What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right????

So today was my second class at Orange Theory Fitness, which for the sake of time we will now refer to as OTF.  I was feeling good about things this morning, I had a plan for this class, and I was going to kill it.  Now to get something out of the way, I haven’t done any serious exercise in over a year, I’m fat, and of course, I have asthma, so I took a couple hits off my inhaler and walked out the door. I was good, and again, I was 100% sure I was going to kill this class.

In case you have no clue how OTF works, let me explain. It’s an hour class broken into two half hours.  You spend one half hour on the treadmill and the second half hour you spend on the rowing machine with a “bonus” muscle work out.  You have your choice where you want to start and my first class I started with the treadmill and had about 5% energy left in me for the second half hour, so today I started on the rowing machine. There are “power pushes, ” and as if your heart doesn’t already feel like it’s going to jump out of your chest, down the sidewalk, and hail a cab to the hospital, your instructor tells you to push harder.  The power pushes are where you are supposed to up the incline or speed on your treadmill or row faster. If you are on the rower, you row for however many meters your instructor tells you and then you jump off the rower and go to the weights and do whatever insane set of 3 exercise they have waiting for you and then back to the rower. You do all that until your instructor tells you to switch, then onto the rower or treadmill.

During all this, you are wearing a heart monitor, and like in a regular gym there are televisions on the wall, only they don’t have the usual CNN, Fox News, or MTV playing. These TVs have everyone’s name, heart rate, calories burned and Splat points displayed for all the class to see. Your box will be either blue, green, orange, or red, depending on how hard you are working. Blue is, of course, when you first walk in the door and red is, I can only assume when the people at the front desk have 911 on speed dial.  Your goal is to stay in the orange for a period, and that is how you “earn” splat points.  You want 12 splat points in the hour, and you will continue to burn calories for, in theory, the next 36 hours.  For a benchmark, my first class on Tuesday I had 34 splat points…SCORE!

So back to this morning, as I said, I was pumped.  I had signed up for the same class as I took on Tuesday with Jess.  Jess is tiny, weighs probably 100 pounds soaking wet, and 98% of that I am certain is all muscle.  I was ready to see Jess, start on the rower, and knock it out of the park, however, as I walk in the door, no Jess. Before me stood Nikko blocking the entrance to the workout room.  He was our teacher, and he was, I’m sure, at least 7 feet tall, 200 pounds, and 200% muscle. I just looked at him as he shouted to all of us “are we ready? We are going to push hard today” or something.  To be honest, I stopped listening to him the second I saw him, I looked around the room and thought to myself, “if I sneak right out no one will even miss me,” but before I knew it I was high fiving Nikko and headed to my rower.

Half way through my rowing/muscle workout I had to tell Nikko, I needed to leave class to get my inhaler. Without waiting for an answer, I walked out of class.  I sat on the bench with my inhaler and tried to get my breath.  After another hit off the inhaler, it was as if aliens invaded my body and somehow I walked right past the front door, back into class, onto my rower, and started rowing.  This time when Nikko yelled, “POWER PUSH” I got a sympathetic look, and a thumbs up from him. I’m not going to lie; it took all of me not to yell “Fuck you Nikko and your power push” and walk out the door. The rest of the class was a blur. I somehow found myself on the treadmill, trying not to spit on the floor, trying not to have a heart attack, trying to ignore the fact that I only had nine splat points, and not give Nikko the finger when he walked past me yelling “POWER PUSH” for one minute.

By the end of the class, all I was trying to do was not to vomit on my treadmill or the lady next to me. While I was waiting for my parking to be validated and proof that I was clearly out of my mind, I signed up for two more classes next week.  Only this time, as the person behind the counter handed me my validated parking pass, I made her swear to me they would be with Jess.  I think I might have said “I would die if I had to take another class with Nikko,” but the room was spinning, I felt like I was going to vomit and I just needed to get outside, so it’s hard to say what I ACTUALLY said. I just know the person was smiling at me as I stumbled out the door.

As I got in my car, my hands were shaking from too many hits off my inhaler, and my stomach felt like I was going to vomit at any moment. I sat there for a second and contemplated just driving straight to the hospital. I figured I could sit in the ER until I caught my breath and my heart rate slowed. I, after all, was closer to a hospital than my apartment.

I decided to go home, and after having to park on the very last floor of my parking garage, I stumbled into the apartment and sat on the couch. I realized I didn’t die today, I didn’t knock it out of the park, but I did not die, and I’m going count that as a win!

If after my glowing endorsement of Orange Theory Fitness, you find yourself wanting to join, just give them my name, and I think for everyone who says I referred them I get moved up on the lung transplant list.

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