came. Twitching, convulsing and uncontrollable shakes are not easy to sleep through. If a workout requires narcotic pain relievers, prescription sleep aids and antidepressants to overcome the emotional battering that they delivered...that is not a plan for me.

And with that realization...I gave up. I am a quitter and quite frankly, I could not care less. Judge me if you will but I took that dvd out and have not looked back since. That's partly because I didn't have the strength to move my head even if I wanted to. I did, however, call JenniFletch, the other girl that we used to live with. I felt compelled to give her the rundown of my insane soiree into the belly of hell and to give her very strict instructions. The instructions were that that b!tch Brutus is SO not invited to my funeral. Seriously. I am not kidding. She may not come, sing, cry, pray or even mourn at my passing....for she is the vehicle by which death came calling so quickly. Et tu, Jill Berdugo?

By way of a silver lining, this workout plan did do two good things for me. 1-It brought me much closer to God through prayer. Being that as I worked through the videos, there were many prayers tossed out to any deity I thought would listen. Heavenly Father, Dear sweet baby Jesus, Holy Buddha, and the Great Jehovah.....anyone who would be willing to make it stop. And every single one of them answered my prayer and left me with the same impression. "Thus sayith the Lord. Turn that crap off. This ridiculous."

Silver lining number 2- I got reacquainted with an old high school buddy....and she is SUPER excited to buy the videos from me and try them out for herself! (Yay! I get to pawn these stupid things off on some poor unsuspecting soul...and get my $150 bucks back!) A sucker is born every minute;)

Guess there is more than one Brutus amoung us.

*Take notice NONE of those pics or videos are of me,
for obvious reasons

**A la Office Space