As I sat there, already exhausted, I looked at the clock.
6:07. I’d been at this since 5:30.
I looked at the chart again. I couldn’t even fathom the ridiculousness of doing that circuit again. The protocol called for one more round, but my brain; fogged with sweat and oxygen and fatigue and the laundry list of things that needed doing before my kids even got out of bed; started up the conversation.
“You can stop now,” it said. “Seriously…you’re beat. Just drink some water and get started on breakfast. You don’t have time to finish anyway.”
“Oh, there’s time,” my other brain said. “You’re right though…I’m beat.”
This back-and-forth went on for a while. Finally the timer went off. Three minutes I’d been resting, waiting to start up the last circuit. I said to myself, “Listen…you can stop now and pat yourself on the back for doing things half-assed. Or you can gut it out and do what you said you were going to do.”
“Yeah yeah,” I answered. “But my legs are shaking and my gut’s tight. I feel like I’m going to puke.”
I could go on with my life just fine without finishing this workout. But I expect others to do what they say they’re going to do. My turn to step up to the plate.
“You’re not going to puke and you know it. You’re tired? That’s your excuse? OK fine…just do the push ups and call it quits.”
I hit the floor and banged out the push ups. 21, full form. “Huh,” I thought, “…not so bad. Maybe just the step ups then…” and pushed out 13 step ups.
“See?” I chided myself. “You only have one left on this round…go ahead and do the ab roll outs. That’ll be the round.”
So I did.
The conversation proceeded in this manner until all five of the rounds had disappeared. At each stage, I offered myself the respite of “just one more exercise.” And when that one was done, it was just one more again.
Fifteen exercises in total. No breaks. Don’t ask me how many reps. But got through it without puking and without crashing. And when I caught my breath, I felt pretty good.
And, in case you’re wondering, I finished by 6:30, and had time to make breakfast before my kids woke up.