I now know what a burpee is.
It is not, as I previously thought, a cutesy way to describe a belch (“Oh, excuse me! I just burpeed!). It is, in fact, a particularly puzzling exercise that can only have been thought up by a Fitness Freak (who am I kidding? All exercises were thought up by Fitness Freaks!). There are a couple of things that are puzzling about this maneuver; one being who can execute this exercise without worrying their arms are going to give out and, in one instant, years of orthodontic work will be undone as their face smashes into the floor? That was a big concern for me when I attempted to burpee (can burpee be a verb?), but what is most puzzling is how in the world does anyone do a burpee well?
I am not a very coordinated person, and this probably is easier if you are coordinated, but this exercise seems to defy physics. If you do not have the misfortune of knowing what a burpee is, it is a combination of a pushup and a jump. I know what you are thinking, you are thinking that there is no WAY a pushup and a jump can be combined, and you are thinking this because you are a rational human being who understands the physical limitations of the human body. Unfortunately, someone, maybe as a joke or a dare, decided to fall from a standing position onto their hands, kick out their legs behind them, do a pushup, and pop back up into standing position again. It’s pretty hard to do when you have gravity and your level of tiredness working against you.
Thirty burpees was the assigned amount to do on Day 59, Chest & Shoulders day. I got through ten of the them before I felt I was in serious danger of losing my front teeth, and then I finished the last two sets as plain ‘ole pushups. The best thing about the burpee is that it makes pushups feel comforting and almost easy by comparison. If I had to rank them, burpee would now come in as my least favorite exercise and pushups my second least favorite.
What is my all-time favorite exercise? I’m so glad you asked! The hands-down BEST exercise is a yoga position that I call ‘Starfish out of Water.’ For this exercise, you simply lie flat on your back with your legs and arms flung about you and your chest heaves up and down as you gasp for breath. I composed this exercise myself and I demonstrate it daily (usually when I’ve had enough of the active rests) in hopes that it will catch on as the newest craze.
Week Nine is super-intense, and I am very proud of myself for making it through. I had to step out of my comfort zone quite a bit this week, most notably on the day I could not fit a morning workout in and had to go to the gym after work. This unfortunate circumstance happened on Day 2 of Week Nine which was the looooongest workout of the week and the first workout that required running on the treadmill.
Not only is it difficult to find ANY motivation at 6:30pm when it is dark outside and I should be home eating dinner, but the gym is quite busy at that time. I was overwhelmed when I walked into the fitness center and felt the burst of hot, sweaty air. It seems that 6:30 at night is prime time for the muscle-bound 18-22 year olds to hit the gym. And I mean MUSCLE BOUND- guys with rock-hard C-cups and tendons that looked like Rebar bulging out of their necks. At one point, I had to ask a guy to return my barbell because he snatched it while my back was turned assuming nobody was using it because there wasn’t any weight on it. These dudes were serious about their weightlifting and that helped motivate me quite a bit; maybe I couldn’t add any weight to my barbell, but I gave 100% effort in every single one of my sets and I rocked those active rests. In hindsight, my Monday night workout was the best of the week. The biggest upside to being at the gym with the entire cast of WWF wrestling is that I was the daintiest person on the treadmill. I looked like a graceful little goat prancing along in a sea of bulldogs.
After the high-impact routines featured in Week Nine, I was thankful for my rest day yesterday, and I used my time away from the gym to invest in the coming weeks by treating myself to a pair of new sneakers! Today I began Week 10 and my feet were feeling fantastic in my shoes. Make sure you are rewarding yourself for all of the good work you are doing, whether it be a new pair of workout pants (most likely in a smaller size!), a sweet treat, or even just five minutes of ‘Starfish out of Water’ on the gym floor.