healthy:her

Health and wellness tips for women, easy everyday meal planning, food expense budgets and more

Not for the Faint of Heart

There are a few things in life I have not necessarily been brave enough to try on my own.  First time admitting it.  Feels good.  Like therapy.  Or at least what I think therapy would or could feel like if I were to ever try it.  I am not sure if I’m motivated to afford myself, actually. 

I mean I can secure a parking spot at the mall during holiday season with no problem.  It does not matter that Grandma Ruth over there just wants to grab one more box of Legos for little Johnny this year, if she circles that spot more than once, she’s out.  (Valet was made for one reason: for the non-decision makers of the world, I’m sure of it.) 

But skydiving, spray tan booths and radical group exercises are among my lists of phone-a-friend first kind of activities.  Being blonde, sometimes we make irrational decisions.  Like if we have said we will NEVER do such-and-such or this-and-that it does not mean we will not wake up some random Tuesday morning and decide it sounds like a perfectly reasonable adventure.  Maybe this is part of being female, too.  Does it make sense to the average person, next door neighbor, best friend or even ourselves?  Perhaps, not.  Will it be fun?  You bet!

            This is how I found myself in a body pump class in the middle of an otherwise normal sunny afternoon.  Now fitting into medium shirts and able to do average exercises like getting in a run AND going to work on the same day, I was feeling pretty motivated.  (Otherwise major physical undertakings were reserved for days off when my energy meter was full and no one was home to watch me struggle to walk afterward.)  I mean, I was no longer just walking the sidewalks and jogging the intersections.  I was serious. I was hardcore.  There were a variety of ladies in all shapes and sizes lining up for this class and my intimidation level was moderate to low.  I’ve got this.  I was actually excited about it.

            The weight bar was 15 pounds in itself.  Still ok.  I tested it out a few times, then selected a medium -sized weight with the lowest number possible.  It added on another 5 pounds.  Ok, cool.  I mean, my groceries feel this much, at least.  Our instructor was about 10 years my junior and fresh out of college.  She still had ambition and lots to live for, and she decided to demonstrate it all on this day.  Some electric metal music track came on and we were off and running.  We lifted and lugged, we squatted and stretched, we bounced up and down and pumped our hearts out.  My lungs were getting tight and heart rate had been up for a while, I was starting to feel the burn.  I looked up at the clock to see 15 minutes had passed by.  Oh, good…halfway over.  The woman in front of me had a sweat stain the size of Texas spanning the length of her Lululemon tank and I suddenly did not feel so bad about how many times I had to gasp for air.  We were all suffering for a good cause. 

            Workout Barbie gave us a 30 second break, “Grab some water, ladies!”  A few of the class members, who were brunettes and of the prepared sort, grabbed the bottles next to their workout mats and chugged away.  Some stretched out for a second and let their muscles relax.  Two of them collapsed on the floor, looks of regret for this time in their lives they had lost and could never get back, and three of them shuffled to the back fountain like water buffalo, fully intending on it taking AT LEAST 5 minutes to make it back to the front of the room.

            A few precious seconds later our time was over and we grabbed our bars.  Squatting having never been on my list of things to master or earn a degree in, I was really feeling this class in my thighs.  Thank God, only 14 more minutes and I can post this accomplishment on Facebook and go on with my life.  The music blasted again and we picked up where we left off.  I was counting down the minutes like it was the last day of school before summer.  Ten minutes left and we were doing dead lifts from our feet on up.  I reach over, removed my weight blocks and let my weights rest on the floor.  Surely fifteen pounds with the bar would be enough to finish.  I still felt accomplished and continued on.  Five minutes left and I slowed down, maybe she would not notice I was off tempo.  Maybe she would chalk it up to me being blonde.  Two minutes left and I stopped looking at her altogether.  I stared at the trees out the window, focused on getting a little more air in my lungs and figuring out a strategy on how to stay alive for 60 more seconds.  One more minute….45 seconds, 30, 15. 

Author NOT pictured

            “Break!” She yells.  “Great job, get some water, we’re halfway!”  Oh no, did she say half?  My arms feel like Gumby and I have lost all sensation in my toes.  This is an hour class? I considered dying as an option out.  I frantically looked around at my classmates to assess their reactions.  Were there any other blondes here?  Did anyone else see the panic across my face?  A few seemed scared, but it was hard for me to see with all the sweat in my eyes.  Holy buckets, where’s the door?  The music started again and I jolted and started moving.  I abandoned my bar altogether and tried to fake the movements along, trying to strategize how I could sneak away.  42 minutes into this class, I decided humiliation was my only option.  I bent over right in the middle of Eclecto Jams and rolled up my mat.  You got me today, world. 

I hung my head and headed for the back of class.  I heard a bunch of scuffling and fully anticipated to turn and find everyone staring at the poor short girl with the red, splotchy face and the weird sweat stains.  Instead four of them were right behind me.  “Go!” They said, “We’ll cover you!”  We all ran like a heard of baby llamas into the hallway, laughing and snorting.  “I didn’t think I was going to make it out alive!” I laughed.  One of them turns, “My husband never believes me when I say I do these things, he thinks I just come and lounge by the pool or get a massage.”  One of them pipes up, “Yeah, a massage…great idea!  Let’s do that instead!”

            I limped out to the car, shaking my head.  I wonder how buff my legs will look tomorrow?  That’s the best 42 minutes they’ve seen in a while!  I might buy some new sandals and a shorter dress.  Oh, yeah baby…life is sweet.

Rachel Asks: Who is hitting their workout goals this year? How are you staying motivated? What is your favorite workout? Comment below!

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Medium is my new favorite word

I have lost 412 pounds in my life, collectively.  I mean, not all at once…come on here, give a girl a chance.  But, if you put together all the “Weight Watchers” counting, no super size – thank you, “just say no” to carbs kind of mentality, I could really total up some poundage!  I was not always so concerned about these curves.  I mean for the first few weeks or so that I arrived into the world, I was a cool 7-10 pounds and totally average. Yes!  Medium!  Average! #Excitement

            Actually, I did not understand at all why I was on the planet when I was a baby.  I could not tell night from day and cried like my favorite shoe sale had just ended. All night long I would do this. My parents sought out reinforcements, they checked their buyer’s agreement and called the hospital to see if there was a recall on babies born that day in late October.  Turns out I had not yet figured out this silly thing of living.  Born with a head full of jet-black hair my blonde-ness came in like a group of 3-year olds at a Chucky Cheese birthday party – wild, loud and totally uncontrolled.  I had black tips and blonde roots, my first real taste of rebellion, it seems. I still wake up most mornings looking like I took a 3:00am roller-coaster ride, but hey – sometimes my hair is the most reasonable thing about me. 

LiveLoveDeep author, Rachel Koecher

            I mean, I never really know what kind of day its going to be, or what the world may perplex me with.  For now I’m just excited that I can slip into my new medium shirt, heat-style some life into these golden locks and embrace the day with full force.  A girl on the loose.


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