The year was 2010. It was the middle of spring and I was the heaviest I had ever been in my life. I was almost 200 pounds and hating it. Not only was I physically heavy, I was also emotionally and mentally heavy. Even my immediate surroundings were heavy−my bedroom was filled to the brim with junk that I had either been too lazy or too riddled with guilt to seriously consider tossing out.
One night (really can’t remember when) I was up late watching an infomercial for some reason. It was one of those infomercials that was getting a nauseating amount of air play, a half hour long ad for Shaun T’s Insanity. For those who don’t know who this guy is: he’s the person responsible for that whole Hip-Hop Abs thing that came out few years before Insanity did. (*A quick note: I still find it strange that people don’t know what I’m talking about when I mention Insanity but almost everybody knows what Hip-Hop Abs is.*)
The night in question was certainly not the first time I’d seen that sales ad, but it was the first time it made me think about what doing those workouts and reaping the rewards would actually be like. I also thought about how much a fitness program like this would cost. I was thinking about all of this because, quite frankly, I was tired of being an almost-size 16. I was so sick of being out of shape and I really didn’t want to experience life at 200 pounds. “Seriously,” I scolded myself, “how could have let something like this happen?!” There were a couple other things that I was getting fed up with, but they wouldn’t come into play until later.
The next day, I got on the “family” computer as soon as I could to look for the best deal I could find on the Insanity workout program. I quickly discovered that ordering from the Beach Body website was a HUGE ripoff. How could they justify selling this thing at almost $150 when it had been out for that long?! Amazon.com wasn’t that much better. So I decided to start all the way over and just do a general search for ‘Insanity workouts’ to see if I would get better prices. I quickly found a site called cocostyler.com where I would be able to purchase the entire program with all the bells and whistles for . . .$70?! And that includes shipping too? Really?!
It really is fortunate that I took that offer when I did for two reasons:
- the cocostyler website disappeared soon after I placed that order and
- to this day, some five years later, I have not found anything close to a bargain like that.
*A week and some change later . . . *
I found a package wrapped in brown paper with labels that said it was addressed to me and sent here from Hong Kong (really?!) sitting on the coffee table in the living room. I still remember being glad that it looked so plain. I think that may be why no one ever bothered to ask me about what was in it. In those days, the less my family members knew about my goals and plans, the better. Especially after that whole cooking school fiasco.
Before that unusually warm spring was overtaken by the scorching summer that followed, I make sure to get around to doing a couple of the workouts. I did The Fit Test, Plyometric Cardio Circuit, Cardio Power and Resistance, and Pure Cardio. There was even a week when I fought my way through three workouts on three consecutive days. I had never sweated so much in my life. Sweat would actually drip off of me and onto the floor. As strange as it might sound to the more sedentary folks reading this, it felt . . .kinda good. This is how I learned that there actually is a rush of endorphins that generally accompany exercise, called a “runner’s high”, truly exists. And it. Is. Awesome!!! Before struggling along with Insanity workouts, I had never experienced such a deep and continuous sense of calm and relaxation. My clothes began to fit better and I felt as if I could see a whole new world of possibilities just over the metaphorical horizon.
It’s just too bad I couldn’t really go there or stay for a minute. Like I mentioned earlier, an excruciatingly hot summer was on its way and I didn’t want to deal with exercising in my un-air-conditioned bedroom. So I resigned myself to waiting for the cooler months when I could return to my budding fitness regimen.
I watched in quiet sadness as the zen-like runner’s high gave way to my usual state of mild anxiety and my clothing returned to its former tightness. That new world that I could almost see faded back into the darkness. I settled in for that miserable summer, vowing to return to Insanity as soon as its ungodly temperatures gave way to milder days. But there were a few changes I’d have to make first.