No cape required

No cape required

The first night of kettlebells. I put on my workout uniform. (Cuz remember back to my running days? I firmly believe you gain super powers just by donning the uniform – no cape required!)

My brother was visiting from Spain with his wife Paloma and their kids Sylvia and Ian. It was the end of July and we were celebrating my brother’s birthday before he set out to visit my mom and sister in Florida. I had taken a personal day from work and spent the morning baking a birthday cake with my niece and nephew to surprise their dad after dinner. I spent the day 1/2 excited 1/2 nervous about what lie ahead of me that evening. I was meeting up with David and the newcomer kettlebell bootcamp cohort for our very first workout. 6:45p, with a nutrition talk to follow at 730p.

I put on my Underarmour workout pants, sport bra and tank top. Tied up my favorite pair of Nike running shoes (my last pair from the stash I bought on Ebay years ago when they were discontinued…..ugh, they are getting old. Shoe problem on the horizon. )

Filled up my bottle with water, said goodbye to a house full of people and hopped in the car to go to #39MinuteWorkout . Now, let’s just admit it all. Why not. This gym is a small boutique type place. Not one of those big NY Sports Club places. It’s located in a very nice strip mall, on the second level next to a hair salon, above a Dance Studio. It’s the kind of place I would normally walk by v.e.r.y. q.u.i.c.k.l.y. because the athletic-looking people inside were doing crazy shit, (very competently) and making it look easy. This was the kind of place and they were the type of people that scared people like me. They were the reason I had avoided workout classes my. entire. life. The reason I liked running alone. So there was no chance that I would be the least capable person in the room. If I’m alone, I’m as capable as I need to be. “RUN AWAY.” My brain screamed…”RUN AWAY!

Nope. 21 days. Don’t Quit. I walked inside.

My mind was in overload. There were a bunch of people, women, a man or two, riding bikes, doing push-ups, burpees, swinging weights, flinging ropes……doing stuff I couldn’t even describe. It was CRA-ZY. I know now they were doing a workout called “stations”, where you rotate through a series of exercises for a series of minutes each station. So people ARE doing different exercises, on purpose. But back then….it just looked like chaos. I didn’t know who or what to look at first. Now mind you, I was trying to pan-and-scan the room, to get some sense of exactly what I was in for.


David was there. And his wife Abby. They own the business and are two of the trainers. After the 545p class ended, and the athletic scary looking (LOL, sorry that WAS my first reaction) people cleared out….the newbies started to arrive. Ok. Heart rate going down a little. In came the people with the wide-eyed, stone cold sober look, like me. Don’t hurt us, was our plea.

We fanned out in the room in front of these bosu’s, and David asked one of the women….”what is the heaviest weight you have worked out with?” She answered 15lbs. OK said David…everybody get 2 15 lb kettlebells.

WAIT. That wasn’t exactly scientific David!! So what she can do 15’s!! What does that have to do with me? Why the heck does that mean I can do 15’s? Ohhhh, I could see how this was gonna go. We were NOT going to waste time and chat about what I wanted or have a counseling session about my feelings. Oh no. We were getting started and we were getting started NOW.

Honestly, I don’t remember much more about the details of that first night, other than 1) my pony tail was dripping with sweat by the time I was done and 2) it took the entire drive home to cool down and regulate my breathing, so I could tell Peter what happened.

That first day…I survived. It was HARD. It was the hardest I had worked out in years. Maybe the hardest thing I had done since I ran my marathon in 2013. But it was perfect.

I kept coming back to what David said that first night. “If it doesn’t kick your butt…then it’s a sucky workout.” He said, I’d never have to spend another hour on the treadmill again….unless I wanted to.

39 Minutes It Was.

Yea. Um period. End of counseling session. Pay the doctor.

A collection of other things I think David said: You are stronger than you think. You can do this. In only 3 days, it won’t hurt anymore. Within a week, you will understand the lingo and the basic moves, and within 2 weeks, you will be hooked.

The nutrition talk was just as great. I was ears open, my promise to myself extended to following whatever the man said. Abby is a Nutritionist, so the gym provides all the support someone like me really needed, and I could engage Abby later if I ever needed to shake up my eating program.

I went home feeling wiped out. I kinda limped down the steps to my car, because I don’t know if I had ever done a squat before in. my. life.

David and I had a counseling session. We developed goals for me, and a rough target for me reaching my goal weight.

There was something very familiar about meeting David. Although it was as foreign to me as meeting the Pope. David and Abby were strong, active, muscular, fitness junkies, healthy eaters (not perfect…everybody’s gotta live!)….but they were basically everything I had spent my life NOT being. Yet…what popped into my head after that very first workout, was something I remembered Denise saying in Weight Watchers so many years ago. Whenever someone doubted themselves, Denise would say in her matter-of-fact supportive way…”We will believe in you, until you are strong enough to believe in yourself”.

That’s where I was that first night. I was standing there soaked in sweat, in this foreign gym, with workout instructions that looked like chemistry formulas written on the mirror…..and there was David, believing in me…in his own confident, no-nonsense way…until I could become strong enough to believe in myself. And he was 100% right….It wasn’t going to take long.

I was a.c.t.i.o.n.

So much is about to happen…..come back if you can.

Ciao for now….Diane

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *