Throwdown Thursday

You should give your all to whatever you do every day of the week.  But for me, Thursdays are special.  That’s when you get to flex your muscles, literally, and show everyone what you’re made of.  Every Thursday my gym, Anytime Fitness in Kanawha City, has a competition among the members called Throwdown Thursday.   They choose one exercise and encourage all members to test their strength by taking the challenge.  There is a male and female winner, with prizes. I have participated in the past.  But have gotten discouraged lately because it seems the challenges have focused on upper body.  I can’t compete in upper body due to my neck issues and lack of general upper body strength.  For those days, I just cheer on my fellow gym rats and enjoy watching the others flex their muscles.

Throwdown Thursday Yoda

Last week I walk into the gym ready for my regular training session, and Josette, one of the very supportive gym employees, asks me if I am going to try TDT today.  I said, “Uh, no! It’s always upper body.”  She quickly corrected me and said today was lower body!  I didn’t even ask what the exercise was.  I just said “YES!  I’ll do it!” and I started jumping around with excitement.

I found out that the exercise was a wall sit, basically leaning up against the wall in a 90 degree position.  But there is a twist, as always.  You can just wall sit for as long as you can and record that time.  OR you could add 45 lb. weight plates to your lap.  And if you make it a full minute, every plate you add counts as an additional minute of time.  For example, one minute plus 3 plates is a 4:00 time.   I thought there was no way I could put even one 45 lb. plate on my lap and survive a minute.  But how many times have I said the only thing I’ve got going for me is my legs.  This was my chance.  Let’s do this!My TDT pic

My trainer was actually timing people when I got there.  I went to watch and cheer everyone else on.  One lady, Missy, the usual favorite in TDT, was getting ready to do it.  She did 3 plates for 2:09, time recorded was 5:09.  Now I am thinking there is no way I can put 135 lbs. on my lap and not collapse.  But Micah assures me it will be fine and I can do it.  I trust him.  So, here we go.  I just hope my legs don’t let me down. I get in position, they load up the weights and time starts. (see picture of first attempt, forgot to get pic of second try)  I was surprised that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  After the first minute I’m feeling pretty good.  After a minute and a half, I’m holding my own.  There are folks standing around watching, including Missy.  I look at her and in my “friendly competition” voice and a smile say to her “2:10 if it kills me!”  I continue to breath and pray.  At about 1:50 both my legs start shaking uncontrollably.  But I stay in position, close my eyes as I will those last :20 to come. I hear Micah say 2:10.  And I immediately drop.  Now I should probably point out that for safety reasons, there was a small box stepper under us so when we were done we could just collapse onto it without hurting ourselves. As they take the weights off you can see my legs still shaking.  I had to sit a minute before I could stand.  But it was all worth it.  All I could think was I DID IT!  I knew no one would be able to catch Missy or me.  So I thought I had this one in the bag.  I went on to my training session.

Not so fast sunshine.  I heard Missy say she was going to do it again.  I give props where they are due.  And Missy and her husband are both fierce and dedicated, working out regularly.  Now I start to doubt that I can pull off the win. She comes in the training room a few minutes later and says, “You need to beat 1:20 with 4 plates. And I will be cheering you on.” (Did I mention one reason I love my gym is the support you get from everyone.)  She left the room.  I looked at Micah, sweaty and breathing heavy, and proclaimed “She’s going down!”  After the training session, I was ready to give it another try.  Micah suggested that instead of 4 plates for 1:21, I should just do 5 plates for one minute.  Easy for him to say!  But I trust his opinion so I figured, go big or go home.

TDT prizes memeI’m ready to try again.  Missy, her husband and a few others are watching. I give Micah very specific instructions- don’t tell me what the time is or how much longer I have left, just tell me when it’s over.  I get in position, they load up 5-45 lb. plates (225 lbs) on my lap and time starts. Breathe, breathe, breathe.  Legs start shaking.  I am starting to think I can’t make it.  I ask Micah to tell me the time.  I was at :51, only :10 to go.  I start snapping my fingers as a distraction.  Finally, Micah says TIME! I drop to the seat. Again my legs are shaking as they take the plates off.  But damn, I felt great!  Missy comes and gives me the double high 5.  Micah congratulates me as well.  Victory is mine!   This might be the one and only Throwdown Thursday I ever win.  But it’s still another accomplishment under my belt.  Every positive experience, no matter what it is, motivates us to do better and push harder.

It is worth noting that Missy’s husband was the male winner with 10 plates! And that another trainer, Kevin, did 13 plates.  He isn’t eligible to win because he is an employee.  Kevin is a beast.  And I am pretty sure he has been genetically altered and not 100% human.  This is him.  He doesn’t even have the box under him.  He’s got this.  Just another day at work. WOW!Kevin's TDT pic

Not sure what the next Throwdown Thursday will be or what other challenges I might have to face in my life.  But I do know that whatever they are, I will face them head-on and do the best I can.  That’s all any of us can do.  Stay fierce, my friends.

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