Week 2


Recruits Dougherty and Barclay

Back to reality. After a four-day hiatus and I was actually looking forward to class today, but I was praying that I wouldn't have to report on:

1. How much water I drank over the weekend (the number of Rum Runners and Cape Codders would have really thrown my numbers);

2. What food I consumed while on vacation (lobster, queso, tortilla chips, and Burger King immediately come to mind); or

3. If I successfully completed my "homework" (I started out strong with a run and strength exercises on Thursday and then......I petered out. I became much more interested in lounging on the beach with a People magazine. It was vacation after all.

It was obvious early on today that Charla has stepped up the pace. The speed of the drills and reps have both increased - giving me absolutely no time to adjust my space in the grass to avoid the duck droppings (which seem to be rapidly multiplying). I need to check Matha Stewart's website for miracle solutions that remove grass stains and goose doo. My recently purchases of new running tops have been a terrible investment.

Today we started with our usual warm-up exercises and then hit the running path. There's was no group run today, Charla just said - "Get down to the boathouse as quickly as you can." Off we went - with no cadences to distract us. I found myself missing those songs - it's not nearly as fun running by yourself, especially when my heavy breathing was drowning out any other pleasant sounds/sights that I could focus on.

Then it was back on the grass for my least favorite part - full situps. We did a 90, 60 and two 30-second sessions. By the last 30-second session, my goal was to do five whole situps. Translation - I am a speed demon. Charla did not seem impressed with my five second breaks in between each one. Although at least she didn't harass me about my spasms from exhaustion. On Thursday she said across the group - "Are you having a seizure over there Dougherty?"


-Ending the class with Sharon telling me - "You have duck sh*#" all over your back." Aaahhhh, the perfect ending to a perfect class.

The good news about waking up at 5:45 each morning to stomp off to FitBoot is that at night I sleep like a baby. Last night I was conked out by 9:15 p.m. Not quite a record for me, but close. It really helps that the butterflies are gone. We're now getting into a routine. Sharon is a little more chatty on the drive over (maybe she'll be a morning person when this is all said and done) and we're starting to see some regulars down by the river. Even the daily sighting of the large, elderly man whose definition of exercise is arm circles and toe touches (without a shirt) gives us a sense of familiarity in the early hours of the morning.

Am I being watched?

We now know the drills and we know, somewhat, what to expect. Tuesday and Thursday are running days, the others are focused on strength training. Those other days are my least favorite - and today was one of them.

As our running watches struck 7:00 a.m., only half of our class was lined up on the grass. We could see a few recruits casually strolling over the foot bridge as Charla peered over her shoulder. I know if that had been me, I would have shown a bit more hustle - I mean, even a brisk walk would have been good. The excuses ranged from - "I was partially blocked in" (which was received creativity points from Charla - Smoke admitted he thought that one up on the drive over) to "The alarm didn't go off" to "I don't know....." and wave of the arms (to which Charla replied, "Are you on crack?"). Anyone who arrived over five minutes late today had to drop and do 10. This was one of the moments when I was glad that Charla didn't enforce the teamwork motto - I was perfectly happy not to participate in this round.

During the sit-up reps my muscles just didn't want to cooperate. Maybe I was imagining one of Charla's black boots on my chest - I just couldn't move more than a few inches.
"Get your shoulders off the ground Dougherty."
"Get off the grass Dougherty."
"Curve the spine Dougherty."
"Lift up higher Dougherty."

Am I imagining it, or am I beginning to dislike the sound of my name?

Anyone for lunges
I was picked for the nutrition report today - I knew I was due. By some miracle, yesterday was probably the first day that I actually followed Charla's many nutrition rules. My mini-feedings got her nod of approval, minus being a little weak on the protein front. Sharon was prepared to blurt out that I had a Diet Coke with lunch, but probably thought better of it since that would only focus Charla's attention on her.

We finished the class with a set of push-ups since one woman admitted eating Swedish Fish and two peanut butter cups. At least someone is enjoying some candy now and then.

-Mental note to self (or actually to my ride, Sharon) - Don't be late.
-Second note to self - Try to look cheery and cute while hanging from the pull-up bar. Sharon told me the look on my face today was "Priceless."

Today started with a big laugh. After we lined up in our usual spots for warm-up exercises, Charla called Sharon up the front - "Barclay get up here. Get down and do push-ups." My first thought was that Charla had caught wind of this website and did not appreciate our comments about being a psychopathic ex-marine. Once Sharon started slowing down, Charla said - "Have you heard of Casey Kasum? Well, this is a long distance dedication from your friend Carolyn in Australia." Apparently, Carolyn was getting revenge for a recent prank Sharon had pulled and she emailed Charla asking her to give Sharon a few extra exercises in return.

What followed were squats and lunges (which reminded me why I've been in a bit of pain while sitting at my desk), a 1.5 mile run and ab work. It was a steamy morning - I was still sweating while getting dressed in the locker room 30 minutes later. No nutrition reports today, Charla just ended with a serious - "Go to work." And I ended the class with a once crisp white t-shirt turned pale brown with goose doo. It's like a mine field out there and I am always the unlucky one.

Until tomorrow...

I woke up before the alarm went off to the sound of something much worse - pouring rain. I'm talking a torrential downpour, which included rumblings of thunder in the distance. Blah! This really threw off my morning schedule - I needed to work in three weather checks on the local news, strategize about my hair (hat or no hat?) and determine the right outfit (my windbreaker didn't match the running shorts I had planned to wear). So much drama at such an early hour.

You know for a bad ass, ex-marine, she really has great skin.

Luckily the rain ceased at 6:55 a.m. Charla seemed disappointed that Mother Nature was taking it easy on us. Today was the dreaded flexed arm hang and a gazillion push ups (I think we hit the 100 mark.) I tried my best to look pleasant while suspended from the wet pull-up bar (with Sharon snickering on the ground), but apparently I failed miserably. I think the descriptives Sharon chose today were - "Miserable, red-faced, and sweaty". It must paint such a lovely picture for you.

We were so close to heading into the weekend with only 70 push-ups under our belt, until the men in our group were selected for the nutrition report. Between the two of them, they logged about 10,000 calories yesterday - pizza for breakfast, followed by eggs and hashbrowns, a 16 oz. steak and ravioli with cream sauce. Somehow, that translated to 32 push-ups and Sharon reacting with - "You bastards. I've been eating birdseed and fruit all week and you've been eating pizza and steak."

Two weeks down, four to go.