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Learning to Rest
Last week I came down with a really bad cold. My throat was sore, and my head ached, and I was exhausted and sniffly. The peak of my illness was from Tuesday evening to Thursday morning, so I made up my mind on Wednesday to not go to HITT at Aspire Fitness the next morning.
It was harder to make that decision than I expected. I have a really tough time allowing myself to take time off from working out. As I was walking home from work on Wednesday, debating with myself whether or not I should go to HITT the next day, I realized that it was ridiculous that I was even struggling with the decision. I was sick enough that I had had to sit down at the receptionist desk in the vet clinic I work at (I always stand). I was sick enough that walking for half an hour left me feeling incredibly weary. There was no way that I was in good enough condition to go to HITT.
For a moment I felt panicked. The idea of missing a workout was terrifying. And then – I let it go.
It feels wonderful to not feel guilty about missing out on exercise.
I wasn’t feeling 100% better on Friday (in fact, I’m still not feeling 100% better), but I was feeling better enough that I knew I could survive a HITT class 😉 And I sure was glad I didn’t have to miss it.
This HITT class was different from the rest because we weren’t given a time limit. Instead, we were given a specific number of reps to do. We started off with 5o split squats per leg, holding a dumbbell the size of my head. There were only two of us in the class and both of us felt like our legs were going to fall off halfway through, but Jason cheerfully informed us that this was just the warm-up.
The circuit itself was a series of agility training mixed with legs and abs work. There is a ladder permanently drawn on the floor of the gym with 16 boxes. We hopped through the ladder on one foot, then the other; we hopped with both feet, then we hopped every second box and had to hop back one box each time. We did an exercise of hopping every second box, hopping back one box, and then jumping as high as we could in the air (which, by this point, I must admit was not very high at all). We did walking push-ups all the way up the ladder and walking planks all the way back down. And we did floor striders, those delightful (haha) exercises which are an explosive plyometric movement of a jumping lunge – this was done sideways through the ladder.
In between each of these ladder drills, we did a variety of exercise: 25 prisoner squats, 25 sumo squats, 10 tuck jumps, 25 knee tucks on the stability ball, 15 v-crunches, 25 reverse crunches, and 25 crunches each side of holding a dumbbell with the feet raised and lowering the dumbbell from one side to the next (this was again with the dumbbell that is the size of my head).
We got a two-minute break before repeating the circuit all over again… and then a third time.
After the three rounds, Jason offered to give me another four minutes of exercise. I, being somewhat in a haze of illness, was quick to agree. He promptly set up the treadmill for me to do hill sprints. Eek! But it wasn’t so bad; the speed was reduced, and I only had to do 30-second bursts with 15-second breaks rather than the usual 90 seconds straight. And like I said, I was in a haze of illness, so I was able to power through!
Reps until Exhaustion
Doing 50 split squats reminded me of my 100 push ups challenge, in which I had to do 100 push ups (from my toes) in a row. Aiming for a particular number of reps is a different way to work out than our usual 90-second exercises with HITT, but it’s at least equally as challenging. I really enjoyed the change.
What way have you been challenging your body lately? Do you make sure to let yourself rest when you need it?