Thursday, January 14, 2010

What have I gotten myself into?

A few days before I flew back home to BC for the Christmas break I decided to take on the challenge of the one-and-only P90X phenomena that is overtaking the fitness world. I've seen the infomercials so many times and every time that I watch it, I think "I could do totally do that! I could have a body like that too!" (I can be optimistic too ya know... so don't shake your heads at me.) So like I said, I went and bought the set of DVDs, and satisfied with my purchase and my decision, I got on a plane and headed home.

I was pumped to start the first DVD right away...but then there's the whole jet lag thing, and my mom stuffing food down my throat (believe me, I didn't stop her), so I waited a few days to start. Also, good ol' Air Canada lost my luggage once again so I couldn't start them anyway until my luggage showed up 4 days later. The one thing about the program is that they recommend that you be at a certain fitness level before you begin, mostly because they don't want you to hurt yourself, throw the DVD player across the room and bad mouth the program to all of your friends until the end of time. My first concern was not passing their "fitness test", which consisted of being able to do a certain amount of things like push-ups, chin-ups, wall-squats and jumping jacks. I ended up being at an alright level, which made me happy. What did not make me happy was that I had to basically measure every inch of my body beforehand so that when I look back in 90 days I will see my changes. Really though, who wants to measure themselves during the Christmas holidays?? But I did it anyway, because I am committed. What is their famous saying??? Decide, Commit, Succeed! That was me.

The first few days went fairly well actually. I remember thinking "I can do this! No problem!" Sure I was a bit sore but that is to be expected. By the end of week one I was feeling pretty good about my decision. I really loved being home and having the whole basement to myself, in which I created my own personal gym. Unfortunately the ceiling is a bit low down there for some of the moves, so I was bumping my head lots and not able to do the jumps (especially the ones in plyometrics), that I wanted to do. Another negative about the room was that there always seemed to be some kind of pet watching me work-out which can be a bit distracting. Peanut was always very interested in what I was doing down there, so she would sit there and judge me with her bright feline eyes. I think she was laughing internally about my lack of coordination and flexibility. Splash is always the worst to work-out around. She is always in my face (literally) or lays under or beside me in hopes of getting my attention away from what I am doing and onto that slobbery stuffed goose that she wants to me throw for her. It's a good thing they're cute.

Week two was a bit of a different story. This is the point in which I realized that it's only going to get harder and that I was stuck doing something that was going to have to somehow get through because "I am committed". I did notice right away that I was stronger in my arms and shoulders already (even though I still royally sucked at doing push-ups and chin-ups). The thing with P90X is that it does get harder the more you do it because as you get stronger and more familiar with the moves, you're using more muscles, getting better and working harder...therefore more pain and anguish the following morning (in which you have to do it all over again). By the end of week 2 I did have an life-changing experience. When I was doing Yoga X, I realized that for the first time in my life I could sit on the floor with my legs out, and touch my toes without bending my legs. I could touch my toes!!! This may seem like a rather pitiful reason for me to get all excited, but this is a major milestone for me. I am extremely inflexible (my dad is about as flexible as a tree trunk, so thanks dad for that one), therefore this accomplishment made me very happy indeed.

Flying back to PEI was a bittersweet experience. I was leaving my friends and family behind again, as well as my little sanctuary gym where I could be left alone to grunt and groan in self inflicted suffering. Plus I was heading back to the tiny island of sea and ice (and wind) where the weather always sucks. On the flip-side, I got to get back to school and work and see my other group of friends and boyfriend. Also, week 3 of the program was to be completed, which I got through with less pain, but also less time and room to do it in. I also got a chin-up bar finally, which meant that I was really in it now.

Week 4 started yesterday (much to my dismay it began with Yoga-X, my least favourite video so far). What I am really excited about though is that week 4 is a whole new set of DVDs and I get to do Core Synergistics today. I have no idea what this entails, but it looks scary and I am pumped to give it a try. Luckily Sam will be home when I am doing it, so if I keel over at any point hopefully she will hear the thud and come to my rescue. Tip of the day: it's always good to have a game plan, and she is mine.

I guess I am telling my story of my P90X experience because there are probably a lot of people out there who want to try it, haven't get made the commitment yet and are waiting to hear more about it. I am not telling you either way to do it or not do it. All I want to say about the topic is that it is very time consuming and to get "optimum results" you're supposed to follow the work out schedule strictly and eat a quite disciplined diet. They don't put you on a diet or anything. They just tell you the kinds of foods that you should eat as you progress through the program and the ones you should eliminate (fat, sugar and salt, surprise surprise!). So far I am really enjoying it, but that may be the masochistic side of me shining through.

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