Friday, May 30, 2008

"What the Heck Did I just get myself into??"

A few months ago, I attended a 'Bring-a-friend-day' at Richmond SEAL Team PT. The instructor, John Maguire, a former Navy SEAL, kicked our butts all over the Carillon with more push-ups, sit-ups, crunches and bear crawls than I have ever done in my life. We ran sprints, vaulted up stairs and played tug-of-war in an intense workout regimen of nonstop, high intensity boot-camp-style exercise.

It was HARD. Harder than any physical workout I've ever done, and that includes running 26.2 miles. Trust me when I say that this stuff was difficult.

At one point in the workout, after having forced us to do like thirty push-ups (About NINE of which I probably did correctly), Instructor Maguire barked at us to pair up quickly to do sit-ups. I made eye contact with a guy named James, a middle-aged guy with a hardcore countenance and a Triathlete's physique. Instructor Maguire counted down from 5 to 1. James grabbed me and attempted to interlock our legs into the team sit-up position, but my feet were still splayed out wide. James whispered sternly and sharply "Lock in your LEGS-- LOCK IN YOUR LEGS!!"

Instructor Maguire had finished counting down, and our little James/Scott team wasn't ready. So, as punishment for my sluggishness, Instructor Maguire made the whole class of thirty do-- you guessed it-- More push-ups.

Oops. My bad. I thought "Way to make friends with the class, Mister-'just-visiting'-guy."

After the push-ups, we gave 'Pairing up' another try, and this time, I think James and I were ready by the time John counted down from 5 to 4. I had learned!!

Then, I watched in stunned amazement as James rattled off, I kid you not, 111 sit-ups. I sat there, counting into the triple digits, mouth agape. This guy James was like a machine. Just when it looked like he couldn't go further, he kicked into another gear and attacked those sit-ups with even fiercer determination.

Then James said "Your turn."

I struggled mightily to eek out 35 out-of-breath, poorly formed, punk-ass sit-ups. James helped me with the final few by easing my elbows to my knees with his hands, making my meager total at least a teeny bit more respectable. Thanks, dude.

This guy James is my new hero, I thought.

So then, John says to the group-- "If you've just set a new sit-up personal record, stand up."

So I stood up.

Everybody laughed.

John said "Sit down, you don't have a PR yet."

I thought "like hell I don't!! I just wheezed my ass off for those 'whack 35,' I want some recognition!!"

James stood up. 111 sit-ups. I thought, He had to have started somewhere... Maybe someday I could knock out that many perfect sit-ups...Dude is in killer shape...

So, that's where the seed was planted...

That was back in March, when the temperature was in the mid-40s. I was right at the peak of my marathon training, and the running sections were almost like getting a brief respite from the push-ups, which I have never, ever been any good at. Back in the '80s when I was in elementary school gym class, we had the President's Physical Fitness Test, and I think the seventy-plus year-old President Reagan could do more push-ups than me, even though I probably weighed about sixty-two pounds.

So it was with some mild surprise that I found myself with the phone in my hand this afternoon, in the middle of registering for the SEAL Team PT two-week basic fitness class which starts this Monday, June 2nd at 9:30am. As I hung up the phone, I thought of that grueling mid-March workout. I thought of the high-80s temperatures forecast for the Richmond area next week. My next thought was "What the heck did I just get myself into??"

So, wish me luck as I embark on the two-week adventure of a lifetime. It's time to see if I can access that Extra-Gear that I want to get in touch with-- to push my limits and really impact my half-marathon time in the June 14 XDURO Trail Race.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to practice my HOO-YA!!

For more information about Richmond SEAL TEAM PT, visit their website or call (804)-262-1894


Anonymous said...

good gawds you're an animal...lighten up Francis...


pnlkotula said...

Go Scotty, go's 10:16, and I am feeling for you. As I wait for the effin' water damage contractors to come. Love.

Joy W. said...

You crazy man!
Good for you!!!!

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