OK, the over-achiever part of me has surfaced again. It is hard to have an illness like MS where I am tired and weak and at the same time be the type of person who can’t slow down. I know what everyone says, “You should rest, take care of yourself, listen to your body.” Don’t get me wrong: I have the symptoms. I have weakness on my right side. I have some trouble walking at times. I am tired most days. But never one to sit idol, I enrolled myself in boot camp. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this it is a high-energy crazy workout. I know, many of you are saying, “How can you do that? You have MS? Is it safe?” The answer to all of those questions is: I’m nuts.
I told the instructor before class about my MS. I explained how the disease affects me and if I stop that is why. He was very understanding and told me to do what I can do.
All I can say now, looking back is Holy Crap. Do what I can do? How about curl up in a fetal position and suck my thumb?
We started on the bike – the kind they do spinning on. For 2 minutes. No biggie, I thought. I can do this. But then Kwasi, the instructor/drill sargent yelled out, “Stand up!” Stand up? Why? Sitting is fine. I’m comfy, why would I want to stand? Then I stood. Then I immediately sat back down. Kwasi said it was OK to sit, but he came over and cranked up the resistance. What kind of sadistic creature are we dealing with? He also has this little tool of torture (I call it Satan’s playtoy): a box with a green light, yellow light and red light. When it is on green you work your tail off for (he said) 2 minutes. I think it was more like 10, but who was I to argue? They the yellow light comes on and it means you have 30 seconds to go. (Yeah, right. It was at least 5 minutes) Then red means recovery. I swear the red light was on for about 3 seconds.
Next were the kettle balls. They look like softballs with a handle. 10lbs each. No big deal, rght? No big deal until he has us swing them between our legs and up to our eyes. For 2 minutes (sure, 2 minutes). By now my legs are shaking and my shoulders feel like someone hit me with a bat. I look at the clock – we have to be about half way thru class. I almost died when I saw only 7 minutes had gone by. 7 minutes! Out of an hour.
Next is push ups. Then weighted bar bicept curls. Then the exercise ball and crunches. Then back on those friggin’ bikes. Then more push ups, then some evil thing on one leg while using weights. I am positive our instructor is taking pleasure in our agony. This goes on for an hour. By about 40 minutes into it I can barely walk and my right leg is very weak. But I keep pushing. I do what I can, and I was happy to say I did more than I expected. As I slowly walked to my car (and my knees gave out a couple of times) I could feel the pounding I had just given my body.
But the next day, I didn’t feel so bad. Maybe I wasn’t in as bad shape as I thought! I was a little sore which was to be expected, but it wasn’t bad. And of course I was very cocky about it too.
And then the next day came. Pushing back the comforter to get out of bed was excrutiating. Putting my feet on the floor was horrific. And standing? I would rather stick knitting needles in my eyes for the amount of pain I felt. But the worst part? The worst part is the bathroom. I would have given my eye teeth to be a man that morning, because once I sat, there was no getting up. I finally managed to get up and the tears of pain streamed down my face. Of course my arms were too sore to lift them to wipe away the tears and a tissue was too heavy that morning.
So you are probably all saying, “Well, you learned your lesson. Now you’ll take it easy, rest, take care of yourself.” But I already told you the type of person I was.
I signed up to do boot camp twice a week.