S. approached me at the end of September. “Want to do a Body Rock HIIT course with me?”

I was coming off of five months of a crazy rehearsal and performance schedule. My full class load, minus weekends, had still been in play. I was exhausted. I wanted a break. Still, I agreed.

“It’s only a month. The rotation is five days on, two days off.”

I could do that. After all, I’d just spent countless hours swinging swords, dancing around a maypole, and sprinting across 35 acres in multiple layers of unbreathable costume and tall leather boots during the hottest time of year. This? Piece of cake.

Then came Day One. I’m in reasonably decent shape. The circuit was only sixteen minutes. It was miserable. When we were done, I looked at my workout buddy, took a deep breath, and chose my words carefully. “I love you, S., and I thank you for asking me to do this.”

“Are you saying that so you don’t curse me out?”


And so it went for three weeks. It was deeply unpleasant, but we were there for one another. I couldn’t slack off, not when we were doing these circuits side by side. One dark day we couldn’t make our schedules coalesce. As I whimpered through elevated mountain climbers, I told myself that if I stopped, I let S. down.

I might have wept.

But we did it. We soldiered on. Time increments increased. Cardio became more challenging. Our curses grew more creative as our instructor reminded us that she was doing everything we were, but with a six pound weighted vest*. That was all right. The end was in sight.


“There’s a fifth week.”


“Then there’s a rest week, and a whole regimen begins.”

That is not all right.

S. and I finished week 5 today (due to strain and injury, we had to take our rest after week 4). I’m still jiggly. I still feel a wee bit lame. But I’m really proud of my amazing workout buddy, and I’m so thankful for our partnership. This journey has seen us both grow stronger in body, in mind, and in our friendship. The holiday season may wreak havoc with our schedule, but we are both ready to hit this next round. Rawr.

* I’ve got your six pound weighted vest right here. It’s a little something I call my HIPS AND BELLY.


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  1. Pingback: fit and strong in 2014 and beyond | Saucy Dryad

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