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home : sports : sports
September 25, 2017

6/22/2017 2:23:00 PM
Blood, sweat... and now tears?

You know the old saying: Blood, sweat and tears. I really didn’t think my journey through the Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping 10-week program would produce anything more than sweat, but I was wrong. The blood and tears may not have been many, but as any of my workout partners can attest, the sweat part more than made up for those two.

Although the blood is more of a fictitious thing – I got a tiny cut on my toe one day while kickboxing – the tears part is not.

On Saturday, we did our final 10 week testing and had our award ceremony and banquet. The day started with the testing at 9 a.m. When I got to the gym, the atmosphere was the same as the first day of testing. A lot of activity, a lot of coaches and a lot of nerves.

My first test that I did was the easiest of the day, the sit and reach, and then I moved to the scale, the BMI, measurements and picture. All things that weren’t physically taxing but some of the most important things involved still.

After going through those initial stations, I was feeling very good about myself. Aly had a gruff look on her face after the measurements, but that’s because she gained inches in two spots, which nearly everyone did because they were building muscle: in the arm and thigh.

After tallying up the results of those, some of the numbers were simply amazing. I had dropped 32 pounds, almost three percent of my body fat, nearly doubled my sit and reach test for flexibility, and lost 12 inches between my waist, chest and hips while gaining four inches in my arms and thigh, which was of course muscle gain.

Aly’s results were impressive too. She lost double digit inches between her chest, waist and thighs, two percent body fat and almost 10 pounds. But her physical tests are really where she shined. The best part of the day, however, was the push up test. Aly did 16 of them in week one, and then nearly doubled that to 29 in the week five testing. On our drive into the testing this weekend, she was convinced her push ups weren’t going to go up. “I’ve tried to keep track of how many I can do during our workouts,” she said. “And I can barely do what I did at five weeks, I’m just hoping to get over 30.”

She was essentially hoping for a one push up gain in the last five weeks. She hit 30 push ups in the first 35 seconds of the test. She finished with 47 push ups, tripling her number from week one. Despite the shaky arms, her smile couldn’t be denied as she picked herself up off the mat after those push ups. She also added three more sit ups to her number, topping out at 31 in one minute, and in another impressive feat, she dropped two minutes and 22 seconds off of her one mile  run time in 10 weeks.

I went immediately after Aly and her results and drive really helped me with my testing too. I had started the program doing 24 push ups, and at five weeks, I did 43. I wasn’t sure how many more I could do, since there’s a one minute time limit. Well, I surprised myself also, doing 69 of them in one minute, which blew me away when I thought about where I started at.

I added four more sit ups to my total going from 14 to start the program to 33 in week 10 and my mile dropped by three minutes and 35 seconds.

After testing, Aly and I went to the mall to pick out a dress for her for that evening, and when she started trying them on, she started with a size she hasn’t worn in years. She never had to move up from that size. She fit perfectly into dresses that she didn’t even dream of trying on for years.

That whole day led all of us into the awards banquet later that night at Stella’s on 97 in Forest Lake, and that’s where the tears come back into this equation. I didn’t win the $1,000 prize that goes to the biggest transformation, but Rhea Friederichs, the owner of FXB Forest Lake, recognized my pounds lost and this column that I’ve shared with you for the last three months. When she asked the room how many had read the column at some point and nearly every hand went up, it was impossible to hold back. I didn’t have a full-on cry, but my eyes welled up and my lips quivered. Luckily it was pretty dark in the event center so I hid it pretty well.

I was never someone who liked to acknowledge my weight, for better or worse, before I started at Farrell’s. It was a touchy subject, but after the 10 weeks, I’m open to it. Acknowledging it has made it more clear that I want to keep tackling it and keep working hard at it. I want people to know that there can be an improvement. It’s not always easy, but there can be a change and it starts with that first step of showing up. Everything after that is a piece of cake (not to eat though!)

On to the winners. They were an impressive batch. The male winner was Mike Trok, who I didn’t get a chance to work out with, but I know he was grinding it out daily. He worked out at 6:30 p.m., just after my class time, and he was in there every day, making the changes. I knew my workout was almost done every day when Mike came into the gym in his work clothes, all business and ready to go.

The female winner was Becky Zimmerman, who I did not get a chance to workout with, either. She primarily worked out at 5 a.m., and that just wasn’t a time this night owl was ever going to make.

Both of their transformations, however, were truly impressive. You can check out the Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping Forest Lake Facebook page for their improvements, losses and before and after pics.

A special shoutout to second place winners Kyle Roggenkamp and Vicki Dolphy. Kyle was one of the first people I met at the gym and I worked out with him often, and he was killing it every day. He set a torrid pace that wasn’t easy to keep up with.

I also had the pleasure of working out with Vicki a few times and she was non-stop on the bags, and then would always stay late and do extra. She is one of the friendliest people at the gym and would work out with anyone, any time, any place. She was definitely worthy of a top finish.

These 10 weeks have been amazing. It’s been an eye-opening experience in a good way. To find out how out of shape I was to finding out what I can do with my body, both physically and mentally, in such a short amount of time, was unbelieveable. And really, 10 weeks isn’t that long. There were days when it might’ve felt long, but the program as a whole has gone by rapidly.

I want to thank everyone at the gym, including owner Rhea and Jeff, all of my workout partners who put up with my sweat puddles, Matt Silver for allowing me to do this piece, my fiance Aly who pushed me all the while busting her own tail, and really anyone who has read this column, commented on my progress or asked me about my journey. It has helped me become more comfortable in my own skin and be able to help others who may be in a similar situation. Hope to see you guys on the mats!

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