All hopped up on indignation and irritated by the fact that I'm going to have to use umpteen (that counts as a word, right?) bottles of water in the next two days since we are under another boil order (any idea how many times I wash my hands in a day? No? At least 20), I headed to the gym to try a kettle bell class as a way to work out my frustration.
And that tiny little iron bell and that itsy bitsy instructor? Kicked my hiney from here to eternity and back. Having never seen a full kettle bell workout, I had no idea what to expect. I thought it would be a great workout for arms, shoulders and back. I had no idea going in that 4,000 bonus squats would be included. Yay! Squats! Not.
The heart rate meds I'm on sometimes cause me to get lightheaded or dizzy when I get too ambitious with the cardio. I've adapted in normal life - I pause for just a second, take a couple of deep breaths, and then go on my merry way. In kettle bell class, there were a lot of reps that require you to squat down and then swing up the kettle bell to around shoulder level. After about 25 minutes of that, my body decided that it needed to get serious about showing me how hard it was working and I'd squat, swing, stand, extend and BOOM! Dizzy. Only problem with that? We were doing endless sets of reps, so I had started to sincerely wonder whether or not I was going to pass out. Or lose control of the kettle bell. Or both. How embarrassing would THAT be?!?
The last series of exercises we did were called snatches (squat down, upright row to bring the kettle bell to chest level, arm extension all the way up into a shoulder press, but you have to do it so the kettle bell kind of flips over and ends up resting on the back of your hand/wrist/forearm. Then you bring it back down to the floor and repeat.) We did thirty seconds of snatches with each arm, followed by 30 seconds of figure eights (where you pass the kettle bell in a figure 8 motion through your legs) in each direction, then 24 more two handed regular swings.
Believe you me, it's way harder to do it than type it. I was at close to muscle fatigue with my shoulders before we started the last round. I'm guessing it wasn't the smartest idea to do the P90x chest/back (push up/pull up) workout that morning followed by kettle bells that evening. My shoulders were on fire and the edges of my vision were starting to fade to black. So when I got to the last part of the last set, the 24 two arm swings, I had to stop. Bent over with my hands on my knees, I focused solely on not passing out. Or throwing up.
From what seemed like a million miles away, I heard the instructor tell me, "Ma'am? The air is up here." True, but if I'd stood up, I have no doubt that I'd have passed out, no matter where the air was. So I stayed put and counted the drops of sweat that hit the floor as I took slow, deep breaths. There were a lot of them. By the time the rest of the class finished that last set, I was okay to stand up and do the cool down. Then I staggered out and went to take a shower in the Y's non-compromised water. I kid. I didn't stagger, I just walked slowly and with purpose. On the up side? I was no longer even the least bit upset about the boil order...or anything else for that matter.