Originally published at Multiply Goodness
Tabata training is a type of high intensity interval training that follows a specific format:
- 20 seconds of a very high intensity exercise (e.g., sprints)
- 10 seconds of rest
- Repeat 8 times for a total of 4 minutes
Training regimen where my trainer tries to make me cry because what she’s asking me to do is so hard
I’ve done some hard things in my life, but I’m currently on a journey that is shaping up to be one of the most difficult things I may ever accomplish.
I have 100 pounds to lose.
(I’ve been carrying this weight around on my body since giving birth to my oldest child, and since he’s nearly 8, I’m starting to feel a little weird calling it “baby weight.”)
It’s become a medical necessity to lighten up, and not just a cosmetic one. After spending a month or so out of commission with back problems, and the last year rehabbing my back with weekly chiropractor and physical therapy visits, I’m finally to the point where I can walk and sit without pain and I’m able to exercise and get serious about taking care of this issue. So, I’ve traded the medical practitioners for an exercise practitioner and have been working with a personal trainer.
For the first couple sessions, she was challenging me with the workouts, and I was sore, but I felt good because I was getting through everything she asked.
Then, we did tabata pushups.
“I want you to do the first set on your toes.”
On my toes? Boy pushups?!? 20 seconds never felt so long. But I did it. I was super excited until I realized I had 7 more intervals to get through.
I worked my way through the rest of the pushups on my knees, and as we got to the last rest period, she said, “I want you to start this last set of push ups on your toes and do as many as you can.”
But I tried it. And I did the last set of pushups on my toes.
We were both pretty excited. (I was more exhausted-flop-on-the-floor-excited, and she was more Jillian-Michaels-excited.)
As she was gathering her equipment to leave, she turned to me and said something that completely changed my outlook on this whole journey.
“I know that you are discouraged about the amount of weight you have to lose. But you just completed a really hard workout and you started and finished those tabata pushups on your toes. Using your full body weight. I have tiny little girls in my classes at the gym that can’t start and finish tabata pushups on their toes, and they could never in a million years have done it with 100 extra pounds on their back. I know you are discouraged about your weight, but remember that you are using that weight to build your muscles more quickly than you would if you didn’t have it. It’s making you stronger more quickly.”
It was like electricity went through my brain as she shut the door and left.
I don’t have 100 pounds to lose, I have 100 pounds to USE. Use to make me stronger as I’m changing who I am and what I’m made of.
Is there something in your life that feels too heavy? Something you wish you could lose? Instead of being angry or discouraged about the weight of it or it’s presence in your life, can you think of it as something you can use it to make you stronger? Better? As a catalyst to help you become who you are striving to be?