Saturday, February 17, 2007

Coming Up for Air

It has been a crazy-busy week. Even with a day off on Friday, I've been overwhelmed with activities. Then today I came home from a 9:00 a.m. appointment and I just fell asleep until 5:00 p.m.! Nothing like a little exhaustion, eh?

We had a great time at the fitness challenge on Thursday! The people at the Field House (who are running our Biggest Loser contest and fitness challenges) set up an obstacle course within the confines of the indoor soccer field. The course was on the perimeter of that field, and we had an added challenge from what they'd told us previously about it: They made these wooden "skis" with 2 wide boards and had four ropes on each. We had to use these to walk together (I called it "elephant walking") from one obstacle to the next. What a fun challenge that was! You know how we tend to swing our arms counter to how we walk; with this you had to lift up your arms with the same side that was stepping. Thank goodness my trainer has had me do a number of exercises where it was the same side lifting the weight as the leg that was raised!

So, here's how the course went:

1. Your team is on the "skis" at the starting line. You walk as a team about 10 feet to the first challenge, which is the transfer relay.

2. Two team members participated in the transfer relay. No, we couldn't transport the entire container (which was a large plastic garbage bin, the kind you set out on the curb on garbage day), we had to transport the contents of the container, which were 8 bowling pins and 2 light bowling balls. It took on average three round trips to transfer the stuff.

3. When the transfer challenge was completed by two team members, the team had to get back to the "skis" (remember, they're at the starting point of the first challenge) and elephant walk up and around a curve to the next challenge (about 25 ft, I think).

4. The two team members who didn't do the transfer relay did this next challenge, which was the football throw. They had a kind of A-frame that suspended a tire (one line at the top and one on the side to kind of steady it). One person threw the footballs and the other person shagged the strays. Trish and I did this one. She got hers through fairly quickly (and just by luck, we all agree, because it kind of twirled around inside the hole before falling through. Mine took a bit longer. We learned that each person had 2 minutes for this part. I'm sure I took about 1.5 minutes.

5. OK, back on the "skis" and walking around a short curve to the balance beam.

6. There were no weights to carry across the beam (as they'd told us previously). We had only ourselves, but two people had to carry the "skis," so Bill and I each carried a "ski." The beam was a 4 x 4 suspended on cinder blocks. I admit that I forgot everything I'd practiced and was thinking only of getting across, so I made rather a hash of it, but I got across while carrying that "ski" overhead.

7. When all of us were off the balance beam, we had to drop and crawl under a tarp. There were two cinder blocks with beams crosswise and a tarp over the top of that. I could do it at a low crawl (we had to watch that we didn't hit our heads on the cross beams). One person had to take a 2 x 4 and two of us had to bring the "skis" along.

8. When all of us were out from under the tarp, we had to walk or run through the nine tires. Again, Bill and I transported the "skis" overhead (so the ropes hang down and don't trip you up).

9. After the tires, we had to get on the skis again and elephant walk to the water hazard.

10. The water thing was easy: Little wading pools with about an inch of water in them. We had to put at least one foot in the water. But Bill and I were carrying the skis as we did it.

11. After the water thing, we put the skis down and elephant walked through a serpentine path to the end, about 25 ft again.

Our team did it all in 9 minutes, 14 seconds! We were so thrilled! Other teams were having trouble with the group walking. Still others would do really well at the first challenge but fall far behind on the football throwing part.

Two teams were on the course at one time, but we were really competing against the clock. Other teams, of course, had faster times, but we didn't care -- it was fun!

Then on Friday morning I had a workout at 8:00 a.m. with a different trainer (mine was out of town) so I told him to have me do the exercises he normally does with his clients just to give me a change of pace. It was a lot of fun! It was some of the same things I've done with my trainer, but usually with a slightly different twist.

After the workout I went home (Ed had come along and done his 60 minutes of cardio while I did my workout). Ed showered and I got laundry together. Then we had to leave for an appointment with the pastor at my church.

When we finished talking with the pastor, I went in to work at the stationery shop. I needed to come in early because we were backed up on the printing. So, I worked until 6:00 p.m., then we went home and vegged out for the rest of the evening. I was in bed by 10:00 p.m.

I've done a bit of knitting but not much. It's been really crazy.

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