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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Kara kicks our butts


Kara Wagner is the adorable pert little "Group Training Coordinator, Certified Personal Trainer & Performance Enhancement Specialist" at Lifetime Fitness, where the AHA GO RED has made arrangements for us to work out. God love all of them.

Somehow, Kara also has wrangled the title of "personal torturer" for us five heart challengers -- Dee, Kim, Jessica, Amy and myself.

Or as one of her clients said to her at the gym today, after he witnessed her leading a 45-minute session with three of us, "YOU are a slave-driver, Kara."

"I'm fine with that," she snapped back.

Follow this logic to its conclusion, and this means, you guessed it, WE ARE HER SLAVES. Sweaty, hard-working, miserable slaves...

But Kara doesn't quite see us like that. She actually thinks we can do this stuff...that it makes us better...stronger...that it's GOOD FOR US. Hence her email to us earlier this week:

"I believe you CAN keep going long after you think you CAN'T," she wrote us all, adding, threateningly, "In my opinion, "CAN'T" is a curse word!!! When I hear one of my clients say they CAN'T it's an AUTOMATIC 10 pushups!"

I have always wanted a Kara in my life: someone who set the bar high for physical challenges, who imposed her own little boot camp on me, who would push me to the limits, as I so rarely do.... Frankly, I never met that person in other trainers -- maybe I give out big wimp signals -- but this young woman accepts no wimps.

So, she had the three of us who could make it at 9 a.m. today -- Dee, Amy and myself -- hop on treadmills for the workout that has no name but will definitely kill you or get your heart pumping and burn up calories: first you choose speed 1, "a pace that you could maintain for the full 30 minutes." Then you pick your speed 2, "a pace that is challenging...increased breathing, but able to maintain." Then you go to speed 3, "a SPRINT, heavy breathing."

You do the first pace for three minutes, then go to the second one for two minutes and finally do one minute of the really hard one. Then back to the slowest one again, and continue the cycle. Not bad, eh?

Hah. In between, Kara throws in all sorts of little extras like fooling around with 10 lb. weights, upping the incline, and stretching -- while you are running/walking and trying to breathe. Then, after 30 minutes of this, she had us jump off and do reps right at the treadmill. Then right back on it, for a total of 45 minutes, and at the finale, she had us WALKING BACKWARDS.


The most I have done up until this session was 20 minutes at a pretty reasonable pace -- like 3.5 or so, sometimes going down to 3.2 mph -- and that was only yesterday.

But we ALL MADE IT THROUGH. The two younger challengers did great; the old lady did OK. OK means not throwing up, not falling off and not quitting.

I am still waiting for that serotonin high to kick in -- "that will happen soon, right?" I asked Kara.

"Do this for two weeks, and you'll get it," she said.

What can one say?

"OK, Kara." "Thank you, Kara." "Great job, Dee and Amy." "Go Red, Go Colts," etc etc etc." I can't believe this is me talking. At this rate, I am going to watch both the Colts game AND the Biggest Loser this week on TV....of course, I'd really rather be in the gym.


  1. I forgot all about the walking backwards. I think the lack of oxygen must have wiped out my memory banks.

    You did a great job today, Ruth. Just wait until Abby hears that you did 45 minutes. I think your 20 minute workout is a thing of the past!

  2. you rock! i loooooove you, momma!

    yo' daughter,

  3. Ruth, you did a fabulous job in that workout!! And I have to say that as "one of my slaves" you by far had the kindest words because despite how much I'm sure you wanted to curse my name (HEHE)you always thanked me when I assured you that you were doing a great job!! I look forward to our next group training session :)

  4. Ruth it was fun, but challenging!! Keep up the great work, awards come when we least expect it, and your hard work will reap many rewards. :D