Last Thursday afternoon, I received an email from a girlfriend asking if I'm up for a seemingly difficult challenge, for me at least.
The email said
"Hey, they’re putting up a mixed-team race for pesta dragon boat race.
Do you think you’re up for it? need to train (from the emails I see they got physical training, gym training and also rowing training). They have secured sponsors for the jersey, gym and etc but need commitment from us."
I was dumbfounded, in fact I almost laughed upon reading the email and to think that my friend actually thinks that I'm fit enough for a what? Dragon boat race?
What attracted me to their trainings in the first place is the fact that they train HARD, consistent and push you to the limits, that I like. I figured it's a win-win situation for extra exercises outdoors. But to actually make the team? You gotta be kidding me.
After voicing out my concerns, my friend assured me that there's definitely no pressure on the girls. Basically this was her response, the magic sentence
"I think they need bodies with boobs to make the mixed team."
Haha bodies with boobs, yes boobs I have, but commitment? Errmm we shall see about that.
The team trains in Botanical Garden on every Saturday evening at 5.30pm and goes paddling every Sunday morning at 8.30. Obviously, I am not too excited about the Sunday workout, which means I'll have to sacrifice my Saturday night outings and sleep early wtf but, hey, never try never know.
So today was my first physical training session with them. My girlfriends were as usual, fashionably late and I was left to wait alone at the entrance. The team was there, it's impossible to miss a bunch of toned, muscular guys and some women but I made no contact with them since well, they don't know that I'm the newbie. Then someone walked up to me, someone familiar.. someone I see every week in my gym. He's the steps aerobics instructor in the gym. We talked for a bit and found out that he will be leading the training.
The training started a little past 5.30, right after my girlfriends arrived and I was briefly introduced to some people. From their previous trainings, they said it wasn't that hard, mostly jogging and a some physical exercises after that.
However, today the leader decided that he wanted a different approach. We were to jog from Botanical Garden to the stage in YouthPark. It wasn't that long of a route but the fact that I can still feel my teppanyaki beef from lunch still digesting and I was feeling heavy mattered alot. Not to mention we had to breathe in polluted exhaust smoke from passing vehicles along the way too.
The fitters ones disappeared fast, leaving us, the unfit ones huffing and puffing our ways behind. We gathered at the stage, forming a big circle where Luke, the leader directed us with some warmup exercises. Then we moved on to the field for more physical trainings.
The challenge was to run one round of the entire field but we had to stop at a few "stations" along the way to complete a set of exercises before sprinting (yes, sprint, not jog) from one station to the next.
The men went first. The ladies and some guy juniors stayed behind and observed. Then it was our turn to go. We sprinted to the first station, stopped, got down onto the ground for 30 pushups. Then we ran to the next station, hands on the ground, our legs moving in and out, that's another 30 counts. The next station was a little more of a blessing, at least we got to lie down on the ground. 30 crunches with legs up in the air. I'd rather do this that the others. In the next station, we had to do 50 jumping jacks! Already panting and halfway dead, we tried our best to pull through the challenge. Then we sprinted halfway across the field to the last station where we had to do 10 counts of burpees. And I think I smell dog poo nearby where I did my burpees :S FML
Now it may not sound much, but man it was tiring! Probably the most tiring non stop cardio workout I've had in a while. Everyone does it so fast and efficient that you feel that if you don't keep up, you're the worst of the pack. So by hook or by crook, you forced yourself to do it. No one gives a damn about you groaning in pain, no one waits for you, you just have to get to the end of the line.
We gathered back at the stage area, formed another big circle. Did a little bit of hand exercises for the biceps and triceps, another 30 pushups, 30 crunches, 30 leg presses and we stretched to cool down before calling it a day. We were in a mess, with dirt on our back, pants and little sticks sticking on our hair. We breathed in air like it was precious. The entire ordeal was only about 45 minutes. And we were already half dead.
As we slowly made our way back to Botanical Garden, the woman team leader, sped by in her car and called out to us "See you girls tomorrow ok?"
We looked at each other and laughed, yea, why not? They needed bodies with boobies to make the mixed team right? Sure, we'll do a good deed, but to take us into the team or not, or whether they decide to row the boat carrying dead weights, it's definitely up to them.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go rest these arms of mine for tomorrow's challenge.