I need to preface this by saying I don’t think I’ll be recapping New Girl training in the same way I recapped the Academy training classes. Mainly because I signed an agreement that said I wouldn’t reveal any training secrets, and I’m afraid blogging practice specifics may constitute breaking that agreement. Also, because a lot of it was a big blur I can’t remember because i was trying to breathe and stay alive.
Oh. Dear. Lord. This is NOT Polly’s class.
I don’t think I have ever pushed myself as hard or as long as yesterday. It was the most grueling two hours of my life. It wasn’t fun. It was work. It was go-go-go-go for TWO. SOLID. HOURS. We did skill warm-ups, sprints, and drills until I thought my legs would fall off and my glutes would abandon ship. My lungs were actually sore the rest of the day from breathing so deeply and so hard. I have never pushed my body like that, even in Zumba or Bodypump. This was a whole new level of endurance.
Ok, maybe there were a few moments of fun: my favorite snake drills, for example. But even that was marred by the faster-than-I’m-used-to pace of the drill, which felt more like sprinting than anything. Everything was so much more, so elevated. Of course I “knew” it would be beforehand, but it was a bit like being thrown off the high dive when all you’d ever done before was swim in the kids pool with your floaties on. Of course, this also makes the League that much more legit–I can appreciate and understand their dedication and athleticism even more now.
But I made myself proud this weekend. We did a (standard) speed measure where you skate for five minutes and your laps are counted. It’s usually called 25 in 5, because that’s what you’re aiming for–at least 25 laps. Our trainers said 30 was the goal though, so I felt maybe 25 was possible for me. I lost count at about 4 laps, but luckily we had someone who wasn’t skating count for us. Which was good, because all of my focus was on moving & breathing, not counting. I ended up with 29 laps, which made me really happy, considering I had thought 25 laps a lofty goal.
Another thing that made me proud of myself was the fact that I never quit. I may have slowed down, and I may have taken a few moments longer to transition, but I never sat down. I never let myself give up. Once or twice, when there was a stitch in my side, I thought “I can’t breathe”, but then I told myself–“No, that’s your fat/laziness, not your asthma. You know the difference”. So then I’d make myself keep going, even if it was the last thing I wanted to do. I pushed through the pain and discomfort. I wish there had been something a little grander at the finish than a little self-discipline, but in the end it’s a fine prize.
The thing about New Girl is–it’s a mental game. Only Day One and I realize that already. If I’m going to stay in this, if I’m going to keep this up, then I’m going to have to refuse to baby myself. I am going to have to be hardcore every day. I can’t not do squats & wall sits and expect the squat pyramid to get easier, even though I HATE squats & wall sits. I will have to make myself stay on the track, even when it feels impossible. I cannot be good enough for a place in the league if I sit on the bench. I will just have to remind myself of it every three minutes.
I am hoping the next session (tonight!) is a little less endurance based and little more skill-based. I enjoy the track the most whenever we’re not thinking about our feet or our lungs, but instead on how to keep the jammer from getting through or effective blocking. And if it’s not easier, I hope to God it’s not harder.