Exercise was never a terribly important part of my life. I had a good metabolism and wasn’t trying to be a male model, so I figured there was no point. Then, short of two years ago, my wife brought a Beachbody on Demand subscription into our house. For the first month I used it casually, trying a workout here and there, and fully committed myself within a few weeks. Now, my morning workout has become a non-negotiable way to start my day. My energy is up, my blood pressure is down, and there are these weird, hard things called “muscles” all over me. It’s interesting how that works.
That said, I still have lots to work on. Having sat at a computer or in front of a video game console for the better part of the past 25 years, my flexibility is similar to that of a large bridge; I can bend and stretch slightly when the situation calls for it, but only with the most stringent of restrictions. It’s a well-known fact that the tendons on the back of my knees are so tight they would be suitable for slicing cheese, and my hamstring isn’t so much a string as a hamrod. I have almost constant lower back pain due to bad posture that I’m working daily to improve, and I’m in constant conflict with my rounded shoulders that I’m striving to keep lifted in everything I do.
Having gone through a vast array of Beachbody programs in the past two years, the one I’ve returned to the most is Liift 4. It combines the muscle-building power of old-school weight lifting with the cardio and agility-boosting practices of Hiit, or high intensity interval training. It’s also only four days a week, which is nice. On my first few runs through the program, I’d take my three rest days as actual rest days, doing nothing or getting straight to work in place of my exercise. Now, because I’m all balls-out awesome and stuff, I feel the need to do something physical – but less demanding – on those “down” days.
Enter: Three Week Yoga Retreat – an incredibly peaceful, incredibly bright white lesson in beginner yoga.
This is new territory. It’s challenging and it’s uncomfortable, but Vytas, the initial trainer (and guy from several seasons of Survivor) says that’s okay. I’m finding the basic positions difficult to achieve and hold, which makes me very curious how I’ll fare in the later two weeks when secretly-evil Elise Joan and the yoga freakshow Ted McDonald take over. I’ve done other material with both of them at the helm in the past, and neither of them are known for slacking off.
If nothing else, it’s already inspired a short story idea about a guy who time travels during his shavasana.