As of today, April 25, 2011, I have completed my 90-day boot camp under the watchful, un-judgmental eye of Tony Horton. None of you are likely invested enough in my personal fitness to really do the math, but if you did, you would know that it actually took me slightly more than 30 days to complete this last third. This is because I took three days off during the move last month. I tried to move forward with my hourly exercise in the morning while moving all of my worldly possessions up four flights of stairs in the evenings (because that's what Tony would have done), but in the end I was left with a pulled muscle in my side that hurt every time I coughed. (The coughing was--I'm pretty sure--an unrelated ailment.) Deciding that moving was the more important of the two irritants, I forwent additional exercise. And even after I resumed p90x a day or so after the move, I probably wasn't really back to fighting shape for another half week or so. I half-assed many a prison cell push-up during that time.
But enough of past regrets! These last 30 days were generally positive. I really had a handle on all the work-outs, and begun to notice that I was completing things I'd laughed at (out of nervous disbelief and confusion) mere months earlier. Granted, there are still things I can't do, that I continue to laugh at out of fear and confusion (namely, plyometric push-ups), but by-and-large I notice improvement in my overall physical capabilities. This is not to stay there still weren't a couple of surprises in the last few weeks. In the last two weeks of strength training, I was introduced to a DVD I'd never done before. This was very unexpected to me as it certainly felt like I'd covered everything. However, it was easy for one to have slipped through the cracks as all the workouts have such similar names. This workout would have been just another mish-mash of pull-ups and weight lifting to me, if not for the introduction of my new favorite character: Kate.
I'm rather glad that Kate only entered my life in the last 15 days of the program. While hilarious, she doesn't have the quiet, slip-into-the-background quality of a Dreya or an Adam. If I'd had to sit through her workout too many times, I would have no doubt learned her every line and found her more annoying than endearing. But suffice is to say, at 6 am I found her, what I hope was sarcastic, enthusiasm and ironic, chipper can-do attitude hilarious. "Bring it. Bring the pain," she'd say to Tony, in exactly the smart-alecky tone I would have tried to adopt had I been lucky enough to be chosen from the p90x test group. I admire Kate for doing corncob pull-ups (the most ridiculous of all pull-up options) during the choose-your-own pull-ups sets. But more than that I respect her ability to egg on Tony's little skits that none of the other participants ever seem to engage, such as in the following exchange during cool-down, ballistic stretching:
Tony: Do you all have your tickets?
Kate (innocently): The tickets? What tickets?
Tony: The tickets to the show.
Kate (against the pleading silence of the others): What show, Tony?
Tony (flexing, naturally): The gun show!
She even laughed. She's his Zeppo, although only if Groucho hadn't been in on his jokes. But enough about my crush on Kate. I'm finally ready to show a little "after" photography.
I'm supposed to be fist-bumping Tony. Perhaps it's best to focus on my right bicep instead. That didn't use to be there.
Having completed 90 days (albeit not 90 consecutive ones) of grueling, extreme workouts, I have to say--I feel pretty good. I'm already starting to plan my maintenance routine, so that I don't return to what I once was: an un-toned naif who quailed at squat runs and strength training. That said, I do plan to drop all the p90x cardio routines. They were quite fine for those miserable winter days back in February when the city was blanketed in brown sludge and doing karate in my living room was the only option. But now New York is entering into the one month of the year where the weather is truly lovely (before it gets hot, humid, and dirty--seriously, why do so many people live here?). I think I'll take my cardio outside in the form of running for the summer. As an added incentive, my new apartment is now closer to the park in my neighborhood, which has a nice running track. I'll (hopefully) supplement this exercise with at least three days of strength training a week and perhaps yoga on the weekends.
Thank you all for reading the trials and tribulations of my 90-day journey to physical betterment. It's been an enjoyable ride, and I consider the program well-worth the money, although I can't help but admit I'm really looking forward to taking tomorrow off.