I forgot to mention that my trip to the Kentucky Derby started with a near fatal heart attack. I was on the Planes, Trains, and Automobiles plan. I had planned to take the train to Boston, hop on the subway to the airport, and then grab 2 flights until I arrived in Louisville. I had it timed perfectly, or so I thought. Turns out my train left at 7:03 not 7:08 so as I got out of my car, I heard the signal for the oncoming train. I ran with my luggage and carry on bag...with my big Kentucky Derby hat on my head. Have you ever tried to run with 2 pieces of luggage up AND down 3 flights of stairs? With a giant hat on. Just take a minute to visualize that. I found myself yelling "Wait!" in this crazy, lunatic whisper voice. If I didn't get this train I wasn't going to make my flight...plain and simple. I could have kissed the conductor when I finally reached the train. Could have in theory...if I wasn't so busy coughing up my lungs. I'm pretty sure I came down with activity induced asthma as a result. I literally spent the entire train ride coughing. It was pathetic.
I don't think I am that out of shape...especially since lately I have been training for my first 5K. If you know me at all, you know this is shocking. I HATE running. Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. Let me say it again. I HATE HATE HATE running. I don't like hearing myself breathe hard, I don't like feeling my parts jiggle. I tend to run as fast as I can to get it over with and then run out of steam early on. I, plain and simple, don't like it.
On the flip side, I love to exercise with friends. When you know someone is waiting for you, you will meet them because you don't want to let them down. I need this type of motivation, especially when it is dark, cold, night, rainy, sprinkling, or any other non-perfect condition.
I started out going to yoga with my friend Ann. This was when I was working at Fidelity and I was too stressed to enjoy yoga. Instead of relaxing, I thought of all the things I should be doing instead of trying to relax. It just wasn't right for me at that time.
Then we moved on to Zumba. OMG...if you haven't taken a Zumba class you need to. It's a latin dance/exercise class. Ann and I spent the whole time giggling at the instructor. She had a love for Carlos Santana and there was one song in particular she played each time...and the minute the beat started, she was transported to a special, private place with Carlos. Because we spent so much time watching her, we were usually bumping into people which would make us laugh even harder.
My friend Melissa and I took a boot camp class 2x a week. During the first class I not only coughed up my lungs but also my liver and spleen. There were 8 of us in the first class...by the second class there were only 4. We spent the first night "frog hopping" around the gym. In this tortorous activity, we all got in a line around the perimeter of the gym and got into a squat position. When it was your turn, you would hop out of line and then hop in a squat position all the way to the front of the line...where you would continue in your squat until it was your turn again. We did this around the entire perimeter of the gym. Go ahead...just try sitting in a squat for 10 minutes. Two words for you...Spaghetti Legs. Oh..you know what else was "fun"? We would stand on one side of the gym and the teacher would huck a tennis ball off the wall. We had to run and catch it before it bounced and if you missed, then everyone in the class had to do 20 sit ups. If you were one of the first people that missed, the class would say "Oh good try!" and do their 20 sit ups. By the end of the line, they were killing you with their daggar eyes. Although my favorite might have been the night when we had to carry folded up gym mats over our heads for the length of the gym and back. I was convinced my neck was going to snap like a pretzel. Suprisingly enough, we went back for more and took the class AGAIN. It did get us in great shape, however we pretty much spent every Tuesday and Thursday throwing up our water while doing bear crawls and suicides.
You heard about my adventures walking 26.2 miles for the Jimmy Fund Walk. Very inspirational and an incredible challenge but again...I walked the marathon route after only walking about 3 miles a day. I can still vividly remember trying to swing myself over the side of the tub to get some relief...but I couldn't even lift my legs. It hurt just to lie still that night.
And now, here I am sucked into yet another "This will be great!" idea. My friend Cori convinced me it would make me feel great. Let me lay it out for you. We get up at 5:15, are on the road by 5:45, and home by 6:30. Oh, yeah, and in between we meet 2 other ladies and a personal trainer who has us on a program of walking and running at various intervals. Class 2, we came around the corner and one of the ladies was hurling in the bushes. I'm not kidding you. Full on throwing up in the bushes. Jesus. What did I get myself into again?!
I have to admit, I do feel good by the time I finish. And although I'm not looking to run a marathon anytime soon, I don't mind running as much anymore. By the time I get on the train in the morning, I have already been up for 3 hours. Of course I now go to the bed with the kids because I can't keep my eyes open.
Bottom line, the power of friendship is tremendous. It can make you do things you never would have otherwise. And for some, myself included, it's just the motivation you need to challenge yourself. After this I'm pretty sure I am out of things to try so don't even think about asking me to do another thing.
Oh, and if you are in town on June 18th, come congratulate Cori and I when we cross the finish line of the Timlin Race!