On Being Pushed (also titled: Why Sometimes You Don't Know Your Full Potential Until Someone Forces You to See it)

I've been rather lazily trying to get back into shape for the last year or so with some okay results.  But then, some things happened with my family's health that caused me to take a good look at my gene pool and say, "Holy shit, TNR, you better work harder."

So I did.  I cleaned up my diet (for real this time...not just patting myself on the back for occasionally scarfing a salad at lunch or wolfing down a burrito at Northstar), and started getting up at the ass crack of dawn to get to the gym.

(Did you know there really is an ass crack of dawn?  It's that really special time of day where the universe moons you and says, "Haha, you could be sleeping, but I've seen you and your chubby ass naked.  Now get running.")

The gym I go to offers a few free training sessions when you get started, and when I told the manager in charge of setting up my first appointment what I hoped to accomplish with my body, he smiled and said, "Hm, we'll put you with Curt." 

OK, I thought.  Fine, whatever.  I'm sure I'll have to explain to this joker that I'm not a delicate flower and would like to be pushed a little.

Soon after, Curt and I met for the first time to discuss my goals.  He's a short dude, but seemed nice enough, even if he was a little tired at the end of a long day.  At first, he seemed to be going through the appointment like he would with any other person who claims she'd like to lose this or that amount of weight in this amount of time, blah, blah, blah.  But then I got really frank with him.   I used summa my swears, even.  "Dude," I said, "I'm not getting any younger.  I don't want people to just think I am 'naturally fit.'  I want people to look at my arms and say, 'Whoah, she must work out!'  Don't put me on those stupid *#$@ machines, don't make me do a million reps with 8 pound weights, don't waste half of my sessions by putting me on the treadmill.  I know how to use a %&*$ treadmill."  And then I said, probably very, very stupidly, "I want to be pushed."

At this statement, his eyes lit up and I think a small vein twitched above his left eye.  "OK," he said, nodding.  "I'll see you tomorrow at 6 a.m."

OH MY LADY BALLS.  Boy was not fooling around.  In fact, the next morning at 6 a.m. he seemed to be having a whole lot of fun "pushing" me.  I'd even go so far as to say that he was testing me.  Is she really the type of person who meant it when she said she wanted to be pushed?  I mean, REALLY?  Let's see...

Without going into an insane amount of detail, I was pushed to my limit physically that morning.  Pushed like I hadn't been pushed since high school basketball conditioning practices.  Pushed to the point of almost throwing up, which I've never, ever done before, during, or after any sort of workout.

And lo, it was awesome.  There have now been times when I've been working with this maniacal little man when I've been quite certain I absolutely cannot do one more push up, squat or crazy whipping thing with the giant rope, let alone hear the words, "You're halfway there!" and then KEEP GOING.  There have been times when I've been sure that if that crazy little Napoleon (who really is quite nice, I swear) tells me one more time to, "C'mon!  Push it!" while he SIPS HIS COFFEE (he usually doesn't have coffee while we train. To be fair, it was 5:30 a.m.) that said coffee will end up thrown in his face, but I keep crunching, or lifting, or pulling.

And damn, if I'm not proud of myself when it's all over.  The funny thing is, I've never been proud of myself before 11 a.m. and definitely not until after two cups of my morning joe.  It's a miracle.  A freakin' Jesus-face-on-the-wall miracle.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that we can all push ourselves as much as we'd like, but sometimes it takes an outside eye to say, "You can do better.  You can be better.  C'mon, push a little harder."  I'd highly recommend to all of you that if you don't have an outside eye to get one (I think they sell 'em on Ebay).  Have someone take a look at your blog, your project, your ideas and even your dreams and let them tell you honestly what they think.  Get someone who will say, "That post is awesome, but I think you can do better."  (A big thanks to Lisey on this one! :))  Or someone who might yell a bit that, "C'mon!  Push!  Push!  You CAN do it."

Believe me, you'll be proud of yourself when it's all over.  It will be painful, yes, but worth it.  So, so worth it.

And if it's not, just throw coffee in someone's face.  That'll make you feel better for sure.