Monday, June 15, 2009

The Gunny-Part Deux

Life lesson learned the hard way: Never make commitments to The Gunny under the influence of multiple bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon, because he will hold you accountable, and you will regret it.

This past Friday finally brought evidence of June weather here on the Chicago North Shore.  As we frequently do, our quad of neighbors got together for an impromptu barbecue followed by an evening around the fire pit with lots of bullshitting, story telling and drinking.  I've come to really enjoy these low-key evenings, but have discovered that I need to watch what I say to The Gunny.  While we were chatting, The Gunny mentioned how he is planning on starting a work-out regime with one of the other ladies, and I chime in that I want to participate.  He then offers to start it in the morning with me.  He knew that I was heading downtown on Saturday to participate in RibFest and would be gorging on overpriced beer and sweet, sweet ribs smothered in delicious, tangy sauce. The Gunny figured we could do some preventative work before I overdid it.  However, he warned me that it would not be easy, and that we were doing it rain or shine.

Now, if the logical portion of my brain had been operating, I quickly would've realized that I had polished off two bottles of said wine on my own, it was almost midnight, and we were planning to leave by Noon the following day; therefore, I would either have to wake up still drunk to participate, or be late for Ribfest, a thought I would not even entertain.  Logic would have told me to just say no and enjoy sleeping in.  But, as we all know, logic rarely prevails in my world, nor does my Polish Pride ever allow me to step back from a challenge, so I told him I would be ready for whatever he could throw at me bright and early.

Fast-forward 6 hours later, around 0630, and I am nestled cozily in my bed, head spinning with thoughts of California reds, and my phone starts ringing.  Clumsily, I managed to stop the noise which was clearly being amplified by a megaphone.  Then I get a text, The Gunny is telling me at 0900 we are going and to be ready.  I had no clue what he was talking about and quickly turned it off, back into my wine-induced slumber.  At 0900, the text alert chirps, telling me at 1000 we are going regardless and there are no excuses.  Crap. It is coming back to me, I told The Gunny I would do this, and there is no telling The Gunny you don't want to do something that you committed to. It's a rule of life, never lie to The Gunny. I stumble out of bed, get my gear on, and walk over to his house in the pouring down rain, quietly swearing my neighbors for having a bbq when I planned on spending the previous night parked on my couch with my smelly hound dog watching reruns of Deadliest Catch.  Captain Phil would have never enticed me to drink so much.  My anger was only enhanced when I looked up to see The Gunny, who wisely only sipped whiskey the night prior, with his arms outstretched and wearing a shit-eating grin saying, "Don't you love this stuff!"  

No, I don't. No one loves exercising in the pouring down rain when they can barely control their limbs due to excessive wine consumption.

The next hour and a half may have been the most physically demanding and grueling of my entire life.  We walked briskly, as we all know I cannot run safely, then stopped every hundred yards or so to do exercises.  We squatted, we did lunges, push-ups, scissor kicks, ran stairs, hello Dollies, jumping jacks, and other things so terrible that I will not speak their name.  At one point The Gunny actually had me jogging, in this pouring rain, through a wet, rainy field just after doing 40 lunges, and I literally thought my heart was going to explode.  I make it policy to never tell The Gunny, "I can't," but I did feel it was necessary to tell him he was about to have a fatality on his hand.  He took it in stride, The Gunny is actually very supportive and understanding of my limitations and modifies exercises for my inabilities.  For example, he had me doing an exercise where I had my back to the seat of a bench, and I had to raise myself up and down with my triceps.  It was a complete failure.  1. I cannot support my weight on triceps alone, 2. That bench was slippery, and 3. Even if it wasn't wet, my hands are about the size of a toddlers (I wear children's small or medium gloves and mittens, which is a score as they are much cuter and cheaper!) My tiny little paws could not even grasp the thickness of the wood.  I fell on my derriere a few times  before he switched me to something new that did not involved bruising my tailbone.

But alas, just as all good things must come to and end, all horrible, painful hellish things do too.  We finally started the trek back home.  With about three minutes left in the walk, the rain showers stopped and the sun came up.  The optimist in me tried to smile over the fact that this meant my coveted RibFest would not be cancelled, but the searing pain in my legs, burning in my lungs, and squishy steps of my Nikes did not allow me to celebrate.  I still had three minutes to walk and it was questionable whether I would make it.  In the end, I made it, and I made it to the RibFest, and the beer gardens and smoky ribs made The Gunny's workout entirely worth it.

For that day.  Now, I am not so sure.  Three days have elapsed since I endured that workout, and I am still in extreme pain.  Sunday I could not bend at the knees due to insane quad pain. To get things that were on the ground or down low required me slowly lowering myself into a pushup position with minimal bending- and due to those weak triceps, I kept falling over once I got to the required height.  The most interesting part was finding out that I do indeed have abdominal muscles, and that they are used quite a bit in the most basic movements.  I honestly thought I no longer had them as they had to leave to make room for the ever-expanding Bud Light Belly, but with every breathe, cough, twist and turn over the past few days, they have alerted me of their presence with throbbing pain. But it was worth it as I learned a lot of great new exercises I can incorporate at the gym, at home or on walks.  And as this soreness fades, I am actually looking forward to the next workout that The Gunny puts me through.

I am just going to make sure that my Last Will and Testament are updated before participating. And that I made the decision to do it under sober mind, if that ever happens.

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