So in the middle of a 1-minute plank, I forget about the pain of the moment, the strain of attempting to maintain the form, and fix my gaze on the single beads of sweat being pushed from my brow by sweat beads in queue waiting their chance to drop to the floor mats below. You imagine that for each drop of sweat, it's like the feeling of hanging from the branch of a familiar back yard tree. You hang till gravity pulls you down, loosening your grip. Likewise gravity beckons the beads of sweat, one by one. They drop. I watch. Quietly, gently, they pool in a puddle 14 inches below your nose. Evidence that the heart rate is up. That you are burning calories. That you are all in.
You get a 10-second, or sometimes 20-second recovery period, then it's on to the next exercise. This week the iron kettlebell became our new best friend. Trainer Tyrone Minor had us pick suitable weight kettlebell. For those who aren't familiar with the term kettlebell, this weight is like an iron cannon ball, with an iron loop on top. The loop is generally wide enough to grip with two hands, allowing you to lift the weight and swing it from between the legs to a chest high position, using the force of your legs going from bent to snapping back while you swing the arms forward to mid chest level. The weight ranges from 3lbs to 44lbs or greater.
Our routine included halos, circling the kettlebell above the head with arms straight, one direction then the opposite direction, then with no recovery, we did kettlebell presses, lifting the weight from chest high to above the crown of our heads, then deadlifts, squatting to lift the kettlebell and squatting to return it to the flow. We continued to kettlebell swings, described earlier, then did kettlebell rows and kettlebell lunges. Seated, we did Russian twists: clasping the weight to our chest, knees bent, twisting with intensity from side to side, working oblique muscles.
Time for a reward...a long break for water and cool down, I think.
Wrong again! Follow me, Minor orders, bolting up the stairs, out of the building for a cold lap to the other end of the block.
At the end of the workout, he's laughing, asking how was it? Wet, winded, but laughing back, we say great! Thanks.
I refer to this as explosive because on the personal internal level, that is exactly what is happening. It's like being on fire, burning from the inside. But in the external sense, when I look at my fellow participants, putting in the work with fierce intensity, I get the distinct feeling that working together the way we are not only means a lot to us individually, but a lot to everyone around us, to all the lives that we touch and that connect with ours. And that is what I think is expansive about this idea, the Insight2Health Fitness Challenge. This feels like that something that can grow.