It started innocently enough.
When Zach turned four last month I decided the statute of limitations on pregnancy fat had expired. I’ve blamed these extra twenty-five pounds on him, my schedule (which rarely allows me to exercise), my love of food (which is insatiable) and my self-sacrificing mother instincts (which have me eating junk and taking care of the kids more than me). Now that both kids are in school, my routine is different and my excuses are gone. Just as I came to this realization, a friend invited me to join her for a new kickboxing class.
I’ve always wanted to try kickboxing. It sounded fun! It worked into my schedule; I would have accountability; Alison wasn’t an avid exerciser either … It sounded perfect. Toss in that the first two weeks are free and my decision was made.
I even bought new workout pants.
Yesterday morning, unfortunately, I slept late. This was my twitter/facebook status:
I didn’t realize I had the gift of prophecy.
We got to the class, I filled out my “new student” paperwork, reminded the instructors that I hadn’t worked out in years (Does physical therapy count? No? Darn!) decades in a while, and then waited for the class to begin. They assured us we’d be fine. No worries. I had my towel and my big bottle of water.
Things only got better when more of our friends came. Initially I thought it would only be me and Alison and a few karate moms I didn’t know. But — lucky for me! — my good friends Julie, Carrie and Angela also showed up. I was happy!
I got on my gloves and stood next to my big padded kicking thing, ready and waiting.
I survived the “warm-up” and gave Alison a glare that dared her to see what torture chamber fun class I could invite her to. Then we started the real workout.
At this point, I would like to warn all readers that skipping breakfast — even when you’re running late — is NOT a good idea before an exercise class. I’d also like to speculate that there is no such thing as a “Beginner Class” for kickboxing. It’s pretty much all or nothing, and if you haven’t worked out much, and especially if you’ve skipped breakfast, you should find another exercise. I’m thinking pilates or yoga or some other calm activity, because this is what happened next.
She (the instructor) noticed me when I stopped to breathe. (She probably noticed me because I was the only one on my knees gasping for air.) She then pointed out that I wasn’t breathing. “Do you know how I know that? Because your nose is all white. Do you see how white your nose is?”
Me: “Um, no. I can’t see my nose. It’s on my face, and you’re not a mirror. I feel dizzy.” (She was very close to my face.)
Her: “Here, sit down and take a break.”
The next thing I remember is floating, and then an extremely large karate man tried to wake me up. I resisted because the tile floor was so nice and cool and I really liked how it felt. But he wouldn’t stop shaking my back, so I got up and asked how long I lasted. Big Karate Dude (I can’t remember his name.) said I almost made it through half of the one-hour class. He told me this just before he put me on a stretcher and into the back of an ambulance.
I think I asked everyone that question: “How long did I last?” Anyone with similar levels of bullheadedness tenacity understands it doesn’t matter that I passed out; it only matters how long I lasted. I am especially glad that everyone was there to witness how long I lasted. It must have been a record or something – right?
I also remember asking Big Karate Dude if this happens a lot. He kept telling me not to be embarrassed, but his answer offered no basis for this. He said something like “Well … no. Not really.” That helped my pride.
To add to my humility, I think the entire town gathered to watch. I guess nothing else was going on around here. This pitiful woman (who now feels ridiculously old, out of shape and stupid) attracted the attention of two police cars (four officers in total), one paramedic vehicle (two people in there) and an ambulance (at least two more people, plus the driver). Oh, and anyone else who happened to be standing outside around 10 am on a gorgeous sunny day. By this morning (the day after) I had over 20 notes on facebook, 6 emails and a phone call from the school principal to check on me. Everyone thinks I’m dying. I’m not. I just refuse to believe that I can’t do anything. I refuse to acknowledge personal limits. I mean, if the amazingly toned woman in front of me can teach the class, surely I (25 pounds over weight and with absolutely no training) can keep up. Right? Right? Obviously not.
Anywho, I somehow managed to answer about thirty questions at least seventeen times. I got a lot of “Oh, good. You’re coherent and you still have your sense of humor.” and “It’s better to be embarrassed than unconscious.” My final instructions before they closed the ambulance doors: “Get me my purse. My insurance card is in there. Have Julie pick up my kids at 11:30; she’s the only one authorized to do it. DO NOT CALL RICK!! And please don’t tell anyone I wet myself. Did I wet myself?” That’s when they hooked up the oxygen and turned on the pretty flashing lights.
There’s nothing quite like trying to get an IV while in a moving vehicle. Roads don’t feel as smooth when you’re lying on your back knowing someone is trying to jab a giant needle in your arm. Oh, and I learned a new word: valvular. My veins are quite valvular. In other words, it will take four pricks and a pediatric needle and they still can’t find a working vein. (By “prick” I mean “attempt.” I don’t know the EMTs well enough to call them names, but I think one of them was called “Doug.”)
After two hours in the hospital, an EKG, blood tests, a turkey sandwich, apple juice and a cup of tea that burnt my tongue, they determined that I was fine. They eliminated the possibility of pregnancy, diabetes and stroke and confirmed dehydration, low blood pressure and a bit of foolish arrogance. I signed a paper and Alison drove me back to the martial arts school (to get my car) where everyone was still standing around talking about me.
They invited me to come back on Wednesday. What do you think? I still owe them for a vitamin water.
Just so everyone knows: I AM FINE! Rick worked from home today to make sure I take it easy and remember my limits. He only had to stop me from running around the house twice.
Life is good, God is great, and I am tremendously blessed to have such amazing, generous friends. Even in spite of my stupidity cute idiosyncrasies.