Opening disclaimer: We all have our body stuff. Even the fittest of the fit have their areas they’d like to improve. It is all relative and this blog is not a place for shaming or judging about body image. What I have here is a humorous story about me attempting to tackle what I lovingly call my “Wine Cellar.” It’s sort of that area toward and around the bottom of the torso where I collect my wine. Men have a spare tire or a beer gut, so I’ve decided to call mine the Wine Cellar. It used to be dubbed the Mommy Belly but my littlest is 3 so I am just facing the reality that in my case it’s not the baby, it’s the wine. The wine is not going anywhere so evicting the Wine Cellar requires extra measures. In any case, keep the comments in the spirit of the post please and enjoy…
So I recently attempted to embark on a new fitness endeavor – achieving 6-pack abs in time for Memorial Day Weekend. I procured the 6 week 6 pack DVD from famed fitness guru Jillian Michaels and, since I made this plan 8 weeks ago, felt that I was ahead of the game to get a 6 week 6 pack in 8 weeks. I’ve been working hard on the yoga, I’m pretty fit-ish, so I felt this was a reasonable, achievable goal, if I worked hard enough.
SPOILER ALERT: Memorial Day Weekend is upon us and I do not, I repeat, DO NOT have 6 pack abs. I blame the burpees and with good reason. Maybe. Sort of. Anyways…
So the whole idea behind the Jillian Michaels shtick as I discovered is weaving in intense cardio along with ab exercises to “shred fat and get the most *dramatic pause* out of your six pack!” Awesome, I could use some cardio. She mentions it being like HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training if you’re not hip to the lingo). I’m like OK cool, let’s begin. First of all, holy shit. “If you want a six pack in SIX WEEKS, you’re gonna have to DO THE WORK!” This woman is not messing around. 5 minutes into the workout and I wanted to die. But, I was determined, so I pushed through as much as I could.
Then came the burpees and this is where the problem began. Backtrack to a personal injury history. I was a dancer from the age of 3 to 21. Hips, knees, ankles, most joints were compromised as a result of being beat up from dance over the years. In college, during dance, I sustained an injury to my right knee. It is now an indicator of high pressure fronts and needs to remain straightened at times of irritation which is SUPER FUN that it’s my driving knee and we know how much long distance driving I’ve been known to do. Anyways, my right knee has been the “bad” knee for about 16 years. You know how when you lift heavy things people say “You only have one back!” I always liked to fire back with “Well I only have one good knee, so…” OK fast forward back to when I thought doing this Jillian Michaels DVD was a good thing.
If you don’t know what a burpee is, below is a diagram of doing one. You usually do it repeatedly and it’s a *great* full body exercise:
image from risetoit.co.za
So when I started doing the DVD, I was in the middle of a burpee, literally in the middle – in the jump back to plank pose – when I felt something pull in my left knee. Not going to lie, there was a bit of a yell and maybe I fell on my face a little bit. That was unexpected. I jump back to plank pose often in yoga so not sure why this would be a problem for me but OW. So, I stopped doing the burpee portion of the exercises and just focused on the rest. Fine.
Until I got brave…..ly stupid. “Maybe it was just that one time,” I told myself. “I can do this, I’m determined,” I said. But no, it was not just that one time and no, I actually cannot do this. In my next attempt at a burpee, I maybe got through 1 or 2 before it happened. Same spot, same knee. This time… searing pain, really loud scream, and a total faceplant. My neighbors were outside at the time and I fully expected them to run to my door, that’s how loud I shouted out in pain. They didn’t though. Probably just used to hearing me yell at the wildlings.
So, then and there, with my face dug into the carpet (is that part of a tortilla chip there? I really need to vacuum), I realized that the burpee is not for me. I loathed it before I started doing it (seriously, it’s kind of like torture) and now it loathes me back. Was it my form? Maybe. Was it the awkward combo of sneakers on carpet? Likely. I don’t care though. The burpee and I are no longer speaking. I also stopped doing the DVD overall and have just stuck with my yoga. Yoga and I are on fantastic terms. We love each other and we don’t hurt each other. It’s a much healthier relationship for me and my Wine Cellar.
But that’s not the end. Whatever ripped apart under my knee cap has the NERVE to continue to ache. All that rain we were having? Guess which knee decided it was going to go all meteorologically inclined on me? Mmmhmm the burpee knee. The air pressure and rain got to be so much that my formerly bad and now the better knee started aching too. GODDAMMIT! I have two bad knees now. I’m not saying burpees are evil, but…
Someone else doing a burpee:image from Boxlifeimage.com
Me doing a burpee:image from Worldwideinterweb.com