It was about 6:20 am and I stood perpendicular to a concrete wall, about 10 feet away, repeatedly hurling an 8-lb medicine ball at said wall in the scariest-ever solo game of catch.
The exercise was scary only because my mind was wandering. If I didn't start paying attention, I would soon do what I did just a couple of weeks ago and be rewarded for my inattention with an 8-lb med ball right to the lady business.
I stood sideways across from the wall, behind the blue cone as instructed. I held the ball to my outside hip and rotated through my hips, hucking that med ball at the wall and catching it when it flew back: Ooof. And it flew, landing with a thwack and snapping back toward me like a cannonball.
It was the velocity that surprised me, causing me to think: Wow, I don't remember ever throwing the ball this hard.
And the I realized: Because you couldn't. And then, thankfully, the bell rang and it was time to move on to the bench press.
I've written it before, but it's still true: When you get in shape, the most fun realizations can be the ones you don't expect. Like suddenly being able to run 3 miles or saying good-bye to the plus-size section forever.
I had another such moment yesterday when I pulled out the lawn mower for the first time this season. I enjoy mowing the lawn, but I always hated starting our cruddy push mower. It usually took me several pulls, flooding the engine a couple of times and pulling some muscle in my right arm before I, pissed off, trudged in the house looking for my husband to start 'er up.
One time I had to ask my good friend and neighbor to do it, and she still gives me grief:
"Hey, remember the time I needed to start the -"
"Oh, shut up."
So yesterday I pulled the mower out of storage and let it bake in the sun for an hour or so. I came out, made sure the kids were occupied in the garage, adopted the stance, squeezed the handle, held my core tight, grabbed the pull cord and yanked.
One pull, one start. Well, hot damn.
I looked around, hoping any other adult in the neighborhood was outside so I could give them a cocky nod, a la, "No, I am not surprised. And, yes, I am the shit." but, figures, no one was around. Damn.
My first instinct was to hop up and down, hands in the air triumphant, a la Rocky, but I realized if I did, the engine would stop and my celebration would be for naught.
Bootcamp, weight loss, life. The challenges seems big, the mountains to climb, high. But, cliched as it sounds, you take little step after little step, pound after pound, class after class and it all builds up.
Your little wins accumulate and, one day, out of the blue, they become something cool, something big, and you can start the damn mower yourself.