Monday was my first outdoor class with Randy. In fact, it may be the first big outdoor workout that I've had in years. The last time I really pushed myself outdoors was over two years ago when my older brother and I used to run together at a high school in Burnaby. There's a viking that looks like Satan in front of the school that has purportedly driven down property values, if anyone knows what school it is, leave one in the comments.
I had a half cooked idea about joining the VPD, and in order to do that I needed to meet the basic physical requirements. Run the obstacle course in I-can't-remember-how-many minutes, and run a mile and a half in less than 12 minutes. I did those runs with my brother twice a week for two months. My best time was 10:13 around the track. Then we ran tobattas (did I spell that correctly? doubtful) on the track; sprint as hard a we can for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds, eight times. Then a brief set of body weight exercises that I could go through with reasonably little difficulty. The sprints always ground me into dust. I was always strong out of the gates, and on those occasions when my brother would bring another member of his ultimate team out, they'd always seem impressed that I could keep up, or outpace a few of them in the sprints.
I wasn't in incredible shape at any point, but I was passable, and it made me feel impressive being able to throw around a number around that was competitive to get on the VPD.
But I digress.
Monday was Randy's class. Monday was an outdoor class. Monday was rainy. Monday destroyed me.
Sprint 2/3 of a block(ish) and walk back to the starting line. Stop at a filthy pair of shirts that have been left on the ground. Do it ten times, or until you can't anymore. Alternative when you're bagged: Sprint a shorter distance with a nice steep uphill. I made eight sprints, and thought I was going to die. My legs were tired, my lungs were burning, and my tongue and jaw hurt from running and breathing so hard. The last two sets up the small hill had me parking my ass on the unused kiddie pool and wondering if the sprints had left me too tired to vomit. Class continued; as did the rain. The gymnastics exercises were almost too much. The cartwheels and handstands have gotten easier. And then came boxing. A whole class of boxing because no one wanted to bring their swords in the rain, except for me. The drills have all blurred together, starting with a simple jab cross 2x2, and finishing with a spinning back elbow leading to a combination chokeslam and hip throw straight out of my favorite martial arts movies. No lie, it made me feel like I was living a scene out of the Blood Sport director's cut. The class finished with slow work sparring. No gloves, no pads, just the implied trust from your partner, and the knowledge that everyone is there to make each other better.
I went home, showered, had some adventures that night, came home again, and went to bed.
I awoke sore. Sore to the point where my muscles wouldn't respond to my commands; sore like I was the first time Patricia put me through the archery stretches; sore like I was when I worked out with my brother. from my ankles to my neck was sore. Unbelievably sore. To the point... well, if you're reading this, you're either a facebook friend or a fencing nerd (probably both) so you probably know the feeling of the morning after a grinding workout.
And while I grumble and grouse about it, I know that the greatest change in my physical ability has always been accompanied by sprints. The days on the track with my brother, wrestling in grade 12, and now twice a week, maybe thrice, with or without Randy, sprints and gymnastics.
It hurts, and I hate it, but the physique to pursue mastery awaits me on the other side of this threshold.
If I run fast enough, maybe I can just blitz through it...